The RiverRange Music Festival truly is a one of a kind event. What started as an opportunity for Blair Scoullar and his fellow musicians to see each other perform, has now grown into one of the best music festivals on the calendar.
The first event, then aptly called the Banny Music Fest, was held at the Bannockburn Hotel in 2014.
“We begged and borrowed whatever we could to put on the first event,” says Blair. “There were 13 bands on the roster, including our own, and entrance was free. We thought it would be a small gathering, but more than 350 people rocked up. By 15:00 the hotel had to lock the pub because all the booze had run out! The response was overwhelming.”
In 2015, the festival moved to the Cromwell Racecourse to accommodate the obvious interest in rock music in the area. The festival’s new venue also warranted a new name. RiverRange was named for the awe-inspiring mountains around the basin and the rivers flowing through it.
The Goals we set out to achieve with RiverRange are simple really – we continue to bring great quality art in the form of Music into Cromwell, We are non-profit and an NZ Charitable Organization – so we only make the money to pay for the running costs and any left over goes into the festival for the year after.
“With RiverRange, we want to put Cromwell on the map as an art, and specifically music, destination,” says Blair. “Even though RiverRange is the cheapest music festival to attend on the South Island, it continues to attract the best artists year on year.”
The RiverRange team doesn’t plan on growing the festival much larger than it already is, but rather want to deliver a quality experience for the festival growers. As a non-profit and NZ Charitable Organisation, all proceeds of the day go back into the festival.
Blair and his family have been living in Cromwell for 13 years. They love Central and Cromwell, and enjoy the new-found vibrancy that’s come with all the younger families that are moving into the area.
“Cromwell is like a sleeping giant that is now finally realising its own potential.”
This year’s festival will, like every year, be a family-friendly affair with lots of entertainment including fire dancers, stilt walkers, and more besides the amazing line-up on stage. Bands performing include Salmonella Dub, Beastwars, K+Lab, Pieces Of Molly, Left Or Right and 12 more.
Tickets are now available from Forage at The Gate, and online. For more information, or to book your spot, go the RiverRange website: http://www.riverrangefest.nz/