The driver of a 16-wheeler truck that went over a cliff while
carrying sound and visual equipment to the Rhythm & Vines
music festival in Gisborne walked away unhurt.
The incident occurred about 8.30am on Waioeka Rd in the
Waioeka Gorge, about 50km north of the festival site at
Waiohika Estate in Gisborne.
Festival spokeswoman Sara Cairney said the truck was carrying
equipment for the Rhythm Stage, which was to host artists
including Kimbra and Mark Ronson - the headline act for New
"It should have pretty low impact, although we don't actually
know the extent of the damage to equipment yet," Ms Cairney
"The issue is really, even if a lot of the equipment is fine
a lot of the electrical stuff is quite sensitive. It could be
good be we are looking at contingencies of where we could get
other equipment from."
The truck and equipment belonged to a contractor, which was
organising the retrieval of the vehicle and its contents from
More than 25,000 people are expected at the festival. The
camping ground opens today and the first act is scheduled for
Festival managing director Scott Witters said the show would
"The driver is fine and from what we understand the gear is
in good condition.
"We have five stages to run and a whole lot of equipment to
manage, so we wouldn't have let this interrupt us in any
The gear was being carted in a solid - rather than
curtain-sided - truck and was professionally packed in road
cases designed to be bumped around, he added.
"This stuff is on the road for a couple of hundred days every
year so it has to be pretty robust.
"Anything that happens is pretty much par for the course when
you are putting a festival together and we just deal with
things to make sure the show goes on. That is what we are
here to do."
But if the crash was the bad news, the good news was a
weather forecast for the region that tipped clear skies and
temperatures in the mid- to late-20s from tomorrow into the
"It is absolutely brilliant ... Gisborne is definitely going
to be the best place in the country to be," Mr Witters said.
This morning's accident in the Waioeka Gorge followed
yesterday's crash when three Hamilton men believed to be
travelling to Gisborne for R&V rolled down a bank in the
early hours of the morning.
In that incident - also at the Opotiki end of the gorge - the
people in the crashed car were taken to Gisborne Hospital in
other vehicles they had been travelling in convoy with.
The 19 and 20-year-olds were treated in the hospital's
Accident and Emergency department and discharged.
A witness said it had appeared that the vehicle rolled
several times before coming to rest on its wheels.
- By Matthew Theunissen of APNZ and Kristine Walsh and
Murray Robertson of the Gisborne Herald