With the draw of Pat Benatar in town, visitors to Queenstown
struggled to find somewhere to stay as the resort enjoyed
more guests over the weekend than at New Year.
Tourism Industry Association Queenstown regional chairwoman,
hotels, Penny Clark said the Gibbston Valley Summer Concert,
headlined by Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, ''really hit the
''And then, of course, we've got our summer business so it
compounded the situation,'' Ms Clark said.
The popular concert was attended by 15,000 people. The resort
and its surrounds are in for a busy week.
The NZ PGA Pro-Am Championship starts at The Hills on
Thursday and ends on Sunday and the England v New Zealand XI
four-day warm-up cricket match begins at the Queenstown
Events Centre on Wednesday.
However, Ms Clark said hotels were not yet booked out.
''We're certainly not getting the vibes that we're booked
out,'' she said, speculating the sporting events would have
more of a local attendance.
Performing on the same stage as Benatar and her husband,
guitarist Neil Giraldo, America and the reunited Bachman and
Turner were two local acts originating from Wakatipu High
Alpine Effect, a seven-piece jazz band, may have performed at
its last, and certainly biggest, gig.
Trumpeter Tom Gray said that as some of the band members were
still attending Wakatipu High School and the other half had
moved on to university, he suspected Saturday was ''our last
Some of them had played at the summer concert series last
year, to a smaller crowd, but Gray was pleased to say the
band had truly ''gone out with a bang'' in performing to
15,000 - which is more than half of Queenstown's permanent
''Not many people would believe you if you said you played in
front of 15,000 people,'' he saidFollowing Alpine Effect and
fellow local band the Fletcherz was America. Gray said the
guitarist from the international classic rock band was highly
complimentary about the opening act.
''We were quite stoked to hear that.''
Fletcherz member George Hartshorn said despite the
nerve-racking moments before the band played to the large
crowd, performing in front of so many was inspiring and
Fletcherz vocalist Sam Maxwell gave a faultless performance,
despite having his appendix removed only two weeks earlier,
and it was business as usual later that night when the band
performed at Arrowtown night spot New Orleans Hotel.
''Our next step is writing our EP,'' Hartshorn said.