An estimated crowd of 6000 rocked to the sounds of an
entertaining line-up at the Queenstown Events Centre on
Saturday, including Elvis Costello. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Organisers of Saturday's inaugural Queenstown Blues and
Roots Festival have promised to be back ''bigger and better''
next year, after a ''huge day'' in the resort.
An estimated 6000 people from all over New Zealand flocked to
the Queenstown Events Centre on Saturday to make the most of
a stellar line-up, culminating in headline acts the Doobie
Brothers and Black Seeds
Festival directors Grant Hilton and Queenstown hospitality
professional Barry Ellis were ''thrilled'' with the feedback
''We worked very hard as a team with some wonderful support
from this community and we're very pleased with what we
delivered as a `first-up' show,'' Mr Hilton said.
''I think we surprised a few people.
''All the artists were stoked with the venue, the crowd and
with Queenstown and we've had some great feedback with phone
calls and text messages all day from people who came or who
''If people thought this year was good, we'll knock their
socks off next year,'' Mr Hilton said.
''We're already having so many amazing acts being offered to
Queenstown group The Killer Seas, which won a busking
competition to take the stage at the event, got the day
rolling with music that set the tone for the day.
Dunedin's King Leo got the first members of the audience up
dancing with a range of blues classics before high-energy
all-girl group the Johnnys, a Johnny Cash covers band, drew
more music lovers up front in the sunshine.
Fly My Pretties showcased its talent and musical diversity
before Elvis Costello and the Imposters took the stage.
Clearly a hit with a crowd that knew the lyrics to classics
including Watching the Detectives and Alison,
Costello later handed over to the Doobie Brothers, who
produced a slick set of lights, music and action - even
drawing Costello back on stage to join them for one number
and finishing with crowd-pleaser Listen to the Music.
The eight-strong Black Seeds finished off the show and had
everyone on their feet by the end.