Hip-hop star Cardi B wows Bay Dreams crowd

Hip-hop star Cardi B on stage at Bay Dreams. Photo: NZ Herald
Hip-hop star Cardi B on stage at Bay Dreams. Photo: NZ Herald
The tongue-poking, twerk-dancing, okurrt-saying hip hop superstar that is Cardi B gave fans all of that and more at Bay Dreams 2019.

The record-breaking female rapper was among the headline acts at this year's Bay Dreams Mount Maunganui festival today and her appearance was an obvious crowd-favourite.

About 8pm crowds flooded the Alice in Wonderland-themed Field of Dreams main stage area before fans started chanting her name in anticipation of her performance about 25 minutes later. One women was overheard telling people next to her to get louder so she could hear them.

By 8.40pm, Cardi B had hit the stage - much to the delight of the screaming crowd who were happy to finally get a glimpse of one of the biggest names in the world today.

In her 30-minute set, she gave her fans what they wanted - lots of twerking, R18 lyrics, strange noises, tongue-poking and of course hit after hit. It's hard to even single out one record fans were most excited about because they gave plenty of energy as she started every one.

While on stage she said she was in awe of New Zealand's beauty.

"This country is so beautiful," she told the crowd.

After performing a shortened version of Drip, Cardi B said it took the energy out of her. Soon after, she said she planned to perform her slow records because the Kiwi crowd was "too lit".

Hip-hop star Cardi B on stage at Bay Dreams. Photo: NZ Herald
Hip-hop star Cardi B on stage at Bay Dreams. Photo: NZ Herald

The crowd could not get enough. They were singing along to every song.

Cardi sang every track her fans wanted to hear and warning the crowd that she was about to sing her last song of the night there was no doubt the final would be Bodak Yellow.

"New Zealand y'all so beautiful to me," she told the crowd.

It was the female rapper's first New Zealand performance.

Other performers on the Bay Dreams line-up included Sheck Wes, Rich The Kid Shapeshifter, Tash Sultana, Sticky Fingers, Peking Duk, $uicideboy$, Macky Gee, Pnau, Katchafire and more.

From midday, festival-goers began piling into Mount Maunganui's Trustpower Baypark.
More than 30,000 people were expected to attend the event.

Glitter, underwear and matching outfits were everywhere as happy glitter-laden crowds of people danced at different stages, all enjoying the sellout concert.

Katchafire and Ladi6 drew large crowds early in the day, with many enjoying the sunshine and reggae vibes.

"I'm so excited to be here," said Natasha Burton, who was attending her first festival.

Nina Mirfin and Jack Gothard had arrived in Tauranga from Warkworth two days ago for their first Bay Dreams festival.

Mirfin said she decided to attend because it's the "best line-up I've ever seen" and she loved festivals because of the "vibe and music".

Heston Taylor, 21, said he couldn't wait to "party with Cardi".

It was also the first Bay Dreams festival for Chanelle McLeod and Lindi De Klerk, who were excited about having fun with their friends and listening to their favourite musicians.

De Klerk's favourite on the line-up was Australian singer-songwriter Tash Sultana.
"She's super talented, and I've never seen her," she said.

Senior Sergeant Mark Pakes, the officer-in-charge at Bay Dreams, said at 5.30pm that festival-goers were well behaved and in really good spirits with no arrests so far.

"It's incredibly hot at the venue and, given the temperature, everyone is doing really well."

Pakes said the event was being well managed by the organisers, as had been expected.

Apart from some delays getting into the venue, given the crowd swelled to about 24,000-25,000 at one stage, and a few people having to have "a bit of lie down" before they were let in, things were going "really well".

Pakes was also the officer-in-charge at Bay Dreams last year and said there were no arrests at that event. He hoped for the same outcome this year.

Some festival-goers had their arrival delayed as heavy traffic backed up, but moving, along State Highway 29A approaching the stadium.

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