Gibbston eyeing five concerts a year

Toni Childs lets rip at last last year's Gibbston Valley Winery Summer Concert. Photo: Mountain...
Toni Childs lets rip at last last year's Gibbston Valley Winery Summer Concert. Photo: Mountain Scene
The promoters behind the Gibbston Valley summer concert are hoping to stage more than one concert a year at the site, in part to support its more than 160 suppliers nationwide.

Greenstone Entertainment has applied to Queenstown’s council for a consent variation that would allow it to hold up to five events a year.

Its current consent, granted in 2017, allows it to stage only one concert a year, for up to 18,000 people, for five years.

This year’s concert — the 10th anniversary — featured headliners Billy Idol, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Anastacia, Smash Mouth and Creedence Clearwater Revisited,

Operations manager Dean Calvert says it gets offers every year to stage more concerts at Gibbston, but can’t take them up because there’s never enough time to obtain one-off consents.

If granted, the variation will give it the ability to take up those offers and run events any time during the warmer months.

The company’s summer concert national tour has been ‘‘really solid’’ for the past four years, and it could’ve skipped next year in the hope the Covid-19 pandemic would fizzle out, Calvert says.

‘‘We could’ve shut up shop for a year, but a lot of our suppliers wouldn’t survive, and we feel an obligation to put this on.’’

The company, which is part-owned by Gibbston Valley Wines Ltd, uses 167 suppliers across the country to stage the concerts, he says.

‘‘They’re all hurting — for some of them we make up a significant part of their business.

‘‘It’s about supporting them so they can survive.’’

Calvert says it’s confirmed the five artists for next year’s concert, slated for January 23, and will announce them ‘‘within the next month’’.

The consent variation application says that since the current consent was granted, the concert site’s been rezoned to Gibbston Valley Resort by the Environment Court.

That consent order provides for up to 15 temporary events a year and no noise limits for that activity.

The variation’s required to bring the company’s consent in line with those zoning provisions.

Although it’ll give the company the ability to hold five events, that’s far fewer than the 15 allowed by the zoning.

The application also says that because of Covid-19’s global impact, ‘‘international touring musicians are significantly hampered from travel, and flexibility is essential under this consent’’.

The variation will generate widespread benefits for the district’s accommodation, hospitality and transport businesses, ‘‘with the increasing number of national visitors travelling to the area for concerts, especially as borders are anticipated to be closed for the next 12 to 18 months’’.

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