Queenstown to host rival winter festival

A rival winter festival has been announced for Queenstown.

Europe's largest winter festival, Snowboxx, will make its New Zealand debut in the resort next year. The Queenstown Winter Festival will celebrate its 45th anniversary next year.

Dates for both festivals are yet to be announced.

Snowboxx organisers plan to re-create their European event, which is now in its sixth year, saying they will host a ''week-long programme of international music and events'' in the Wakatipu.

Established by Aden Levin and Rob Tominey, Snowboxx NZ would be hosted by Coronet Peak and the Remarkables.

The festival would include on- and off-mountain events, featuring ''some of the world's best-loved music artists'' in a ''full-scale festival production'' on main mountain 

The crowd at Snowboxx 2018, in Europe. Photos: Supplied
The crowd at Snowboxx 2018, in Europe. Photos: Supplied
stages, with other night-time events in town.

Past performers in Europe have included Fat Boy Slim, Basement Jaxx, Fleetwood Mac and Grandmaster Flash.

The Queenstown event would feature talent from New Zealand and Australia.

Mr Levin told the Otago Daily Times Queenstown was a ''perfect winter festival destination''.

''We feel that the southern hemisphere is lacking the apres and party environment of Europe and we want to showcase how incredible snow festivals are.''

Events would be ticketed but no pricing was available yesterday.

Queenstown Winter Festival director Rae Baker said it was ''fantastic'' Queenstown had attracted an international event like Snowboxx.

The stage at Snowboxx 2018.
The stage at Snowboxx 2018.

''It will never be comparable to our winter festival, as the Queenstown Winter Festival exists to celebrate Queenstown. It's part of us - a tradition that has lasted nearly 45 years.''

Traditionally held towards the end of June, the festival - owned by Destination Queenstown - has been held over four days for the past two years.

This year its on-mountain events, including the Dog Derby, were hosted by Cardrona Alpine Resort, owned by festival naming rights sponsor Real Journeys.

DQ acting chief executive Sarah O'Donnell said the organisation was aware Snowboxx was coming to Queenstown and had been ''collaboratively working with their team''.

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