The first Queenstown Blues & Roots Festival -- a one-day outdoor event to be held at the Queenstown Events Centre onSaturday April 26 2014 with The Remarkables mountain range forming a lofty backdrop – features a stunning line-up of acclaimed national and international acts.
Headlining the day will be legendary California rock band The Doobie Brothers, along with acclaimed singer-songwriterElvis Costello and The Imposters, New Zealand’s favourite live collaborative group Fly My Pretties, dub, funk, afrobeat and soul masters The Black Seeds, veteran blues musician King Leo and all-girl group The Johnnys, who deliver Johnny Cash songs like no-one’s heard ‘em before.
The new festival also plans to hold a busking competition in Queenstown over Easter weekend (April 18-20), the winner of which will receive a coveted spot on the main stage for the Blues & Roots Festival.
The non-stop, full production music festival – scheduled to kick off from 11am with the first act on stage from 12 noon – will see up to 15,000 people enjoying the very best in blues, soul and rock and roll accompanied by an exciting array of local food, beer, wine and market stalls.
The Queenstown Blues & Roots Festival director is Grant Hilton, who has 30 years’ experience in the music and hospitality industries and extensive tour management and merchandising experience.
For ten years he held a range of management roles with the internationally-renowned Byron Bay Bluesfest, a five-day annual event that attracts over 100,000 attendees and presents more than 100 acts and is now in its 25th year.
Queenstown hospitality professional Barry Ellis – managing director of the Ellis Hospitality Group which owns and operates the resort town’s Pig & Whistle pub and Monty’s bar, along with three more restaurants and bars in Dunedin, is also a director of the event.
“We’ve been planning this event for a number of months now and can’t wait to bring acts of this calibre to the Queenstown Events Centre, which with its main oval creating many vantage points is a superb venue for the festival,” said Mr Ellis.
“With this line-up there really is something for everyone, a great fun day out not only for Queenstown locals and visitors, but for music-lovers from all around the South Island and further afield.
“It’s a massive boost to tourism at a quieter time of year so we’d really encourage everyone to get in quick for their tickets and book themselves a good ‘mini-break’ in our beautiful four-season resort to coincide with ANZAC Day weekend.
“And what better way to enjoy the day than with some great food and local wine to go with your music?”
Tickets for the first Queenstown Blues & Roots Festival go on sale on Monday December 2 through the website www.
queenstownbluesrootsfestival. co.nz or by contacting 0800 BLUESQT (0800 2583778) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Limited ‘First Release’ tickets are available at $99 per person.
One of the enduring worldwide favourites of the 1970s, The Doobie Brothers will bring their celebrated catalogue of rock music to Queenstown. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s they evolved from a mellow, post-hippie boogie band to a slick, soul-inflected pop outfit.
Extolling smart pop hooks and warm, soulful vocals along the way, the group racked up a string of gold and platinum albums, along with a number of radio hits like ‘Listen to the Music’, ‘Black Water’, ‘Long Train Runnin’, ‘Takin’ It To The Streets’ and ‘China Grove’, lacing their country-rock with an enjoyable dash of funk.
With founding members Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons, and 30 year-plus veteran John McFee, the Doobies will be performing as an eight-piece band including Tony Pia, Ed Toth, John Cowan, Marc Russo and Guy Allison.
Elvis Costello has followed his musical curiosity in a career spanning almost four decades with a back catalogue of over 40 albums covering nearly every genre of music.
He is probably best known for his performances with The Attractions, The Imposters and his solo shows with pianist Steve Nieve.
A swag of nominations and awards include Grammy Awards, ASCAP’s prestigious Founders Award, an Oscar nomination and being inducted into the Rock’N’Roll Hall of Fame -- evidence of the respect and awe he commands from his peers.
Over the years he has worked with and written for the very best names in the music industry and most recently gatecrashed his own horizons by collaborating with The Roots, producing Wise Up Ghost.
Elvis and The Imposters (Steve Nieve, Pete Thomas and Davey Faragher) are promising their Queenstown audience an incredible Costello musical encyclopedia ‘refresher course’ with a selection of songs from the past, present and future.
Fly My Pretties first entered New Zealander’s hearts and minds in 2004, with the assembly of a talented and exciting group of Wellington-based musicians for a special project. From that first successful season, sell out tours and platinum albulms followed.
The eight-strong Black Seeds, with instruments including vocals, guitar, saxophone, trumpet, bass, drums, bongos, keyboard and wood block, have two double-platinum selling albums in New Zealand and successful European album releases, while The Johnnys, formed in 2011, are renowned for their sensitive, character-filled renditions of all the Cash classics coloured with spine-tingling vocal harmonies and infectious undertones of the Pacific.
King Leo will draw on the classic hard-driving sounds of Chicago, Texas and New Orleans – and his experience playing in the U.S. with a variety of blues bands and such masters of the genre as Bo Diddley -- to bring high energy, good-time music and dancing to Queenstown.