Shotover Festival Fills Hearts With Sunshine

13 Feb

Last weekend in Queenstown was one the will go down in history. It had it all. Glorious sunshine, breathtaking views, quality music and all run and organized by the Queenstown family Simon ‘Downtown Brown’ Hendl, Antonia Cowley and their ‘army of awesome’ sunshine soldiers.

More than 3,000 festivalgoers showed up to enjoy the 2nd bi annual Shotover Sunshine Festival at littles road in Queenstown.

Organisers were ‘Stoked’ that the event went off with out a hitch, and with picture perfect weather conditions they couldn’t have asked for a better result.

“We worked hard to improve from our first event and step it up for ya’ll, so we hope you had as much fun attending, as we did creating it. Huge heartfelt thanks to all of you who turned up and got down. And of course massive mountains of aroha going out to our hard working crew, our ‘army of awesome’, our incredible talented artists, our families. You rock! Bless up, and RISE & SHINE!!” – Simon Hendl aka Downtown Brown.

The line up was grand and solid, complementing the stunning backdrop of Southern lakes ranges with some of the biggest names in NZ music hitting the stage over the course of the day.   The artists had an undeniable rapport creating the most incredible family vibes, big smiles, bear hugs and beautiful synergy between them all.

Stand out performances came from Ladi6 who’s stylish outfit included a black pencil skirt, a purple loose-fit satin shirt and top hat, dropping slick beats from brand new material that impressed the pants of punters.

Hats can indeed be tipped to the master of ceremonies ‘KPz’ from the Sunshine Sound System.  This man kept transitions between bands totally seem-less and crowds pumped. It was indeed a magic moment when the full Sunshine Sound System crew jammed onstage including the lyrical prowess of PDigss and Tali.


KPZ! Photo RIA

AHoriBuzz’s brash and in your face performance was unreal and entertaining. What’s not to love about Aaron Tokona?  Then Sola Rosa’s beats cut through to the cockles of you heart inducing that familiar warm intelligent groove. Lead singer Spikee Tee leapt into the crowd and serenaded dancing punters. It was clear Tee was totally in his element!

Aaron Tokona knows how to bring the noise

Aaron Tokona knows how to bring the noise

The Black Seeds are so incredibly polished that you cannot fault their laid-back skanking sound, and then Kora didn’t fail to impress despite usual front man laughton being M.I.A at the festival. Fran Kora was stately to say the least.


Fran Kora Photo by RIA

Then, the upbeats took the stage, driving it home with the kind of drum and bass that massages your organs with it’s pelting rhythm and sends tingles your spine. Tiki and Tali took care of the MC duties hyping and holding the crowd in true style and power right through to the 1am shut down.

Police were extremely pleased with how the event went; they claimed it was refreshing to see an event of this size with great organisation and good behaviour from patrons.


Crowd / Photo thanks to Busted Queenstown

The transport to and from the festival also ran smoothly with the addition of a streamlined transport plan.  Shotover organisers effectively moved 3,000 people from the site between 12-2PM with no more than a 40-minute wait.  Festivalgoers were offered food and soft drinks from staff to enjoy while they waited. Just another act of incredible generosity from the SSF crew!!

Helitours Queenstown was onsite during the day offering scenic flights for patrons and artists. A lucky few including members of The Black Seeds, Tiki and son Charlie, PDigss, and The Upbeats first ladies were taken high above QT and dropped underneath Double Cone on the Remarkable Ranges to admire the view. Thank you HeliTours Queenstown, what a mind-blowing experience!


Clees, Digss, Friend, Me, Charlie and Tiki Thanks to HeliTours Queenstown

Hospitality was a fine feature at the festival providing both a public bar area, and a VIP service for those who wanted a little more flair with their beverages. Special thanks to Nick Casey, Stevie G and their team who’s quality service and cocktail creations was enough to make you feel like a rockstar.

Overall an awesome day out with incredible music and stunning hospitality. Can’t wait for the next one x

“It’s a special one the Shotover Fest. It’s my family and friends running things. It’s really nice after so many years of going to festivals to have one run by our crew. It truly makes for an ultimate festival experience.  Bless to that” -PDigss

“Shotover Sunshine was the perfect highlight to an amazing summer. Beautiful location, awesome lineup, excellent crew and legendary hospitality!” -Funkommunity

“Shotover Sunshine, what can I say? We’ve been looking forward to it for months. The wait was so rewarded. Such a stellar line up of bands, fans and crew. An amazing experience overall. Blessed!” – Andrew Spraggon,  Sola Rosa


Clees from Source TeeVee and Me on top on Remarks – Yeeoow Thanks to HeliTours Queenstown


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