After last year’s sellout festival where heavy rain and winds pelted festivalgoers, Soundsplash 2018 started off with a bit of rain on Friday which then cleared up on Saturday for what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the summer so far.
Acts included the likes of reggae fusion band Ocean Alley, Australian electronic music duo SlumberJack, kiwi favourites Shapeshifter, te reo metallers Alien Weaponry and street busker, turned recording artist, Dub FX.
Friday saw crowds arriving with traffic congestion leading up to Wainui Reserve from early morning as organisers processed campers and vehicles.
With shuttle systems implemented for this year’s event, which meant that cars that did not have parking passes would park at the airfield and be shuttled to the venue, most of the congestion was cleared by Friday afternoon.
“One of the pains is trying to pack the attendees in on the Friday, apart from that and the traffic I thought it was overall a great event.
“The highlights for me were the local artists all firing and stepping up when required,” said organiser Brian Ruawai.
“This year we improved on the layout and implemented feedback from 2017.
“There’s always going to be ways to improve, however, overall changes I’m happy with. I thought the vibe was awesome.” Said Brian.
While the festival is an all-ages event, people young and old were in attendance. Festivalgoer Loretta Lorimer, 23, visiting from Hawkes Bay said, “seeing DUB FX live was the absolute highlight of my entire life!”
The event had a big team of volunteers on hand as well as the team from Xtreme Zero Waste (XZW) managing the rubbish side of things.
“We finished packing up on Monday afternoon, so a good day of cleaning up. Camp ground clean up finished at about 8.30pm. There were loads of rubbish left by campers but it was a lot cleaner this year, only around 10 tents left, as the weather was nice,” said XZW education officer Nenya Chapman.
“Special thanks to Lisa Thomson and Mike Edmonds from the WDC and Naomi for helping.”
With a huge amount of community involvement, from businesses, performers and volunteers, Brian said, “There were some real rock stars on our local crew and without their dedication and enthusiasm the smooth operation just wouldn’t have been possible.”