Soundsplash 2019

Soundplash is a music festival that dates back to 2001 when it was originally started by locals Brian and Naomi of Cornerstone Roots fame.

The very first event was held at the Town Hall, back then called the Soundsplash Eco Reggae Festival, and always had a conscious element to its management whether it was through music, films, workshops and stalls with an aim to reflect and influence, and to stimulate change in societies.

After the success of its first event, the festival was moved to Wainui Reserve, due to the natural amphitheater that existed there, and until 2008 (when it went on hiatus until 2015) brought some big international names to Raglan like veteran reggae acts Third World and Junior Kelly.

Fast forward to 2019, this year’s festival was a sellout event, with close to 8000 people through the gates.

Headlined by international acts Sticky Fingers, Famous Dex and Macky Gee, this year the amphitheater was buzzing with a massive crowd of excited festival goers, some of them experiencing their first ever music festival.

Go behind the scenes and you will see the sheer amount of work that goes on to produce an event of this scale in a town like Raglan. From the organisers to the volunteers to the clean-up crew that put in tireless hours, the majority of these people are members of the Raglan community that come together so that everybody has a good experience in Raglan.

This year, Brian and Naomi were joined by promoters Pato Entertainment and Audiology Touring who have come on board to be part of the Soundplash family. The promoters have been involved with the success of other festivals like One Love and Bay Dreams as well as the recent Toto tour and identified Soundsplash as having a special perspective due to the event’s focus on minimizing waste and the efforts they put in to ensure that the festival does what it can to create the least amount of waste possible.

Some of the local stories coming out of the event included those of residents and volunteers helping out visitors in need as well as the overall good vibe around the festival venue.

As with most big events and festivals, long queues and wait times are the norm, as is some unruly behavior exhibited by a small minority.

With the crowds now gone and the venue cleared, festival goers are already expressing interest in attending Soundplash 2020.

Soundplash would like to thank the Whaingaroa community, artists, attendees, vendors, volunteers and crew for helping to put on another successful festival. Without everyone’s cooperation an event like this could not happen so thank you.


CORRECTION: The print version of this article stated that over 11,000 people went through the gates during Soundsplash 2019. This information is incorrect. The sentence should have read: Close to 8000 people went through the gates for Soundsplash 2019 as is stated in the online version. We apologise for any inconvenience this error may have caused.

Flowidus image // Desmond Nielson.
Masasya from left, Kaea Ruawai, Reiki Ruawai and Muroki Pearsall. Image // Desmond Nielson.
Couple enjoying Soundsplash. image // Ken Hansen.
Green Stratos. image // Ken Hansen.

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