8 Jan 2016

Soundsplash returns to Raglan

9:43 pm on 8 January 2016

Raglan is renowned for its surfing scene - but the return of the Soundsplash Festival will bring a different type of visitor to the coastal Waikato town this weekend.

Music fans arrive at the 2016 Soundsplash Festival

Music fans arrive at the 2016 Soundsplash Festival Photo: Facebook / Soundspash Festival / ILOve Photography

The three-day music festival is back after a seven year absence, with more than 70 artists including local musicians Cornerstone Roots and Anna Coddington.

It has been raining in Raglan today but Soundsplash event manager Brian Ruawai said there was a really good vibe at the festival, and people had been rolling in to pitch a tent above Raglan's Ngarunui Beach.

Mr Ruawai, who lives in Raglan, said they were aiming to differentiate from many modern festivals which were held in big stadiums, by offering a family friendly camping experience with a lineup featuring local and international musicians.

He said his love of local music was one of the reasons for bringing back the festival. "Another reason is we just want to produce a hallmark event that cares about its ecological credentials, that we advocate positive behaviour with our youth."

Raglan Chamber of Commerce Administrator Karamea Puriri said they were expecting an extra 4000-5000 visitors in town this weekend for the festival, which will benefit local accommodation providers and other businesses.

She said it would bring people to the town who are interested in more than just surfing.

"It brings in a new age range of visitors from families to teens who have never been to Raglan, and haven't had a reason to come out if they're not into the surfing and kayaking but they are into the festival circuit.

Raglan businesswoman Maree Harris, who was selling her handmade iceblocks with compostable packaging at the festival, was equally enthusiastic the festival was back.

"Really excited, it's great for Raglan, and it's such a unique place to be, and it's zero waste, and I've got two young children that are really looking forward to coming in and having a dance."

Festivalgoer Tia Neale and her six mates travelled down from Whangaparaoa in Auckland yesterday for the festival, and arrived at the site at 5am to find a camping spot.

She said they came along for the experience.

"To see like the different kinds of music, because it's not really our kind of music, but I think it will be interesting, all the stalls and the beach, yeah just a little road trip."

Other artists performing at Soundsplash include Sticky Fingers, State of Mind, Three Houses Down, Sunshine Soundsystem, Kinetic, The Black Seeds, Tiki Taane and Trinity Roots.