KATIKATI TWILIGHT CONCERTS
In 1995 Katikati residents, Rosalie Smith, Lindy Bryant and Sue Yortt got together and formed a committee to set up Garden Rambles. For two years they were very successful and provided funds which went towards the upkeep of the Katikati Murals. However, they felt they could do more, so asked Moira James to join in and help them organise concerts in the gardens, thus appealing to more people.
The first concert, in December 1997, was Carols by Candlelight held in Sue Yortt’s garden in Pukekura Road. Approximately one hundred people attended – a great success.
From there the story grew, with local artists appearing in some of the beautiful private gardens here in the Western Bay of Plenty. These days the attendance has grown from anything between 800 to 2,200 people depending on the venue and the popularity of the performers. Our largest concert was held in 2009 on the Haiku Reserve, with a Buddy Holly Tribute performed by Chet O’Connell and his Band. Approximately 2,200 people attended that day, which was wonderfully warm and sunny.
Unfortunately, sometimes it does rain. Over the years we have had the odd postponement or cancellation but we have still managed to deliver, with a wonderful Anna Hawkins concert being put into the Memorial Hall at very short notice, and a re-staging of the ever-popular Shane Cortese and the Class of ’58 Band deemed one of our most successful concerts ever.
Our star turn names may have got bigger along with the audiences, but we still showcase local up and coming talent in each of our various concerts.
We are a non-funded voluntary organisation – and yes, all volunteers are welcome!
All our concerts are held outdoors with a family picnic atmosphere between 18:00 (6:00pm) and 20:30 (8:30pm) on Saturday evenings in January and February.
The venues used to be in large private gardens, vineyards and lodge gardens, but due to kiwifruit PSA concerns it was decided that concerts should be based on the local Haiku Reserve by the riverbank. We have a permananet stage, and professional sound and lighting set-ups for all concerts.
We are a charitable, non-profit making, non-commercial enterprise, our proceeds now going towards:
1. Scholarships open to anyone in the Katikati area, supporting study at university or further education in the arts field: Music, Art, Drama, Photography, Dance and Film & Stage Production.
2. Community Art endeavours in the Katikati area – including the Haiku Pathway, local drama and art groups, plus Katikati Open-Air Art – for maintenance of existing town murals/sculptures and provision of new ones.
Previous artists have included:
Shane Cortese & The Class of ’58 Band
Gray Bartlett, Brendan Dugan & Jodie Vaughan
Sharon Elizabeth & Friends
Hamilton Blue Grass Band
Wizard & Oz
NZ Navy Band
The Nairobi Trio
As you can see a pretty diverse group – to suit all tastes.