Ten reasONs to get to the TUKI festival

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Your best day of summer?

New Zealand’s longest-running music festival, Rippon, served up a lot of people’s “best day of the summer” for a very long time.

Held at Rippon Vineyard near Wanaka, Rippon was launched in 1998 and over the years became downright (sorry to say it) iconic (because it was).

It was famous for the gobsmacker of a view over Lake Wanaka behind the stage, for launching “I so saw them before they were famous” acts like Fat Freddy’s Drop, Kora, Ladi6, The Black Seeds and Shapeshifter, and for channelling a chilled Central Otago vibe you just don’t find anywhere else.

It sold out heaps. Lots of acts who played there deemed it their favourite festie ever. It made memories.

Then it seemed it might be no more—the vines have been silent since the last Rippon was held in 2014.

Bring on 2018. Rippon is back, but in a new form, and in a new setting, eight minutes up the road across from the gram/snap/selfie heaven that is Wanaka’s Glendhu Bay.

It’s now called TUKI, which is both the Maori word for ‘mouthpiece’ and a nod to the nearby Matukituki Valley and River, and judging by the lineup that dropped last month, it’s going to be very very good. We’re going. How about you?

Here are 10 reasONS to catch the TUKI festival on February 10 this summer:

1. The lineup – It’s just so good: Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO), Aaradhna, Maala, Marlon Williams, The Phoenix Foundation, Arma del Amor, The Shamblés (yes, with an accent aigu), Mel Parsons, Lips and TAPZ.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Get to know Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

2. These three words – Speaking of the lineup, did you say Unknown Mortal Orchestra? Yes we did. Psych-soul, cosmic notes, Beatles-meets-Zappa, whatever you want to call it, The Mint Chicks’ Ruban Nielson has been living life in the US these days as the ultimate Kiwi gone global and done good with UMO. Pitchfork called Multi-Love, UMO latest album, “multivalent”. I had to look it up, and it means having many applications, interpretations, meanings, or values. Watch the vid for ‘Can’t Keep Checking My Phone’ to see (and hear) just what they mean.

3. The LushZone – De-luscious. The ultimate festie experience with a marquee, seats, fancy loos, a dedicated cash cafe/bar and its own garden.

4. It’s a good time for a good cause – TUKI is run by Lake Wanaka SouNZ Inc, a not-for-profit society that has donated $118,000  over the past twelve years to causes including the Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake AppealWanaka WastebustersTe Kakano Trust, TEDx Wanaka, Kahu Youth, Pembroke Park and local schools. It also runs the YAMI SouNZ Summit, which provides a platform for musicians, promoters, producers, engineers and managers to network and learn from the best.

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Cool as – The Forest.

5. There’s a forest – Head to the TUKI Forest for some sweet sounds in a shady treescape, including Mel Parsons, Lips, Max Gunn and Connor Moore, not to mention installations, interactive enchantment and cool-as water features.

6. The food will be good and there will be a lot of it – Expect a focus on all that is local and delicious from the region’s craft breweries (Wanaka currently has more craft breweries per head than anywhere else in the country—respect), wineries and food producers. TUKI = yummy.

7. Also these three words (speaking of the lineup again) – Homegrown in Wanaka, Arma del Amor (vocalist Martine Harding and multi-instrumentalist Danny Fairley, aka Civillian Sol) emerged as an exciting soul-tinged addition to the Kiwi electronic music scene with their debut EP ‘Light You Up’ in 2014 (we reviewed it here), and have carried on being exciting with their longer self-titled EP in 2015, and most recently with their latest single ‘Taking Back the Sea’. They’ve supported SIX60, Shapeshifter, Kora and Ladi6 they’ll be live and local at TUKI this year.

8. It’s historic – TUKI is the re-launch of one of Aotearoa’s most important music festivals, and the thing about a re-launch is, there’s only gonna be one. Be there, so you can say you were there.

9. The MCs – Shapeshifter’s frontman P Digsss will be back for his seventh SouNZ event, and he’ll be joined by co-MC Anika Moa. I can already hear the banter. It might get sweary.

10. The environment – The TUKI crew care about sustainability, and they’ve been caring for a while. Lake Wanaka SouNZ has been minimising festival waste since 2007, and this year they’re gunning for more than 92% waste diversion. That means no plastic bags or containers, no glass, on-site recycling and lots of compostable plates and cups to keep the worms happy on the worm farm.

Speaking of the environment, Wanaka gets an average of 2000 hours of sunshine annually, with February the region’s warmest month. And did we mention the lake?

LAURA WILLIAMSON – www.laurawilliamson.co.nz

The one-day, two-stage TUKI festival takes place on February 10, 2018 at Glendhu Bay near Wanaka.

Tickets available through Ticketek and Cosmic, or in person in Wanaka at Cork Bar and the Cardrona Alpine Resort town office. Camping is available at the Glendhu Bay Motor Camp – be quick to grab a tent or caravan site, all cabins and lodge spaces have already sold out.





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