THE GREAT NGARUAWAHIA MUSIC FESTIVAL
The North Island town of Ngaruawahia is situated 19 kilometres north-west of Hamilton, on the Waikato River. It is the Maori capital of New Zealand, and home of the Maori Queen. It was chosen as the location for New Zealand's first major outdoor rock festival in January 1973
Organised by Aussie expat Robert Raymond and Kiwi promoter Barry Coburn, its 54-act bill included many of New Zealand's top acts including expatriate heroes The La De Das (who reportedly stole the show) and Max Merrit & The Meteors. Co-headliners were UK bands Black Sabbath and Fairport Convention.
The festival was also notable as the very first gig for Dragon (sans Marc Hunter), one of the first major concert appearances by Split Enz.
"Todd (Hunter) ... gathered some friends and fellow performers
for an appearance at the Great Ngaruawahia Music Festival. They wrote
original songs for their set list, and someone pulled the name "Dragon"
out of an I Ching book. Their performance at the Ngaruawahia Music Festival
led to a better gig, a few weeks performing at the Occidental Hotel in
"Corben performed at the 1973 Great Ngaruawahia Music Festival. He was the opening act and
grabbed the headlines with a naked romp."
Bruce Sergent's site also notes this information concerning leading NZ band Ticket. Ticket -- who played their alst gig at the festival -- had close links to the festival's promoters, Robert Raymond and Barry Coburn. Coburn also ran the Down Under record label.
Coburn and Raymond were in the process of
organising a Woodstock style festival at Ngaruawahia for early 1973. Ticket
would be given a key slot on the bill and, following the festival, would
support headliners Black Sabbath on their Australian tour. This, they
believed, would really break the group across the Tasman. That done, they
would then head to the US in mid-year.
Corrections? More information about Ngaruawahia ?
|REFERENCES / LINKS|