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Stellar line-up planned for first-ever Matariki concert

Almost as many stars as appear in the Matariki cluster will appear on stage for Gisborne's inaugural public Matariki celebration next month.

Co-organised by East Coast Music Ltd founder Tyna Keelan and Te Runanga o Turanganui a Kiwa manager Athena Emmerson-Kapa, the concert to celebrate the Maori new year will be staged under the Town Clock and will feature top acts such as Troy Kingi, Maisey Rika, Ria Hall and many others.

Matariki 2020 is an occasion to celebrate leaving lockdown and, in the tradition of the Maori new year consider the future, says Mr Keelan.

“We did Waitangi Day and that was a great concert. What we're going to put on in July is a concert for us as we come out of Covid-19 restrictions and for us to look forward.

“The logistics have been hard with traffic management and the like, but we feel the city is behind it. Three weeks out and everything is looking good. We're excited to bring a whanau event into the city. It's about bringing people together and having a good community celebration.”

The event will offer more than live music. An area with heaters will be arranged for kaumatua and kuia, a range of food vendors will be available, and education providers will be ready to give information about courses.

“A lot of people are retraining so there will be opportunities at the concert for information sessions with educational providers and getting information about training,” Mr Keelan said.

The event was an opportunity to say thank you to the people of Turanganui a Kiwa for getting the community through Covid-19, Mrs Emmerson-Kapa said.

She was looking forward to the next year, building and supporting local businesses and the local people.

“I want to say a big thank you to all the businesses by the Town Clock. They are happy to work with us for this event to go off without a hitch.

“Thank you to Trust Tairawhiti and GDC for being behind the city event.”

The Matariki 2020 concert under the Town Clock is a free event and will be held on July 12, from midday-5pm.

For the line up see here.

CELEBRATE: East Coast Music Ltd founder Tyna Keelan (left) and Athena Emmerson-Kapa of Te Runanga o Turanganui a Kiwa are project managers for Gisborne's inaugural public Matariki celebration — a concert at the Town Clock. Picture by Liam Clayton