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Longline set for festies and foodies

When Kurt Barker and James Bristow’s mates from around New Zealand came to stay in Gisborne, the two men set the longline.

“It provides food throughout the day and is best served with cold drinks, good music and great company,” Barker said.

The concept of connecting people, metaphorically speaking, with the longline is behind the name for Gisborne’s newest music festival.

Scheduled for Labour weekend, the Longline Classic is about bringing people together from all over the country with top bands and electronic acts; plenty of food, drinks and friends in an outdoor location.

Held at the Makaraka racecourse, the Longline Classic coincides with the Labour Weekend food and wine festival, so promises to bring a summery, double-whammy to the region.

Barker and Bristow, who both have experience with big days out such as Baydreams, One Love, and Soundsplash, are building a New Zealand line-up of acts. Splashed across multiple stages, the line-up so far includes acts such as Church & AP, Flamingo Pier, Soaked Oats, Fairbrother, Zeisha, Summer Thieves, Witters + MC Crafty, No Cigar, Rothman Reds, Tricky, and many more.

Barker returned to Gisborne shortly before the nation went into lockdown so the men took the opportunity “to plan something big”.

“With restrictions easing, people look forward to attending events,” said Barker.

“This is good for New Zealand artists who are now headlining acts.”

Having invested the heady sum of $20 into social media marketing, tickets to Longline have sold out.

Only 15 percent were snapped up by Gisborne party people. The bulk went to Christchurch festies — which is conceivably good for Gisborne and the East Coast.

Barker and Bristow see an opportunity for the festival to align with local businesses which could benefit from the influx of festies and foodies. To this end they have been working with Trust Tairawhiti.

“By the time people get here they’ll be familiar with Gisborne business through the marketing,” Barker said.

COASTING: Gisborne men Kurt Barker and James Bristow are building this region’s newest music festival, The Longline Classic, scheduled for Labour Weekend. Picture supplied