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LINE-UP IN LIMBO

R&V a sell-out but who will play remains up in the air.

Ticketholders still have no idea who is performing at Rhythm and Vines this year as the line-up announcement has been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

In past years, organisers of New Zealand's largest festival have released an outline of the acts in August.

However the line-up for this year has been delayed again due to the complexities surrounding the Delta Covid outbreak, especially for international acts.

“Unfortunately, this (Delta) is a bit of a game-changer and almost overnight has had a huge impact on our ability to confidently announce some overseas artists who we have invited to the festival this year,” organisers said in a statement.

“After careful consideration, we have made the decision to delay the release of acts for Rhythm and Vines.

“We simply don't want to announce acts without a comfortable level of assurance that we can get them into the country.”

“With four months to go, we have plenty of time and we are confident New Zealand is heading in the right direction.”

Rhythm and Vines marketing and partnerships director Kyle Bell said they were taking their time to see how things played out. We are being extra cautious around releasing any acts that we aren't confident in getting into the country.”

There's no pressure on organisers to entice punters to buy tickets. The festival sold out at the start of July, with 21,500 three-day passes sold and all 15,000 camping passes gone.

“Regarding the festival position around alert levels. As per last year, the festival will go ahead only if New Zealand is at Alert Level 1,” Bell said.

“If we are not at Level 1 by the time the event period comes around, we would look to postpone. Postponement dates have not been set yet.”

Festival organisers ended the statement by keeping things positive.

“In the meantime, we are in this together.

“Keep doing your part to limit the spread of Covid, get vaccinated and, of course, get shredded for Rhythm.

“We can't wait to share what we have been working on and have us all together again to celebrate at the best New Year's experience possible.”

Last year's R&V featured an all-New Zealand line-up in what was billed as “the largest-ever mass gathering of Kiwi musicians this country has ever assembled” including Benee, Shapeshifter L.A.B., the Beths, Shihad and Dave Dobbyn.

Party people: Thousands of revellers party at Rhythm and Vines. This year's event is proving hugely popular once again but organisers have had to delay announcing their line-up due to Covid-19 uncertainty. We simply don't want to announce acts without a comfortable level of assurance that we can get them into the country,' organisers said in a statement. Gisborne Herald file picture