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PUNAKAIKI – Taiko Festival

4pm Gates Open 8 May, 2021

Punakaiki Beach Camp

Three years after wowing Tāiko Festival audiences at the boutique Punakaiki event, Tiki Taane is heading back, joined by Shapeshifter vocalist PDigsss. Tiki jumped at the chance to come back to the family-friendly festival, with his good mate PDigsss, and they were supposed to play in 2020, but… COVID-19 happened to the world. Being the great guys they are, they’re back on the bill for 2021! The two will both perform as individuals, and together in the beautiful Untamed Natural Wilderness of Punakaiki on Saturday 8 May (at the Punakaiki Beach Camp, to be exact).
Festival chair Jed Findlay says tickets sold quickly last time Tiki Taane played, and PDigsss would also be a huge drawcard.
“We love being able to bring musicians of this calibre to the Coast. And the cool thing is, they seem to love coming to our wee neck of the woods. It’s a great vibe.”
Tickets sold for the 2020 festival will be honoured for the 2021 event.
Greymouth big band Not Just Jazz, street poet David Merritt, accompanied by musician Justine Francis, and Punakaiki poet laureate Trev Hayes make up the rest of the line-up.
The Festival has added performance poets to this year’s line-up, and they will start the afternoon’s events when the kids’ activities wind up. “Poet of the People” David Merritt tours the country regularly. He’s often found with a small table and set of poetry books for sale, waiting for custard squares and conversation. Teamed up with musician Justine Francis, they describe their act:
‘A twisting, touching emotional/ political landscape painted through words and music. David Merritt’s raw and remarkable poetry set against a backdrop of viola from West Coast-born Justine Francis, deep and wispy sounds threading through the rhythm of the work like rising smoke.’
Not Just Jazz almost stole the show this year with their high energy crowd-pleasers, and this big band will be back in 2020.
The Tāiko Festival was started seven years ago to mark the return of the tāiko to nesting sites just south of Punakaiki. As well as the music event, it includes a beach parade and talk by local bird specialist Kerry-Jayne Wilson on the evening of Friday 7 May at McMillan’s Beach, followed by an open mic night at the Punakaiki Beach Camp, the native tree planting, yoga on the beach in Punakaiki (or at the beach camp under cover if wet), a community market on the village green at Dolomite Point, and kids’ activities .