Plans are now well under way for the forest fire concert.


The venue is being prepared and the main act, The Warratahs, are getting ready to come across the ditch and put on a great spectacle. While they are here, band members will travel to the fire site and Wakefield to get a better idea of where the fire took hold and the size of the evacuation involved.


Organiser Steve Page is pleased with the progress being made. “We have some great helpers on board, especially from the Tasman District Council, and everyone involved has either donated their time or at the very least given significant discounts on stuff we will need.


“All we want now is for the public to really get behind the event and come along.” One of the other bands performing is Nelson act Dust & Gold, who recently supported UB40. The duo blend Nikita Fountain’s songbird voice and Mark McKenzie’s rich baritone with an accompanying acoustic sound.


Their songs range from haunting Celtic-influenced ballads, to foot-tapping, sing-along bluegrass tunes, and their debut single Merry Go Round is due to be released in May.  Mark served as a soldier in the New Zealand Defence Force for nine years and he understands the sacrifice and commitment it would have taken for all who served and volunteered to fight the fire and help those affected. “It’s an honour for us to be able to contribute in any way possible,” he says.


Steve says the bands involved have promised a great party atmosphere. “It’s important that as a community we can get together, have a laugh, enjoy a great atmosphere and perhaps relax a bit while having fun and that’s what this day is about. We can then put the trauma of the forest fire and anything else that caused a worrisome affect behind us,” he says


The event kicks off at 1pm on Saturday, April 13th at the A and P showgrounds in Richmond. Responders and volunteers get in free with their immediate family, which includes children and partners only.


There is a small general public charge of $10 for adults and $5 for kids under 15. In the interests of keeping things simple, it’s a gate charge and cash only. Families are welcome to bring a chilly bin and seats.  Steve asks that all people involved spread the word to make sure as many as possible turn up. There is free parking available at the town end of the A and P showground entrance.


Organisers would still like to talk to any bands that are good and want a chance to play in the concert. There are only two spots left. Email asap!

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