Ngāti Kuri Announces #HīkoiTo100 Music Festival

Ngāti Kuri Announces #HīkoiTo100 Music Festival

Ngāti Kuri have announced that the #HīkoiTo100 Music Festival will take place on Saturday May 21.

The festival celebrates the success of the Ngāti Kuri COVID-19 vaccination drive that was held over the summer to boost iwi resilience, and will be the first large scale music festival to be held in Aotearoa since the Omicron outbreak.

Sheridan Waitai, Ngāti Kuri Trust Board Executive Director, says, “The festival celebrates our transition to more freedom alongside our iwi and community. It is in recognition of the increased vaccination rates throughout Te Tai Tokerau and the motu - and of our people working hard to live by the principles of the well-known #HīkoiTo100 phrase: Hei Tupuna Rangatira Koe - Be a Good Ancestor.

“Historically our iwi has not fared well with pandemics. Choosing to get vaccinated has helped us all as we work to continue to build the resilience of Ngāti Kuri, change the outcomes for our people, and keep moving forward.

“Our rohe stretches to the very top of Aotearoa - pointing up and outwards. We were the first to lock down at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 and two years later we are celebrating opening up to some normalcy. That’s thanks to everyone's efforts and support of the vaccination drive. It feels symbolic that this festival comes at a time when our people can finally come back together - and as Aotearoa begins to reach back out to join the rest of the world. I don’t think we have ever had a festival quite like this so far North.”

Upwards of 3,000 people are anticipated to attend the #HīkoiTo100 Music Festival, which will be held at the Awanui RFC & Sports Complex, and run in partnership with 1979 Management and Dawn Raid Entertainment.

Headline acts include Tomorrow People, 1814, Ladi 6, Che-Fu and Savage with 1979 Management lead Andy Murnane saying that the artists are excited to be able to perform again live.

“This is the first live concert in a long time. It’s great for all these artists to be able to come together with the local community. This Festival is, at its heart, an acknowledgement and celebration of the hard mahi that has gone into strengthening community resilience. That’s something to be proud of,” says Ms Waitai.

Local bands such as Papa’s Pack will also perform, and local food, clothing and taonga stalls will be onsite, so that festival goers can give back to local businesses that felt the impact of lockdowns over the last two years.

Ngāti Kuri is encouraged by the increase in vaccination rates, which are significantly up since the #HīkoiTo100 campaign was first announced last December, made possible by government support for Māori communities responding to COVID-19. The rohe recently recorded a 90% first dose vaccination rate, with second doses sitting at 88%. Booster shots

currently sit at 64% and Ngāti Kuri is encouraging all uri aged 18 and over who have been fully vaccinated for at least 4 months to get a free booster now.

“That’s the next important step to ensure ongoing individual protection against COVID-19 and to continue to build collective resilience,” says Ms Waitai, who credits the strong uptake and increasingly positive outlook the iwi has towards vaccinations as the reason the Board decided to commit to holding the festival next month.

“We want everyone to be able to celebrate and have fun together safely and that’s now possible with our vaccination rates. We are really excited to bring this festival to the community, something we are hopeful in the future can become an annual event for our people”.

For the latest details, follow #HīkoiTo100 online and visit www.hikoito100.com. To buy tickets go to https://tickets.ticketspace.co.nz/event/-hikoito100