Music festival to feature over 100 performers

The RelatiV band entertaining the crowd at the Uprising Festival of Music, Dance and Lights. Picture: SUPPLIED

THIS year’s 2018 Vonu Uprising Festival of Music, Dance and Lights is expected to be bigger and better for music lovers as the countdown begins towards the November 10 show.

In this week’s Backtracks column, we talk to the producer of the event (Pacific Coast Events and Promotions) Darlene Underwood and how the boutique music festival has grown over the years.

Ms Underwood said since its inception, the festival had grown in popularity and this was evident not only from the number of attendees, but from performing artists and new sponsors wanting to be a part of the event.

“Over the years, organisers have received many inquiries and requests from internationally-based artists who have shown interest in coming to perform at this event,” Ms Underwood said.

“To name a few big artists such as Chronixx, Nkulee Dube, Julia Zahra (Netherlands), 1814 (NZ), Carribean Soul (Australia) and other international artists of fame in their own right.”

She said boutique festivals were said to be small, but perfectly formed (Time Out magazine London) with smaller events, in terms of attendees and capacity holding were more manageable.

“Needless to say though that, as organisers, we have not ignored the idea of presenting this show on a grand scale. Venue size is a consideration and there is potential to move it to a larger location within the resort itself,” she said.

“The festival has found its niche market in the region whereby international visitors are returning on festival weekend to attend. The same can be said for our local audience; this is evident from the influx of people looking for accommodation.”

She highlighted that in keeping with the family feel to being a part of something special, the first two hours would be dedicated to the children with lots of fun activities, educational programs on conservation initiatives and a free meal and beverage for each child under 12 years of age.

“We want to ensure that the event is renowned for its unique mix of artists and distinctive, family-friendly atmosphere,” she said.

“Since the first event in 2009, stemming from a labour of love for music and with a handful of local performers, this show has always kept its promise to deliver a program of talent and musicianship of high calibre.”

She said 2018 would be no different as they would keep to their word to showcase Fiji’s top performing artists.

“Another popular feature at the festival will be the Pacific street food lane, outsourced to another event host and organiser of the ROC Market, Suva, Ellana Kalounisiga,” she said.

“Main sponsor Goodman Fielder in conjunction with Uprising Beach Resort will ensure that high quality food is available for sale. Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations are in place for this component of the program to go ahead.”

She said this year, resort owners’ representative and co-host James Pridgeon, was strong on pushing the ban for single-use plastics and had requested vendors and attendees alike to take this awareness on board with live on-stage mentions during the event would be a feature of the show.

“The sustenance of this event is largely because of the generosity of the sponsors. Brands are looking to these types of events where they believe that in sponsoring such events, the audience who attends can connect more closely to their brands.

“Marketers are putting their money into festivals so that their brand covers a wider reach. Brands can access large and passionate audiences when they associate themselves with music and the fans that attend these events.

In keeping with our promise to stage Fiji’s largest attended live music event, we plan to present a bigger show with quality content and musicianship.

“Co-host, Uprising Beach Resort and Pacific Coast Events and Promotions will continue to deliver first-class entertainment and will ensure that in our efforts to grow the event further, we plan to develop its current design and content and market it globally.”

Now in its 10th year, the 2018 event will feature more than 100 performers, both international and local.

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