Sweetwaters impacts on event

Nelson Mail, 13 February 1999

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The failed Sweetwaters festival has affected this weekend's Future Nature festival at Orinoco, where performers' demands for up-front payment have put pressure on organisers.

"We've covered our costs and managed to pay the main bands up- front, the rest is in the lap of the gods," said co-organiser Ruth Parsons at the 2ha Orinoco Valley site yesterday.

Ms Parsons and co-organiser Andrew Gorman hope to attract 1500 people to the 48-hour festival with a diverse range of music, art, stalls and workshops. Ms Parsons described the festival as being, "a cross-over between a music festival, techno rave and the festival of possibilities".

"We didn't want to have just one scene. We've tried to pull out the best parts of all of them and provide an intimate stage which encompasses the lot."

Located on a secluded valley site cut by a small stream the festival offers two stages, numerous workshops, camping and housetruck parking areas, art installations, a stone symposium and craft and food stalls.

A range of live bands is to include Salmonella Dub, Bunyip, Killtrain, the Knuckledraggers and Inunga Funga. Also on the performance programme are cultural groups, ethnic dancers and a theatre group.

Ms Gorman, who had previously helped with The Gathering, said the New Year dance event had set a precedent for how festivals were organised. "They have to be a lot more sophisticated now, they're not the gung-ho effort they once used to be."

The site was slowly filling yesterday afternoon and Ms Parsons asked that festival-goers carpool to the event if possible. A festival taxi service had been organised from Motueka. The festival is due to close at noon tomorrow.

Nelson Mail, 13 February 1999

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