New Year's celebrations
What are you doing on New Year's Eve? If you haven't already made plans, and if you don't want a quiet one, then here are some options.
There's plenty on in Christchurch for punters looking for action.
Canterbury's very own dub masters Salmonella Dub are welcoming in the New Year at the Dux de Lux. The Dubsters have had a cracker year -- winning best group in the NZ Music Awards, while their album Inside the Dubplates was the fifth- largest- selling album in the country this year -- and they are storming live, with an act honed at various shows around the world.
Salmonella Dub will be supported by acclaimed Wellington dub outfit Fat Freddy's Drop, and Christchurch's Dubwize Soundsystem, who recently released their excellent debut album.
Tickets $30 from Ticketek.
Cathedral Square promises a big night out with Christchurch bands the Funky Hot Mamas and Five Lucky Guys in the "ultimate tribute show for anyone who has ever requested a song", and the Bubblemen entertaining hometown crowds and lucky tourists from 9.30pm to 12.30am. An alcohol ban means the night will be family- friendly. For more info contact the CCC, 941-6840.
Acclaimed Kiwi bluesman Midge Marsden is heading south on the Room Fulla Blues tour, and end-of-year party-goers in Christchurch can catch him at the Marine Tavern in Sumner. Marsden's co- headliners are slide maestro Bullfrog Rata and African- American guitar bluesman Adrian Byron Burns, the UK Acoustic Artist of the Year for 1999 and 2000.
Lead-up December gigs for Room Fulla Blues include the 28th at the Riwaka Hotel, 29th at the Havelock Hotel, and 30th at the Kaikoura Wine Company.
In the Canterbury hinterland, outdoor dance party Alpine Unity will again have something for everyone this New Year's Eve.
Alpine Unity runs from December 31 to January 2 and is again being held in the spectacular surrounds of Flock Hill Station in the Craigieburn Valley (on the way to Arthurs Pass).
There are five zones covering all dance genres. Big acts include superstar German DJ Timo Maas, Miami-based house DJ Austin Leeds, and UK hard-dance leader Daniel Ro. New Zealand acts include former Christchurch live drum'n'bass crew Shapeshifter, Wellington dub/ reggae exponents The Black Seeds, and Pitch Black. Other acts include Minuit, Dubwize, Concord Dawn, Epsilon Blue, Fat Freddy's Drop, the Kog Transmissions Soundsystem, Rhian Sheehan, O. G., Solaa, MC Tali and DJ Clipz, Otautahi Allstars, and The Nomad.
Tickets $155. For details of how to get there and what to take with you, check the website at www.alpineunity.com
Meanwhile, if you're heading further afield, there's lots on at South Island holiday spots.
In Queenstown, New Year's Eve celebrations centre on the waterfront, with Earnslaw Park and Marine Parade the focal points. A licensed area and food stalls will operate from 8pm and entertainment fea- tures Invercargill band Kracken with a DJ from 9pm till 1.30am on Marine Parade. Fireworks will be set off at midnight.
In Wanaka, two stages on the waterfront will feature Dunedin band Inside Out and a DJ. Entertainment will be from 8.30pm till 1.30am, with fireworks on the foreshore at midnight.
Timaru's Caroline Bay summer festival spectacular rolls along as always at this time of year, with a special New Year's Eve day and night show centred around the sound shell, featuring mother and daughter contests, Miss Caroline Bay Contest, and musical sets through the day and night by The X Set and a disco. At midnight there will be fireworks and a huge bonfire.
There's plenty on in Nelson. The annual Nelson Jazz Festival runs until January 1 with a variety of bands from around the country culminating in Jazz in Fairfield Park.
New event The CUSP offers an alcohol-free and drug-free environment in which to see in the New Year, with a top line-up of bands including Betchadupa, Rhombus, Mother Guru, Minuit, Yellow 7, and Clowndog. The event is being held at Trafalgar Park from 2pm to 2am. Gates open at 1pm. Gold coin entry. Promoters say the idea is to come along early in the day, bring a picnic, soak up the atmosphere, have a go on the amusement rides and enjoy the food and craft stalls. Fireworks at midnight.
The Gathering may not be on this year, but there are other alternatives in the Golden Bay Region. The Stardust New Year Cosmic Rave is a dance party set amid the beech forest and limestone rocks high on Takaka Hill with performers, DJs, and live music. Tickets, $50, with under-12s free. Location: Canaan Downs, Takaka Hill. Contact: Janet Marshall, (03)528-6530.
The three-day Vision Festival near Pakawau in Golden Bay offers music, workshops, market, live VJs, drumming, market stalls, art, and "a downbeat cafe". Check the website at www. visionz.org.nz
Caption: New Year's Eve acts _ above, Salmonella Dub; right, MC Tali, who will be in the drum'n'bass zone at Alpine Unity, and, below, blues supremo Midge Marsden.