How Bay Dreams became one of NZ's best summer festivals in just four years

Thirty thousand revellers have braved the sweltering heat of Mt Maunganui to watch some of music's biggest names take to the stage.

Artists from here and abroad played across four stages on Wednesday, including Peking Duk, London Electricity, Ladi6, Home Brew, Sticky Fingers, Deadbeat Macky Gee and Tash Sultana as well as rapping sensation Cardi B.

Health and safety was one of the highest of priorities this year, according to organisers Pato Alvarez and Mitch Lowe. 

Festival-goers were warned by police about using drugs after security checks at Rhythm and Vines uncovered a mystery drug containing pesticides and other potentially dangerous substances.

"When you get health and safety right it gives you room to grow," Mr Lowe told Newshub. "We're stepping up to a capacity where we have to prove ourselves."

Bay Dreams has gotten substantially bigger each of the four years it's been running, growing from 5000 in 2016 to 30,000 this year.

Mr Alvarez says event staff work with police and authorities  to comply with changing regulations and look after revellers' safety.

"Twenty-eight thousand people have checked in, and the systems we've put in place have worked today," Mr Lowe added.

Live reporting through wristband scanning allows promoters to know how many people are on site at any one time, and entry lanes with bag checks were increased from last year. Cars within the campground were also inspected.

Water was positioned in easy-to-access stations at each stage and food areas, and hoses sprayed cannons into the audience as temperatures soared to 27degC.

Peking Duk DJ Adam Hyde told Newshub Bay Dreams is one of the "greatest festivals in the world".  

"It's very fresh, but for how new it is as a festival you'd think it's been going for at least 50 years, if not more."

He and musical partner Reuben Styles couldn't wait to close out the night after playing one of the most "mental sets" of their career.

"From the stage set-up, to the artists they book to the vibe that they create, it's all spot-on - and best of all, it's in the most beautiful place. To be back here is an honour."

Mr Alvarez said it was a goal to make Tauranga and Mt Maunganui a musical event capital, and believes with business partners Mr Lowe and Toby Burrows they are achieving that, bringing more than 100,000 people to the area in January alone.

Mr Alvarez says he is already envisioning next year's event to be even bigger.