Hidden Valley festival kicks off as the first major event of the summer

The Hidden Valley festival kicks off on Sunday night and is the first major event of the summer.

COVID-19 hasn't cancelled the concert in Matakana north of Auckland, with 7000 festival-goers packing out the paddock tonight.

Hidden Valley organiser Reuben Riversmith spent the year with his fingers crossed that this could go ahead.

"This is probably the most excited I've ever been for a gig," he says. "We were pretty worried we were actually thinking about 2021."

Fast-forward to now and you wouldn't know the world was in midst of a pandemic by the scenes of the gates.

"New Zealand's lucky this is happening," one person says.

Top international artists will feature on the stage tonight. They've flown to our COVID-19 free country to play in front of a crowd - something that can't be done anywhere else in the world.

"We had to get the visas and then the vouchers for them to quarantine," Riversmith says.

Local music duo Sachi knows just how lucky they are.

"All of our American friends when they see us playing in front of crowds they say 'what the hell! Shouldn't they be wearing masks?'"

For them to be able to keep playing in person, they have some advice for revellers.

"Slip slop slap and wrap. And scan!"

So the music doesn't have to stop.