Cost of living crisis won't keep Kiwis away from live music, says Rhythm and Vines founder Hamish Pinkham

Hamish Pinkham doesn't believe the cost of living will keep Kiwis away from festivals.
Hamish Pinkham doesn't believe the cost of living will keep Kiwis away from festivals. Photo credit: Supplied

The organisers of Auckland's newest one day music festival say they don't believe inflation concerns, a pre-summer rise in the COVID-19 numbers and the cost of living crisis will keep people away from their summer shows.

Spring City Music Festival takes place on Saturday, November 25 at Auckland's Domain and ticket prices start at $145.

The event will be headlined by Groove Armada with the likes of DJ Zane Lowe, Ladyhawke and Hot Chip entertaining crowds from 1.30pm.

In a week where the Reserve Bank pushed the OCR to unprecedented highs amid concerns Aotearoa could slump into a recession next year, there are fears households are starting to tighten their purse strings and cut back on discretionary spending.

But Hamish Pinkham, co-founder and director of Rhythm and Vines and one of the people behind Spring City, says the Saturday show has already sold 10,000 tickets.

"People are looking for variety, they're looking for quality. And although purse strings are tight, what we're finding is people are committing to quality events that they say they want to attend," he told Newshub.

"So they are choosing carefully. Everyone needs a bit of an outlet, they need entertainment. They need a chance to catch up with friends. And, you know, it's been a tough few years for everyone."

While some acts have cancelled dates on New Zealand tours or others have rescheduled, Pinkham says that's just a sign of the industry self-correcting.

"Subpar promoters, subpar events won't last in this environment. But the ones that are, you know, run professionally, that are curated and a lot of time spent is on curating them will," he said.

Pinkham isn't just running Spring City with his team - he's overseeing Rhythm and Vines' 20th year in Gisborne, Fatboy Slim's Aotearoa return and Basement Jaxx's 2023 tour, to name but a few.

While he concedes the industry may be in a busy phase currently with a flood of international acts making their ways to these shores in the coming months, it's only a good thing for music fans and businesses alike.

"There is a slight oversaturation of entertainment at the moment, but that will subside," Pinkham said.

"That's perhaps a backlog that's presenting itself. But as that subsides, I think we will have a well-placed and world class music industry, live music industry here in New Zealand and long may it continue."