Thousands flock to Rhythm and Alps

Thousands flock to Rhythm and Alps

More than 5000 revellers have descended on the Cardrona Valley for the annual Rhythm & Alps music festival.

Now into its fifth year, the event attracts partygoers from across the South Island and even Australia, but not all campers are roughing it.

Cool and windy conditions have been making it tough for those trying to pitch a tent at Robrusa Station, especially the ones who have left half of it in Dunedin. They're, however, some of the thousands camping out on farmland for the musical party.

For those reluctant to say goodbye to all of their home comforts though, "glamping" allows people to enjoy a premium VIP experience, with sturdy tents, comfy beds and personal service.

"You get your luggage brought from the gate up here. You get ear plugs, beds provided, and you don't have to put up the tent yourself," says festival-goer Cameron Neale.

Rhythm and Alps is now a standalone festival from its North Island cousin, and Rhythm and Alps director Alex Turnbull says he's keen to try and take some pressure off the region's emergency services.

"So, we've become self-contained and now own our own fire engine. We can put out fires here on site, and not put any strain on any of the resources."

The appliance will remain in the community during the year, adding another machine and crew to the Wanaka district.

There are more than 50 musical acts to keep the crowd entertained, with rock band Shihad and DJ Carl Cox set to bring in the New Year tomorrow night.

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