To ring in the new year this year, I decided to go to Gisborne for the Rhythm and Vines festival. I’ll have a more in depth post about my experience there coming soon, but for now I just wanted to give you a quick run down of what it is and how to do it yourself in case you don’t care to read my rambling later.
So, first things first: Rhythm & Vines is a music festival that takes place every year in Gisborne, New Zealand from December 29th (camping starts on the 28th) to January 1st.
How I got there: Manabus [approx. $30 one way] to the Gisborne i-Site and then a taxi to the actual venue.
Note: There is a shuttle bus that runs from town out to the venue, but it didn’t start until the 29th.
How you can get there: All of the major national bus companies go out to Gisborne, and Intercity even does a special bus that will take you directly to the R&V campgrounds on the 28th instead of dropping you at the i-Site. Just make sure you book your bus early because they fill up quick.
Where I stayed: In an “””eco-tent””” (aka cardboard box. More on that in the next post) [$146 for the camping spot + pre-setup eco-tent, for four nights]
Where you can stay: In addition to rentable tents (eco and normal), you can also just rent a camping spot and set up your own tent. There are also hostels, hostels, motels, house shares, etc. in Gisborne. Most types of accommodation fill up quickly, so book as far in advance as you can.
Cost: The cost of camping + tent above plus $279 for the 3 Day GA ticket to the festival. (Normally I would not splurge this much on anything while traveling, but I hadn’t been to a festival in so long and I really wanted to do something different for New Years this year. So sue me [don’t sue me, I don’t have any more money.])
Note: Tickets are cheaper the earlier you buy them. So instead of being dumb like me and doing it last minute, plan ahead and buy them early to save yourself some money.
Was it worth it? Ehhh, yes and no. I didn’t do enough research into what kind of crowd goes to this thing (turns out it’s almost exclusively freshly-turned-eighteen-years-old kids that can’t hold their liquor.) But the main acts I wanted to see were Chance the Rapper and Kimbra, and they were both great. I also got to see a handful of good smaller artists, spend a lot of time exploring Gisborne, and meet some really nice people. So in the end, I’d have to say it was worth it.
Going alone? I did indeed go to the festival alone. This has never been a problem before because at any other concert or festival I’ve gone to there have always been lots of my peers to meet and chat with. R&V was a bit different as everyone was so young and I did kind of feel out of place. But even then I was able to meet some cool people my age and have a good time. So don’t be afraid to go alone (but beware everyone will act like you’re insane when they find out. I did run into several other solo festival goers, though, so it’s definitely a thing even at R&V.)
What are your favorite musical festivals around the world? Have you ever been to Rhythm and Vines? What was your experience?