The River Range Music Festival is concept and idea sprung to life in conversation between two local Cromwell musicians. They spoke of an afternoon in the sun, surrounded by mountains, having a few beers, connecting and listening to other local artists & bands that they had never been able to hear.
The Idea quickly gained traction to become an event which the Cromwell community could be proud of. An event that everyone could afford and one music lovers could enjoy the best of local music and talent in their own backyard. The key was to have involvement from local businesses, friends, family and community groups who were prepared to donate their product, time and support our vision- So we then could take our vision to Cromwell.
We felt that as a Music Festival we really could reach out to all music lovers, of all ages to cater for all tastes and bring the local & Central Otago music scene to life again!
We always wanted to create a relaxed atmosphere with a busker type feel with all musical acts in year one donating their time to a new concept andwas a free community event. With having a wide variety of musical genres - something we feel was a vital ingredient to attracting a bigger audience- It was a perfect opportunity for the musicians to bring their talents to the festival and play live music in the heart of Central Otago for a welcoming audience.
The inaugural 2014 River Range Music Fest was proudly named and set in Bannockburn and hosted by the Bannockburn Hotel. The iconic 'Beer Garden' played host to 14 live acts across the day and late into the night with an overall attendance of 400 people this was the beginning of our vision.
Year two saw us move our venue to the very central grounds of the Cromwell Racecourse. Located 1.9km from the centre of Cromwell, the festival will be set with 360 degree views of Bendigo, Northburn, Bannockburn & the Pisa Ranges. The Racecourse has allowed us to set ourselves in a venue that has had a history of great events of all shapes and sizes and is well known to the local's of not only Cromwell but all over Central Otago and beyond.
This proved the case with 12 Artists/Bands putting on a remarkable show in the 35 degree Central Otago heat for an attendance of 1000 Festival goers who danced and rocked their way into the night.
With 2016 just around the corner – Version 3.0 will see the River Range Music Fest return to the Cromwell Racecourse with a 14 Band line –up that has evolved again bringing back the core favourites and bringing a wave of new artists and bands that are simply amazing! We are working hard for 2016 to be the best yet, giving you a complete festival experience not only for the music element , but all the elements that make art amazing.
A very key aspect to our vision was to help raise money for various causes along the way. Benefactors of our collective donations have gone to St Johns Cromwell and The Rachel Clark Memorial Trust Fund. In 2016 we hope to do the same again , with the help of all in attendance we will hope to raise funds to donate to a good cause.
The River Range Music Fest has continued to grow and evolve into something Cromwell and our region can be proud of.
Hope you can share our vision with us !
The RR Team