Keen New Year‘s revellers may have to travel further afield to enjoy annual festivities as Waikato’s biggest celebration is set to take a sabbatical.
Coromandel Gold organiser Peter Campbell said they had decided to take a year off to grow the festival and come back with a bang.
“The event has evolved quite quickly and the site has limited numbers,” Campbell explained.
“It will allow us the opportunity to broaden our line up as well.”
They informed the Whitianga community of their intention to can this year’s festival a few weeks back and Campbell says they were met with a “collective sigh”.
Mercury Bay Business Association chairman Gordon Barnaby said although the festival’s hiatus will put a dent in visitor numbers, the community wasn’t too worried because they always got a good crowd and were hanging out for a cracker summer.
“Obviously it will have an effect on the numbers coming over for the New Year period, but before the inception of the festival the town was always full at New Year anyway.”
Barnaby said businesses would not suffer a great loss apart from maybe the food and beverage sellers, who were the most popular with the crowd.
The concept of Coromandel Gold was driven by the boys from Shapeshifter who encouraged Campbell and co-organiser Mark Wright to provide them somewhere to play on New Year‘s Eve.
“We hold them personally responsible,” Campbell joked.
The pair took the concept to the Whitianga community before its inception four years ago and Campbell said they initially received a sceptical reception, but since then the backing from the community has been amazing.
“We’ve had unbelievable support from the community, we owe a debt to them. They’ve really embraced us,” he said.
“More than anything we need to thank them for their support.”
Campbell said there was no need to worry about the possibility of the festival simply fading into the distance.
“We will be back,” he assured.