Alice Cowdrey is a reporter for the Stratford Press.

Taranaki Country Music Festival big success

Mother and daughter team Maree Wheeler and Shamika Hoeta.
Mother and daughter team Maree Wheeler and Shamika Hoeta.

The Taranaki Country Music Festival was such a success, it will be held again next year.

Hundreds of people attended the three day festival which was held at the Waitara Memorial Hall recently.

Country music enthusiasts and performers Jocelyn and George Tuahine — who run the Riverside Country Music Group — organised the festival which featured a line up including world champion yodeller Laura Downing from Australia.

Jade O'Brien takes to the stage.
Jade O'Brien takes to the stage.

Jocelyn says around 450 people attended on the Saturday night when Laura performed.
"It was an amazing weekend and a huge success. The hall was just packed."

More than 50 motorhomes and caravans parked up for the weekend and many singers were first time visitors to Taranaki. Jocelyn says the festival goers were mostly from Taranaki and across the North Island, but one lady from Australia also attended.

Performers Kay Tappin and Jocelyn Tuahine got up on stage with Australian yodeller Jocelyn Downing during the Taranaki Country Music Festival.
Performers Kay Tappin and Jocelyn Tuahine got up on stage with Australian yodeller Jocelyn Downing during the Taranaki Country Music Festival.

Saturday night's headline act was Laura Downing — a multi award winning yodeller — who flew in from Australia to perform at the festival.

Jocelyn says she was an excellent performer and went down well with the crowd. The highlight of her weekend was being called up to sing a song with Laura as well as performer Kay Tappin.

"It was a really special moment."

She says the reception from people who had attended was positive.

"They just couldn't tell us enough how amazing it was and the talent was of a high standard. We were just overwhelmed by the comments and people couldn't do enough for us. The artists had a great time as well and spoke highly of the event."

Festival supporter and country music fan George Worsley says the weekend was a great success and the music was of a high quality.

"Many singers were first time visitors to Taranaki and were very enjoyable to listen to. Line dancers from Hawke's Bay attended and gave a display with Taranaki line dancers which was great to watch."

George thanked the raffle prize donors and volunteers and says Jocelyn and George were presented with gifts and flowers for their hard work.

"They did a great job."

- Stratford Press

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