Behind every great concert is an equally great team.
WORDS DANIEL DUNKLEY / PHOTOS TRACIE HEASMAN + SUPPLIED
There’s so much awesome music to enjoy this summer, and for most of us it’s as easy as buying tickets to see the shows – but what goes on behind the scenes when bringing international artists to the Bay of Plenty?
Tauranga City Council’s city events team, led by Gareth Wallis, works closely with promoters like Mitch Lowe and Pato Alvarez on the planning that goes into any major event. For huge festivals such as One Love, which attracts 20,000 people over two days, the planning for the next show starts as soon as the previous one finishes.
Gareth says tasks such as sorting out traffic can be a challenge. “For every big event, you need to think about things like traffic management and noise management, building and resource consents and a liquor licence, so there’s a lot of work that goes into making it all happen.”
Gareth’s team has struck up a good working relationship with Mitch and Pato, as their shows become bigger and better each year. “We’re lucky as a city that they’ve put down roots here – it’s an awesome thing for Tauranga. It’s great that they’re putting on so many events that keep people coming back. We want their events to be safe, and we want people to have a great time.”
Kudos to Mitch and Pato for working to keep such huge gatherings as incident-free as possible, and locals happy. “They’ve worked really hard on all of the aspects that go into a safe festival and have been really proactive,” says Gareth.
Tauranga’s a truly event-friendly city and Gareth’s keen to bring more fun to the region to keep us entertained during winter too. “We’re lucky to have fantastic weather all year round, so we’re always looking at ways to use our infrastructure to best effect, and to encourage our can-do community.”
Gareth believes showcasing more high-profile acts will boost Tauranga’s growing reputation as a top destination. “The profile of the city is on the rise. There are loads of benefits to the city from commercial events and major gigs. They drive tourism and get people spending, and it’s also about the community coming together for some feel-good entertainment.”