Tens of thousands attend New Zealand festivals without having to socially distance

Bravo, NZ. Bravo

Tens of thousands of people in New Zealand were able to attend a number of non-socially distanced events over New Year thanks to the country’s successful handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Up to 20,000 people attended the nation’s largest festival, Rhythm and Vines, in Gisborne on the north island from December 29-31, 2020. Ticketholders were not required to wear masks nor socially distance from each other for the New Year’s festival, which saw performances by Fat Freddy’s Drop, Benee, and BROODS.

Elsewhere, as IQ reports, Rhythm & Alps marked its 10th anniversary by inviting 10,000 people to Wanaka on NZ’s south island, ringing in the new year with sets by Six60, Chaos in the CBD, and Shihad. Northern Bass festival in Mangawhai – an hour north of Auckland – also celebrated 10 years with a NYE celebration spanning three days and nights.


New Zealand’s COVID-19 response has been praised worldwide after the nation enforced early lockdowns and closed its borders. Currently, the country counts fewer than 80 active cases.

The news comes as festivals worldwide continue to assess safety levels for events in 2021.

In the UK, Glastonbury festival organiser Emily Eavis has been providing updates recently about this year’s edition, which has not been cancelled.

Last month Eavis said the festival was “a long way” away from being able to confirm next year’s event but also stressed that it hasn’t been pulled.


“Obviously the vaccine news in recent weeks has increased our chances,” she said, “but I think we’re still quite a long way from being able to say we’re confident 2021 will go ahead.”

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