Raggamuffin Reggae Festival Considering Transferring to Auckland in 2015

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By Anne Lu | June 19, 2014 4:28 PM EST

The Raffamuffin Reggae Festival is considering changing its venue. The music fest, which has been held in Rotorua since it began in 2008, may be moving to Auckland.

Andrew McManus, director of McManus Entertainment, said that he lost more than $1 million on the 2014 event.

Locals who bought tickets at the gate dropped from 17 per cent to a measly 0.7 per cent. And since about 70 per cent of the punters come from Auckland anyway, it makes sense to move the festival there.

However, before he can move the festival to Auckland, the Rotorua District Council would have to release McManus Entertainment from staging the festival there in 2015 first. The 2015 festival is the last of the five-year contract between the promoter and the council.

The council has agreed to release the promoter from the contract on Tuesday, but not before the promoter has completed its obligations relating to Raggamuffin 2014.

It has not revealed what the obligations of the promoter were as they were part of a contractual agreement and were commercially sensitive.

“It’s very sad for Rotorua. But there’s nothing I can do. Locals were not supporting me,” McManus was quoted by the NZ Herald as saying.

And if it has decided to move to Auckland, the Raggamuffin Reggae Festival would find itself welcome.

“We’re not about taking events from other cities, but if an even promoter approaches us with an application, then obviously we’ll look at it,” a spokesman from the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development said.

Rotorua council economic and regulatory services group manager Mark Rawson said that they are now looking into other events that can attract music fans and tourists in the city if the Raggamuffin festival transfer to the north in 2015.

Raggamuffin Reggae Festival 2014 was held on January 31 and February 1. Headliners include Damian Marley, Shaggy, Groundation, Rebel Souljahz and Morgan Heritage.

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