The Warratahs head to Wairarapa


New Zealand country roots band The Warratahs will headline January’s Wairarapa Country Music Festival being held for the first time at the picturesque Tauherenikau Racecourse.

The Warratahs head to Wairarapa
The Warratahs.

The Warratahs, who have an illustrious career spanning more than 25 years, released their seventh studio album Runaway Days earlier in 2015, will headline the family-friendly three-day event beginning on Friday, 8 January, 2016. They will be joined by other leading musicians including: Eddie Low, Marian Burns, Gerry Lee, Joy Adams, The Miti Family, The Shenanigans, Jill Leighton, Gail Russell, and MC John De Burgh.

The Warratah’s vocalist and lead guitarist Barry Saunders is excited about the prospect of performing songs – both old and new – in one of the Wairarapa’s most iconic settings. It also follows a busy year for Saunders who toured the country extensively with band-mates Nik Brown (violin, mandolin); Michael Knapp (drums); and Nick Theobald (bass, vocals) promoting Runaway Days before teaming up with rising musical talent Tami Neilson, Delaney Davidson and Marlon Williams for The Church Tour, which received terrific reviews.

"The past 12 months have been hectic, but so rewarding to be out performing with The Warratahs as well as a trio of amazing young musicians, who are stamping their own mark on what is considered ‘country music’," says Saunders. "To begin 2016 performing at The Wairarapa Country Music Festival will be another chance to perform our unique sound to New Zealanders, who are really embracing all the different genres that country represents. The Tauherenikau Racecourse has such rich history and beautiful setting, it will make a great back drop to perform our songs."

Event organiser Matthew Sherry says the three-day festival (previously held at the Clareville Showgrounds) will appeal to all generations. He says with plenty of motorhome and caravan parking on site, it will be a great opportunity to park up for the weekend under beautiful English specimen and native trees and bush teeming with birdlife, listen to terrific music and enjoy the company of great friends.

He also says Festival-goers can buy three-day or single day tickets while a variety of food stalls and refreshments will also be on site. Mr Sherry says The Warratah’s headlining performance will be on Saturday, 9 January and follow a busy afternoon of back to back performances by the Festival’s other acts.

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