December 31st saw another jam-packed New Years Eve at Rhythm & Vines. The international line up bringing 2018 to a close included Vince Staples, SG Lewis, and international drum and bass heavyweights Wilkinson, SASASAS and Sigma, as over 20,000 people in packed into Waiohika Estate for the final night of the sixteenth year of Rhythm and Vines.
The last day of the festival and of 2018 saw festival-goers enjoy a beautiful hot Gisborne afternoon. Kiwi legends Che Fu, DJ Sir-Vere & MC Romez took to the main stage to see in the last sunset of 2018, before the evening rolled on.
The Vines stage continued the party with headliner Vince Staples, who gave an all-star performance. Will all patrons loaded from the Vines Stage area right up to the back of the hill, it was all eyes on the Californian rapper who was owning the stage. ‘R&V...How the f**k y’all feeling tonight!’, Staples yelled to the eager crowd.
Wilkinson played the last set of the year on the main stage, another highly sought after headline act. They charmed audiences through two technical difficulties - their MC came back in full force sharing “someone stepped on the plug” and resuming the infectious drum and bass tunes.
11:50pm rolled around, and it was time for the infamous countdown video. Covering highlights and lowlights, the emotional video paid homage to those we lost in 2018.
Drum and bass festival favourites Sigma were given the grand honour of welcoming in the New Year, kicking their set off at 12:02am exactly after the emotional countdown video and fireworks. Starting with their classic ‘Nobody to Love’, it was a special moment for the 21,000 people on site.
Over at the Rhythm Stage, SWIDT performed at 6:00pm followed by Kiwi’s L.A.B, and then English producer SG Lewis at 8:25pm. Later on in the evening, Kiwi electronic protegees Montell2099 and Ian Munro bought the bass into 2019 over at the Rhythm Stage.
WE MOUVE took over the Cellar Stage the following night on New Year's Eve with a mix of talented DJ’s, such as BLANC & Jono Kairos. OWSLA DJ Mija will bringing rung in the new year, starting at 11:15pm to a hill full of excited fans.
Starting as a small New Years party for friends, Rhythm and Vines has grown to become a globally recognised music brand, establishing itself as New Zealand’s premiere summer festival destination. Over a quarter of a million kiwis and thousands of musical talent have passed through the gates of Gisborne’s Waiohika Estate. In its sixteenth year, Rhythm & Vines continues to evolve while staying true to its roots, hostings some of their biggest international acts to date.