Nearly 20,000 eager R&V fans welcomed performances from the likes of Flight Facilities, Juice WRLD, Duke Dumont, Sonny Fodera and more, as the world famous New Year's festival kicked into action.
Festival gates opened at 2:00pm with local acts taking to all four stages as a steady stream of punters continued to enter the hallowed grounds of Waiohika Estate. With orientation out of the way, it was time to party. Local favourite, VNZMA nominee JessB took to the stage, warming it up for Toronto based & Drake signed duo DVSN at 5:00pm.
Later on, Canadian act Bob Moses brought their live act along with them as well as a happy crowd, while Flight Facilities kept the good vibes going as they played into the sunset, closing with favourite ‘Crave You’ with vocalist Owl Eyes. Another highlight from their set included a packed Vines Stage singing happy birthday to Flight Facilities member James Lyell, happy to be spending his day of birth amongst some of his biggest Kiwi fans.
SUPERDUPERKYLE took to the stage at 9:00pm, performing to a near capacity vines stage arena, before welcoming on his friend, the highly anticipated headliner Juice WRLD.
Taking the stage, Spotify and Apple Music 2018 Breakout artist Juice WRLD arrived to a screaming crowd, opening with fan favourite ‘Armed and Dangerous’. The fans enthusiasm didn’t go unnoticed, his MC sharing it was not only the best set they had played, but the best reaction they'd had from a crowd too. Juice closed with his claim to fame, one of 2018’s biggest tracks ‘Lucid Dreams’.
Going out with a bang was UK dance producer and DJ, Duke Dumont, who played dance classics like ‘I Got U’ and 'Ocean Drive' in an euphoric set from 11:00pm, closing out the festival's main stage on day one.
New this year to arriving festival attendees was the introduction of a new shipping container themed Rhythm Stage, replacing the Rhythm Supertop from previous years. Over the course of the evening, the Jagermeister Rhythm stage hosted a star-studded lineup including Set Mo, Whethan, and Motez all performing to a dancing crowd before House maestro Sonny Fodera closed day one, keeping the crowd enticed until things wrapped up at 12:30am.
The VAPO Cellar Stage, the festival's dance stage in the forest, showcased a range of international and local producer DJ's, with Auckland based techno collective, Collude hosting. Tucked in the lawn of the Waiohika Estate homestead was the Garden Stage, which saw performances from Kiwi up and coming talents such as Mini Simmons, The Leers and Foley.
Speaking on the evening, co-Founder Hamish Pinkham shared; 'It was a great first night under balmy skies - it feels like the crowd are saving some energy for what’s going to be a busy next few days of festivities as we lead into 2019. Gizneyland is the place to be this summer."
The Helpline text service launched at R&V 2018 has so far provided well-needed support and insights into festival safety at Rhythm and Vines, with over 100 text messages received on day one. Messages ranged from customer service enquiries, through to a small number of moderate medical assistance requests from festival attendees. And while on the theme of helplines, the festival is also closing in on their target to raise $10000 for New Zealand charity LIFELINE.
The forecast is looking bright for day two, and so are the acts. Rhythm and Vines will see electronic heavyweights Tchami x Malaa, Friction, Habstrakt, a Space Ibiza takeover of the Rhythm Stage headlined by BICEP live and more. Limited single day tickets remain for December 30. New Year's Eve will see a capacity 21,000 festival attendees onsite.