Kiwi dub-reggae act The Black Seeds will headline a new music and food festival set for Whangarei next Easter.
The Whangarei Fritter Festival at Toll Stadium features the Wellington seven-piece band as well as Auckland-based Sola Rosa and the 10-piece, percussion-heavy Batucada Sound Machine, fronted by Paihia man James Hughes.
Venues and Events Whangarei spokeswoman Rachel O'Gorman said the idea was to promote Whangarei as an events destination and Fritter will be the finale to the annual Endless Summer Festival from January to March.
"We realised we didn't have a food and wine festival, and that's what was missing," Ms O'Gorman said.
"Easter's a really good time because there's not much going on here then, so we're trying to attract people from outside the district, to get a bit more happening."
The "fritter" comes on the musical as well as the gastronomical menu.
Wards Music, which helps promote up-and-coming bands through its Fritter CD release, is helping source local talent to perform and Whangarei restaurants and cafes will be invited to produce a signature fritter for the day.
Those restaurants and cafes will then be judged on their fritters and one will win the inaugural Fritter Trophy, and one the People's Choice Award.
The festival concept stems from an idea from Tristan Tuckey, co-founder of Big Fish Creative.
The headline acts are looking forward to performing in Whangarei, Ms O'Gorman said.
"They were really keen to come ... Sola Rosa in particular said they always love performing in Northland."
Keeping the day family-oriented is a focus, with a bouncy castle and a giant waterslide on the embankment at Toll Stadium set to keep the children occupied between musical acts.
The Whangarei Fritter Festival will conclude the annual Endless Summer Festival, which brings together a range of events in Whangarei between January and March. It includes two international cricket matches at Cobham Oval, two Open Air Cinema films, six speedway events, two rodeos, six Tutukaka Roller Discos, fishing competitions, Super Rugby, various fun-runs, fairs, plays, performances, exhibitions and 12 Lazy Sunday afternoon live music sessions as well as the Waipu Games on New Year's Day and the Ruakaka Races on January 3.
The Whangarei Fritter Festival is on Easter weekend, Saturday March 30, from 11am-7pm.
Tickets from eventfinda.co.nz are $40 for adults, $15 for children and $85 for a family of two adults and two children.
Early-bird tickets are $30.
For updates and information, search for Whangarei Fritter Festival, and Endless Summer Festival, on Facebook.