Breathing fire into Festival

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Kiwi rock legends Dragon are coming to Queenstown for Winter Festival.

The band head a star-studded music bill at this year’s festival, the annual celebration heralding the arrival of the snow season.

The veteran group – famous for hit songs like April Sun in Cuba and Rain – is the main attraction at the Mardi Gras on June 29, a Tuesday.

Festival boss Simon Green reckons it’s a real coup to secure one of New Zealand’s top acts for the event.
“Dragon is up there with iconic Kiwi bands like The Exponents, Hello Sailor, Split Enz and DD Smash in terms of its contribution to NZ’s music history,” he says.

“What a buzz, particularly for Kiwis and Aussies, to get the chance to enjoy their much-loved anthems performed live against the backdrop of our awesome alpine scenery.”

Mardi Gras is one of the major free community events of Queenstown’s 10-day Winter Festival, which starts on June 25.

Also on the Earnslaw Park bill is London-based rock band I Am Giant and new Australian sensations The Jefferson.

Local acts including The Cartel and the Sequin Sisters will join the Mardi Gras lineup, and other rising Queenstown bands will perform on the Rockformation Stage on upper Beach Street.

“It’s a real locals’ night out with friends and family wrapping up warm to enjoy the entertainment, food stalls and stave off the winter chill with the Lions’ special mulled wine,” Green adds.