Fizzing over WinterFest


Winter Festival director Rae Baker’s over the moon at feedback she’s got since the event finished last Sunday.

“It seems a bit of positive change has reinvigorated people’s investment in festival.”

Baker – who only started her role eight months ago and had never attended a festival – placed a big focus on homegrown music acts.

“It was just trying to make the festival a little bit more relevant.

“I suppose there’s not many places in the world that you’d be able to have four days of free music in such a beautiful setting.”

The new Queenstown Bay stage by The Bathhouse restaurant also worked, she feels.

“It opens up the viewpoint for everyone, it kind of creates a bit of flow into the CBD and it means there’s not a pinch point in Earnslaw Park.”

Baker says having a secret destination for the SkyCity Ball for the first time was also well received. “People started with a sense of excitement and felt like they were in it together.

“And that’s part of what festival is – just creating a sense of togetherness.”

As for organising next year’s festival, Baker says she’ll discuss that with event owner, the resort’s tourism promo body Destination Queenstown.

Also new on-board this year was naming sponsor, local tourism giant Real Journeys.