Top Brit for rockfest

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Queenstown’s new annual rock fest has another hefty name in its lineup – DJ Mark Brown.

British-based Brown – founder of record label Cr2 and one-half of DJ outfit MYNC Project – is the newest act headlining Peak Fest, a full-day festival on January 3 promoted by the Australasian Music Corporation of New Zealand.

Brown and the Utah Saints – who have featured in British dance-music unit Ministry of Sound – will rock the main stage at the Queenstown Events Centre.

Also newly confirmed are Kiwi act Tahuna Breaks, who’ll gig at one of the event’s two stages with Kora, Salmonella Dub, dDub and Aussie group The Potbelleez. And dance fiends will no longer be confined indoors, as previously reported. Local coordinator Samantha Stirling says an outside marquee will house DJs from around the region.

Kiwi DJs will also get a chance to impress Ministry of Sound’s Australian touring manager Kate Valentine, who will be onsite at the 1pm-10pm event.

Tickets cost $89 plus booking fee from the Events Centre, Queenstown i-Site, TicketDirect and the Peak Festival website.

Meanwhile, teaching staff at next month’s Queens­­town Violin Summer School have offered to take a pay cut to pluck it from financial crisis.

Founder/artistic director Kevin Lefohn this week confirmed the annual advanced training school will go ahead from January 13-25 after a $25,000-plus shortfall threatened its future.

He says Creative New Zealand granted $10,000 after earlier pulling its funding while other bodies including Queenstown Lakes District Council have also rallied round.

Lefohn is delighted his nine staff have agreed to a fee cut but is hopeful more fundraising will mean they can still be paid in full.