Iconic Kiwi rockers The Exponents have been secured to play a free gig opening the 40th Queenstown Winter Festival.
The rite-of-passage band headline the American Express festival’s opening party on Friday, June 20.
Exponents frontman Jordan Luck, Wakatipu-based bassist Dave Gent and fellow band members will belt out their sing-along anthems to the usual crowd on the waterfront.
Luck says: “It’s such a great vibe in Queenstown and Winter Fest is a real sparkling affair. It was great to get back together for the winery tour [earlier this year]. We played Gibbston and it was fantastic, fabulous,” he says of that gig in February which was $75 a head.
“The tour musically was just super-charged night after night. We were a fiery unit so it’s all together for Winter Fest – we certainly won’t need to rehearse,” Luck laughs.
Luck says they’ll bring a collection of hit singles including Why Does Love Do This To Me, Who Loves Who The Most and Victoria, plus top tracks spanning 30 years.
“Victoria’s 33 years old and you’re thinking ‘wow, I’ll be dead and that song will be still going’.
“It’s very humbling but also weird – you created this beast and it’s out of your hands, public property.”
Festival manager Lisa Buckingham is thrilled to have The Exponents kick off the glamour 10 days, a staple in Queenstown’s calendar for four decades that now launches our winter to the world.
“It’s a rare opportunity to see a band of this calibre for free and in such an amazing open-air setting. We hope crowds will come from far and wide to join the party. Seeing The Exponents live is something of a rite of passage for Kiwis, so they were the obvious choice for the 40th anniversary celebrations.”
The Exponents will hit the stage after a fireworks display at 7pm.
The top three acts from Queenstown contest Songstars – winner Tai Forrester, runner-up Thomas Brinsley and duo Brentwood – are on the bill, along with up-and-coming Christchurch teen band Nomad.
Deputy Prime Minister Bill English will be on hand to officially declare the festival open at the concert.