Slaves to the rhythm

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There are some big sounds and even bigger names coming to Winter Festival. 

The action kicks off on Friday, June 25, with Southland sensations Pipeworkz, who’ll wow the American Express Opening Party crowd in Earnslaw Park with their dazzling fusion of bagpipes, Pacifica and classic rock. 

Queenstown faves The Lynch Mob crank things up after the 7pm fireworks, performing the songs we all love from Pink Floyd’s classic albums including Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. 

Air NZ Holidays Mardi Gras 

The resort will be a-rocking on June 29, with Kiwi icons Dragon taking to the main stage, opposite Earnslaw Park, supported by hot Aussie newcomers The Jefferson, London-based I Am Giant and local rockers The Cartel. 

Beach Street will once again host the local talents of Rockformation on the popular Community Stage. 

Lindauer Jazz Night 

A long-standing tradition, festival highlight and a must-attend event for locals, the Jazz Night is always a sellout.
Take the spectacular setting of Skyline’s mountain-top complex plus a stellar line-up of performers and you have what’s sure to be an unforgettable evening.

This year Vanessa Kelly’s seductive jazzy blues style welcomes you to the July 3 party, Coast’s acoustic brilliance will dazzle upstairs in the Jazz Lounge, with LA Mitchell adding her own
distinctive sounds. 

Meanwhile, downstairs the evening hots up with the live experience that is Eru Dangerspeil, with dance music maestros Sola Rosa and DJ Spikey Tee filling in the breaks. 

Once this night starts, it doesn’t stop. Dancing shoes are a must. 

Laughs and licks 

Be prepared for an evening of non-stop music and comedy from Queenstown’s very own Screaming Banshees, the award-winning Chris and Chet Show and straight from the NZ International Comedy Festival, Greg Ward’s 

A Brief History of Music. 

The laughs start on Thursday, July 1, at the Ice Box, from 7pm. 

Pop and opera 

One of the world’s most sought-after tenors, internationally acclaimed “singing policeman” Daniel Rodriguez (right), will wow visitors. 

The US star will perform alongside expat Kiwi songbirds Marla and Marissa in a one-night only performance of pop, musical theatre and light opera. 

From Pop to Pagliacci is on June 30 at the Ice Box. 

Classical 

Violin superstar Josef Spacek, the 2009 winner of the prestigious Michael Hill International Violin Competition, has teamed up with legendary Kiwi pianist Michael Houstoun for two performances. 

On Sunday, June 27, the pair performs at an intimate brunch at The Hills private golf course near Arrowtown, followed by an evening recital at Queenstown’s Memorial Hall. 

Elsewhere… 

SkyCity Queenstown Casino is featuring six nights of live and local entertainment throughout the festival that are all free – Lipstick, Pearly and the Oystermen, Brett Strachan, Jason Schmidt and the Rockers, Thunderbirds and Groova. 

Also, on Friday, July 2, Russian Standard’s Big Chill brings the ultimate in cocktail parties to Queenstown with an electric violinist, along with top NZ DJs The Peacekeepers (featuring Shapeshifter’s MC P-Diggs and DJ Sambora) plus Sunshine Sound System’s Downtown Brown. 

Curtain closer 

Wrapping things up this year is festival faves dDub, NZ’s leading reggae/ska/dub band. They’ll be front and centre at Coronet Peak for the Jim Beam Closing Concert on July 4. It’s free and also marks the first night ski of 2010.