Queenstown will be treated once again to the sweet sounds of live reggae and rock in January, as UB40 returns to the Whakatipu.

‘A Summer’s Day – Live’, featuring UB40, Jefferson Starship, and Australasian legends Dragon, will grace Queenstown Polo on January 7, and there is no lack of excitement from those involved.

Toby Burrows, from promoter Trademark, says the timing, venue and music make for a perfect show.

“Queenstown is obviously one of the most beautiful cities in the world … and we wanted something centrally located, in the heart of summer,” he says.

Burrows says both UB40 and Jefferson Starship always love coming to play in New Zealand and he’s confident it’s the start of many big international artists returning to the area.

UB40 was famously to have played at Queenstown’s Waitiri Creek – now Cargo Brewery – in 2016, but the gig was pulled at the 11th hour after persistent precipitation made it unsafe to hold the concert outdoors and, despite best efforts, they couldn’t find a last-minute indoor alternative.

A year later, they came back, to the same venue, to make up for the disappointment.

This will be their first visit since then – the Queenstown stop’s part of their 40th anniversary celebrations, a milestone they reached in 2020.

They’re promising to bring out the big guns, like Red Red Wine, Can’t Help Falling In Love With You, Food for Thought, 1 in 10 and Kingston Town, a well as tracks from the latest releases For the Many and Bigga Baggariddim, which will be performed live in NZ for the first time.

UB40’s being supported by Jefferson Startship, which rose from the ashes of San Francisco band, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Jefferson Airplane.

The band’s singles include We Built This City, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, and Sara.

And representing homegrown talent, Aussie/Kiwi rockers Dragon are also on the bill, boasting hits like April Sun in Cuba, Are You Old Enough, Rain and Still In Love With You.

Burrows earlier told Mountain Scene when they do the billing for the shows, they’re looking for bands with a heap of bangers – “the three of those together, it’s just an afternoon of non-stop hits”.

“It’ll appeal to a lot of demographics,” he says.

Combine that variety with a Queenstown summer’s day and views of Coronet Peak and the Remarkables at the polo farm, and the promoter reckons over 5000 punters will pop along.

Burrows says it’s an all-ages gig and hopes additional buses – running from Arrowtown, Frankton and Queenstown, available to purchase as an add-on to a general admission ticket – and plenty of parking will help with accessibility.

‘A Summer’s Day – Live’, January 7, 4.30pm-10pm, Queenstown Polo. Tickets via Eventfinda

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