DJ Mila got things going on Saturday.

Thousands of revellers flocked to Waiheke last weekend for the seventh annual Flamingo Pier Festival.

For the first time, organisers pushed the event out to three days as Waitangi Weekend stretched into Monday’s public holiday, giving locals and visitors alike a chance to groove their way through the extended holiday.

Because Covid has effectively cut off the supply of international musicians, the Rangihoua Estate-hosted festival was effectively a showcase the best of New Zealand music and the fans responded by selling out day one in five minutes, and day two in 13 minutes when tickets went on sale.

Some gate sales were available for Monday’s show but that didn’t stop security from having to stop more than 300 people from trying to sneak in over fences and from surrounding bush.

Highlights were Mara TK and his Ihumatao leather jacket on Waitangi Day, Troy Kingi and the Clutch rocking through Sunday night, and the band of organisers Flamingo Pier with Nathan Haines. Haines also had his own show with  guitarist brother Joel and a cameo from groundbreaking composer and multiinstrumentalist Tama Waipera.

Other standout acts included Frank Booker, Imugi featuring Korean singer Yery Cho and her old school friend Carl Ruwhiu, and an outstanding Monday night set from Leisure.

Organiser Luke Walker said he couldn’t have been happier with the way the three-day festival had gone.

“Troy Kingi was fantastic, Leisure were fantastic. The forest stage with the DJs that played there were excellent and it looked amazing,” he said. 

“We had a lovely crowd and we had a great few days. We’re really happy with how it went this eyar. After seven years going we’ve managed to refine it to a point where we’re really pleased with all the elements.” • Graham Hooper 

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