Tauranga’s One Love Festival, which was due to take place next month, has been cancelled due to the ongoing Omicron outbreak.
But a date has been set for 2023’s event which will see the return of international acts including UB40.
The biggest reggae festival in the country has previously drawn crowds of over 20,000 to the Bay of Plenty.
Glenn Meikle, owner of Reggae Love which runs the roots and reggae event, says it made sense to focus on next year’s event, which will be held at Tauranga Domain on January 28-29 2023, across the Auckland Anniversary long weekend.
Cancellation of the event, which was due to take place on April 2-3, was announced on Wednesday morning, with ticket holders given the option to refund their tickets or roll them over for the 2023 festival.
“We are disappointed for everyone about having to cancel this year, but with the Omicron situation it would be impossible to go ahead,” Glenn.
“The bands are disappointed, and we had 16,000 people already lined up to come, but the team is staying positive and is focused on making next year’s event spectacular.”
Next year’s line-up will include international acts such as UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Sean Kingston, Fiji, Hawaiian bands Rebel SoulJahz and Maoli, and British roots reggae band Steel Pulse.
Kiwi artists include fan favourites and Tauranga locals L.A.B., along with a host of fellow Aotearoa music legends including Katchafire, Kora and Stan Walker.
The 2022 event had already been moved from its initial date in February on Waitangi Weekend due to red light restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. International acts were then replaced by New Zealand-based artists.
Glenn, who also owns The Rising Tide restaurant and brewery in Mount Maunganui, has been involved in the festival for many years, but this is his first year at the helm.
“It’s certainly been a ride, and I’ve learned a lot,” he says.
“The focus is now on dealing with the cancellation, and then it will be all go for next year. The festival is known all over the world and Tauranga is such a great place to visit.
“Next year we will definitely party again.”