Sounds of a raving New Year

06 Jan 2022

Only good vibes were to be found amongst the buzzing, overwhelmingly young, crowds at The Coroglen Tavern and The Whitianga Hotel for the New Year. Keen to kick off 2022 and kick out 2021, all the stops were pulled in an effort to celebrate in proper fashion after finally being allowed to hold events since last year’s resurgence of facemasks and social distancing. 

On New Year's Eve, partygoers at The Coroglen Tavern were blessed with the iconic sounds of New Zealand music legends The Feelers and The Jordan Luck Band and on 2 January, George FM arrived at the Whitianga Hotel, bringing their electrifying energy and artists Poris, TwoFöld, Beiks, and BAX with them.

The only contagious element in the fully vaccinated crowds was the bubbly atmosphere. It seemed every groover was sporting a wide grin accompanied by loud laughter as they embraced their friends, family members and partners, clearly thrilled to be reunited with their loved ones on the dancefloor, some for the first time since Auckland’s recent release from lockdown.

Understandably, many attendees’ cooped up dance impulses matched their previously cooped up status under the strict restrictions the government imposed earlier this year as they let loose with an array of eclectic dance moves - some smooth, some questionable, both just as joyous.

Connor Brookes, bartender at The Coroglen Tavern, considers the events as “a breath of fresh air” from the Covid-19 ordeal the country had to go through in 2021, particularly Auckland and the Waikato region. “I am so excited for a year of celebrations and events,” he said. “It’s really a new beginning, not just a New Year as we have all got so used to Covid and almost forgot how to have fun. Stepping into the crowd after so long is crazy, almost surreal, especially with such good energy going around. This year is going to be epic, especially the events.”

Similarly, Sandra Mathew, security coordinator at The Whitianga Hotel, was “delighted” with how the George FM night panned out. “I loved every minute of all the local kids having a blast,” she said. “It really is thrilling to watch how quick an atmosphere can change. I feel that these celebrations are actually necessary to keep the morale up among both young and older crowds and I’m so glad we are now able to provide that along with keeping everyone safe while they have the best time.”

Both events were a “raving” success according to Denim McHardy, owner of WKND Family (the company that organised The Coroglen Tavern concert) and Corbin Baxter, coordinator of the George FM Summer Tour, as they expressed their surprise on the turnout of the crowds. “We knew Whitianga would go off, but the energy of the crowd is ridiculous,” laughed Corbin. “Judging by the crowd, I can tell there has been no big gigs here in a while, that or the locals really know how to [party up],” laughed Corbin. “Best wishes for 2022 and we’re looking forward to being back soon with many more bangers.”

Pictured: Corban Murray (left) and Mason Colville among the crowd.