Marchwood Blues Picnic April 24th in Tauranga

For those of you who are unaware, Graham writes a regular column in the Bay of Plenty Times newspaper on the topic of Historical bands and musicians from the Bay of Plenty.

Here is the column that appeared in Thursday 15ths edition.


As my regular readers will be aware, my column is about historical events and musicians from around the Bay of Plenty, well this coming weekend an event is taking place at Omokoroa that I would like to be a historical event I can write about in the future!

Confused? Well, read on, and I will attempt to explain what I mean.

Several years ago now an Omokoroa couple, Peter Archer and Carol Murphy decided they would put on a bit of a festival which they called the Marchwood Blues Picnic.

Not content to get a few local bands together and put on a show, Peter and Carol went the whole hog and brought to Tauranga some of Australias finest exponents of the blues - namely Dutch Tilders, and Phil Manning. For those of you who are unaware, these guys are about as good as it gets, and for them to be playing in little old Tauranga was quite a coup. I understand Peter had to call up a few favours to make it happen,. Nonetheless, legends of the blues do not come cheap, and this little festival did not meet the budget, and Peter and Carol wore it on the chin - they were semi-prepared for this occurence, so there were no problems.

Although the concert didn’t meet budget, everybody, performers, audience, and Peter and Carol had such a fabulous time they decided to do it again, so the next year Phil Manning and Dutch Tilders came back to do the little festival again, this time on the bill were Queen of the Boogie Woogie Piano Jan Preston, and blues harmonica legend Doc Span.

Not for lack of effort or marketing, the festival has struggled to become the financial success Peter and Carol hoped it would be - not that they were doing it to make money. Quite the contrary - they were just hoping it would be self-funding - ie the cost of the acts would not exceed the income from tickets.

After taking a loss on the chin for a few years in a row, reality kicked in and to cut a long story short, the festivals future came into question.

Now, everybody agrees that this festival is far too much fun to let slip away into history, so after the last festival, several musicians - being the generous bunch they are - (musicians are always the first to put their hands up when there is a fundraising event taking place) suggested donating their performance free of charge so that the festival would become financial again, and ensure that it would still be on the festival circuit again next year.

Peter and Carol thought this was a great idea, and set about organising the event, only to find they had not only some of the locals putting their hands up to do a free gig, but Jan Preston from Australia volunteering her services too.

If you havent been to a Marchwood Blues Picnic before, come and check it out next weekend - Saturday 24th April at 316 Youngson Road Tauranga. There is a fantastic programme of blues artists on the bill including: Brilleaux, Hard To Handle
(yes - you have read it right), Jan Preston, Joel Shadbolt, Mike Garner, Peri Kohu and Grant Haua.

According to Ken Ring at predict the weather is going to be great, so there is no excuse - treat yourselves to a dose of pre-winter Blues before the real winter blues set in.

Ticket Outlets:
Gambino’s (Grey Street)
Active Outdoor Clothing
Ticket Direct
Or Contact:
Peter Archer or Carol Murphy
Phone: 07 548 2283
Buy your tickets now to win a fabulous prize! All pre-purchased tickets go into a draw to win a weekend for two at Marchwood Cottage.