A new initiative has seen Kiwis staying in MIQ able to attend a live music festival for the first time with a top New Zealand band.
The free mobile festival featured Auckland band Racing who performed an energetic set from an improvised stage on a flat-bed truck.
The alternative rock band has won two New Zealand Music Awards and recorded three albums, with lead singer Ed Knowles and lead guitarist Sven Pettersen having previously toured with REM, Oasis, AC/DC, The Killers and Muse.
MIQ guests staying at the M-Social, Naumi Hotel Auckland Airport and Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre got to take in the live music festival during their exercise time outside and from their hotel rooms.
Andre Browne, spokesperson for Long White, the brand behind the 15 Minute Festivals, says new research has shown that Kiwis spend just 6% of their time doing things they love.
He says during the pandemic it has been even harder for New Zealanders to enjoy the usual live entertainment freedoms with nights out at hospitality venues and festivals all on hold.
“We are going to be delivering three MIQ 15 Minute Festivals to give those Kiwis most desperate for their freedom a small but meaningful taste of it,” he says.
“Kiwi summers are about getting together with friends and creating memories and COVID-19 has really impacted our ability to do that. Lockdowns have been tough on us all, but especially so for those spending these early summer months quarantining in a MIQ facility.
“We hope that this small gesture goes some way to making the fact that they are cut off from friends and family that little bit easier, but also gives them a sense of freedom, living free is really what the Long White brand is all about,” he says.
Knowles, who is inspired by frontmen like Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison, says most of the band’s songs are created for live venues and it was great to be back on the road playing as a band again.
“We’re stoked to be working with the guys at Long White to put these little gigs on, play some tunes and bring a smile to some faces, particularly those who were able to see us from their MIQ hotel rooms. They certainly seemed to enjoy it and it was fun to see them getting involved.
“To see their reactions was incredible and reminds me of what we’ve missed. Hopefully we will be playing to even bigger crowds come summer.”