“We are pretty excited to have her involved this year,” said concert organiser Felicity Robinson.
Robinson first got Beats of Betela up and running back in 2015 as a way of both raising funds for and raising the profile of the Rarotonga Creative Centre.
“ALL proceeds go to the Creative Centre,” emphasises Robinson, who is on the Creative Centre board. “It is a community event in that everyone involved donates their time, talents and equipment.
“Everything is donated. All the acts, all our artists, our sound equipment, the stage – everything is donated. So in that sense it’s a real community event, and everything raised goes to the Creative Centre.
“I’m not an expert, I’m not an events organiser – this is just something we’ve sort of bumbled our way through, but with the help of a lot of locals we’ve made it happen,” she added.
Also chipping in are Air New Zealand, who have sponsored flights for Hollie Smith and her accompanist Marika Hodgson.
“That was really cool, so we’re very grateful for that,” said Robinson. “That was a huge boost for us, because last time I paid for Tiki myself.”
That’s Tiki Taane she’s talking about there, the New Zealand musician and former Salmonella Dub member who performed at the 2016 Beats of Betela concert.
“He was awesome,” Robinson remembers. “He got involved in the Creative Centre as well – spent time down there with our members. He was pretty hands-on.”
This year, in addition to Hollie Smith, Beats of Betela will also feature local acts Tani and Rose, Trader’s Band, Boogie, 3U, Kahiki, plus a local drumming group. “We are waiting on confirmation from several other groups, as well as some new local talent,” adds Robinson.
“There will be a variety of acts during the afternoon, food trucks, and games on the beach – weather permitting – for the kids.”
As always, the concert will take place at Betela Beach in Arorangi. The event is set for Saturday, June 2, on Queen’s Birthday weekend.
Tickets are $20 each for adults, with children under 14 free. Gates open at 2pm, with the entertainment kicking off from around 3pm.
The first Beats of Betela in 2015 featured local entertainers like Tara Kauvai, Tani and Rose, Curly George, Engara Gosslin, the Trader Jack Band, Te Korero Maori Dance troupe and many more.
In 2016, in addition to Tiki Taane, the concert also featured The Flying Bandits, The Jewels, The Other Side, and Rudy Aquino, among others.
“This will be our third Beats of Betela concert and we are hoping it will be our biggest and best one yet,” said Robinson.
“The Creative Centre relies on the Rarotonga community for so many things and the concert is an opportunity for us to ‘give back’ in some small way.”