Wairarapa MUSIC IN THE COUNTRY | 6 – 8 January, 2023

The Wairarapa Country Music Festival is BACK! We’re all systems go for Friday 6 to Sunday 8 January 2023 – and we’ve secured each of the 13 acts from our 2022 line-up.

There’s just one change – we’ve rebranded… welcome to Wairarapa Music in the Country! It’s the same great live music, atmosphere and experience you’ve come to know and love, just with a different title. This name change is part of our expansion of the festival and enables us to add some extra artists into the mix in future, and make the weekend even more memorable!

Your 2023 Wairarapa Music in the Country line-up:  

The one and only Jackie Bristow, back from Nashville; Barry Saunders, lead singer of The Warratahs and NZ legend; Melissa Partridge (overall winner of the 2021 Gold Guitar Awards) joins us as part of the extremely talented and soulful duo, Melissa & The Dr; Dolly and Kenny take the stage in the hugely entertaining one-of-a-kind-show, The Dolly Parton Experience; Always the life of the party, Shenanigans will light up the stage with a celtic twist; and Kevin Greaves combines classic country music with his comedic flair.

Joining these country music legends will be outstanding entertainers, JamesRay; Our weekend MC and Granddaddy of Country Music, Wayne R. Heath; Cooper’s Run; Karen Davy; Paula Story; and our talented up-and-comers, Maddy Bean and Rererangi Twaddell, who will be onstage Sunday morning.

It’s going to be a stellar weekend and you’re invited – so get your tickets now!
Passes start from just $20 and kids aged 16 and under are free!

Tickets & pricing

*Please note, all prices listed are for one adult 

Three day pass $50
Single day passes
Friday $30
Saturday $40
Saturday – premium grandstand seats $60
Sunday $20

Onsite Accommodation Packages

Motorhome and Caravan Packages

Weekend package for one/two $80/$130
Three-day pass per adult, with parking per motorhome or caravan  for three nights
Premium weekend package for one/two $100/$170
Three-day pass per adult with allocated grandstand seating on Saturday, and parking per
motorhome or caravan for three nights
Tent Sites $15
Price per tent, per night –  festival admission additional

Tell me more about the festival…

Wairarapa Music in the Country is hitting the big time! Bigger and better than ever before, it’s the perfect weekend escape for motorhomes and caravans, a fantastic day and night out for families and a country music paradise for boot-scooters and toe tappers near and far. 

Friday evening line-up*: Kevin Greaves, JamesRay, Paula Story, Karen Davy, Jackie Bristow, Melissa and the Dr, Shenanigans

Saturday evening line-up*: Cooper’s Run, Melissa and the Dr, Kevin Greaves/JamesRay, Barry Saunders/Jackie Bristow, The Dolly Parton Experience.

Sunday line-up: Listen to our future stars, Maddy Bean and Rererangi Twaddell!

We’ll have food and beverage options available for purchase throughout the event but you can beat the queues by pre-ordering a gourmet picnic platter box now. These are available in small (suitable for one person) or large (suitable for four people) sizes and will be available for collection on the afternoon of Saturday 7 January.

*Evening line-ups are subject to change. 

Check out the lineup…

From classic country to those tunes you can’t help but sing along to, the stars of our 2023 festival will have you clapping, dancing and toe-tapping to some of the greatest country music hits there are…

Jackie Bristow

Jackie Bristow

Home from Nashville, Tennessee, country music sensation Jackie Bristow is an absolute showstopper! A true professional, with a distinctive and beautiful voice, you’ll love her classic country style and her repertoire…

Barry Saunders

Barry Saunders

Kiwi legend and lead singer of The Warratahs, Barry Saunders is a highlight on any bill. One of NZ’s most successful recording artists and respected songwriters, Barry’s music runs through the veins of the nation…

Dolly and Kenny Show

The dolly parton experience

Karen Davy and Ken Strong perform this one-hour show with stunning costumes, loads of audience participation and FUN. An absolute festival highlight, you don’t want to miss this…

Kevin Greaves

Kevin Greaves

Country music, comedy and a stage presence like no other, Kevin Greaves is one of just a handful of international artists to have performed at the world famous Grand Ole Opry!

Melissa & The Dr

Melissa & The Dr

Winner of the 2021 NZ Gold Guitar Awards, Melissa Partridge joins Hyram Twang in a blend of two countries, two generations, two voices and two styles coming together to create something special.



One of the hottest country rock artists performing today, JamesRay is a multi-award winning international performing and recording artist.

The Shenanigans


If you haven’t heard of Shenanigans, you probably aren’t from around here! Outstanding performers, this Irish band is made up of Kiwi superstars. They’ll be the life of the party!

Wayne R. Heath

Wayne R. Heath

Having enjoyed well over 50yrs of experience as a singer, entertainer and recording artist, our MC, the Granddaddy of country music is back!

Cooper's Run

Cooper's Run

NZ Idol finalist, Ashley Cooper and singer/songwriter Michael Tipping could just be hottest duo going!
These two have shared the stage with Lady Antebellum, Glen Campbell and Kenny Rogers!

Maddy Bean

Maddy Bean

Maddy is just 15 years-old and has been a regular walk-up performer at past festivals. We’re thrilled to officially give this talented performer the stage!

Paula Story

Paula Story

A top class solo performer, Paula Story brings over 20 years experience to the stage. A powerful, soulful voice, Paula is an entertainer for all ages and genres.


Rererangi Twaddell

Another young talent, 16 year-old Rererangi loves the opportunity country music festivals give her to express her talent and meet with other young singers and musicians. 

What can I bring?

This is a licenced event so no BYO alcohol in immediate festival area – we will have a bar open for beverage purchases

We’ll have food options on site but you’re more than welcome to bring your own picnic treats! Gourmet hamper orders close on Wednesday 4 January – order yours here 

Dogs are welcome on lead at your motorhome site, but are prohibited in event area

If you’ve not booked premium grandstand seats then be sure to pack a rug and some deck chairs (even bean bags) so you can grab yourself a good spot to enjoy the entertainment. If bringing shade, please be mindful of those sitting behind you.


View images from all of the previous festivals right back to 2016!