Wairarapa Country Music Festival | 6 – 8 January, 2023

As you will no doubt be aware, from midnight Sunday 23 January, 2022 the whole of NZ moved to red. Unfortunately, this meant our Wairarapa Country Music Festival was unable to go ahead the following weekend (Friday 28 to Sunday 30, January) as planned. 

The Wairarapa Country Music Festival has been postponed until early next year (6-8 January, 2023). It is a while to wait but we know it’s going to be the greatest festival we’ve ever put on. 

Any tickets already purchased will be valid for the new dates, and any ticket holders who will now be unable to attend will be eligible for a refund – an email with further details has been sent to ticket holders. If you need assistance please email sara@tauherenikau.co.nz.  

Thanks to everyone who has supported the festival thus far – we were so close! But we know next year is going to be an absolute ripper and we look forward to hosting you then.

The 2022 Wairarapa Country Music Festival is set to be the biggest yet! Featuring thirteen acts over three days and suitable for the whole family, the festival is jam-packed with musical talent, bringing some of New Zealand’s finest country artists to the Tauherenikau Racing and Event Centre!

This year the evening shows on Friday and Saturday will each host a different line-up, plus we’ll have walk-up singing opportunities and a visit from Cruise Martinborough.

We’re selling all tickets to the Wairarapa Country Music Festival through Eventfinda – and they’ve made it really easy to keep track of your vaccine pass and event ticket all in one. Find out more about how this works for seamless event entry here. Please note that to attend this event you will need to be double vaccinated and present a valid vaccine pass.

Your 2022 Wairarapa Country Music Festival line-up:  

We’re welcoming to the stage the one and only Jackie Bristow, back from Nashville; Barry Saunders, lead singer of The Warratahs and NZ legend; Melissa & The Dr, Melissa Partridge was the overall winner of the incredible 2021 Gold Guitar Awards as well as the Gospel, new country, female vocal and singer/songwriter section awards; Dolly and Kenny take the stage in the one-of-a-kind 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.

We’re also thrilled to announce that joining these country music legends will be outstanding entertainers, JamesRay; Karen Davy; Granddaddy of Country Music, Wayne R. Heath; Cooper’s Run; Paula Story; and our talented up-and-comers, Maddy Bean and Rererangi Twaddell. The entire weekend will be supported by fabulous backing band, Pure Dixie.

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…

The Wairarapa Country Music Festival 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. 

Thursday evening: Join us for a movie on the big screen!

Friday evening line-up*: Kevin Greaves, JamesRay, Paula Story, 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!

+ Cruise Martinborough visit and walk-up performance opportunities. You’ve gotta come!

*Evening line-ups are subject to change. If this should happen and you’ve already purchased a single-day ticket but you wish to attend an alternate festival day in-line with a particular artist’s performance, please just email wairarapa.racing@xtra.co.nz

Here’s the full festival program…

Country music festival program

Saturday program…

If you’re only interested in seeing the Cruise Martinborough cars, that’s not a problem! Info and tickets are available here

Check out the lineup…

From classic country to those tunes you can’t help but sing along to, the stars of our 2022 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. 

Pure Dixie

Pure Dixie

Supporting each of our artists over the festival, Pure Dixie is one of NZ’s premiere backing bands featuring some of the finest musicians in the country.

What can I bring?

This is a licenced event so no BYO alcohol into event or Cruise Martinborough area – we will have a bar open across the festival 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 26 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!