The 10-hour Rock the Bowl event at New Plymouth's outdoor Bowl of Brooklands venue went on as scheduled despite a heavy rain predicted.

Rock the Bowl New Plymouth
Rock the Bowl in New Plymouth 2023

Rock the Bowl, a 10-hour outdoor concert held in New Plymouth's historic Bowl of Brooklands, went ahead as planned despite a gloomy prediction of heavy rain. Despite the constant rain, the musicians and eager crowd were unfazed and enjoyed a day of thrilling music.

Despite the inclement weather, promoter Toby Burrows told fans first thing Friday morning that the location would be OK and that the performers were excited to get ready for the show that night. He urged the audience to enjoy the weather by saying, "Dress for the weather!"

Even though the city was still completely covered in fog by noon, concertgoers nonetheless made their way to the venue, hoping to escape the weather for a little while. Nevertheless, a watch for Northern Taranaki and warnings of prolonged heavy rain for Taranaki Maunga cast a shadow over the gathering, suggesting that the evening would be anything but easy.

With a stellar roster that included Ocean Alley, Shapeshifter, Katchafire, Ladyhawke, and more, the Rock the Bowl event began at 1:30 pm. Around 15,000 spectators braved the rain and hail in the natural amphitheater, which had no covering whatsoever.

Contrary to popular belief, the concertgoers persisted in attending despite the inclement weather, drawing parallels to the iconic concerts of Fleetwood Mac and Elton John, who had managed to weather comparable storms.

Nevertheless, not every event was spared by the relentless weather. Sports fans were let down when two Twenty20 cricket matches—one between Central Hinds and Auckland Hearts and another between Central Stags and Auckland Aces—were called off because of the rain.

Bad weather affected more than just the entertainment industry; in rural Taranaki, a fallen tree cut electricity to over 239 homes. The wider effect of the bad weather on local infrastructure was shown when 1,118 homes in Whalers Gate were left in the dark due to an unannounced power outage.

The unfaltering will of the musicians and the tenacity of the Rock the Bowl audience overcame the obstacles presented by Mother Nature to celebrate another successful performance. The festival's unwavering spirit shone through the deluge of rain, and the songs resounded even after the downpour.

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