Revitalize Rallies in Rain

5 JAN 2021

The New Year’s Revitalize festival in Southwest Southland was hit by the same weather bomb that ravaged much of the country that week. 

However, a large disused wool shed saved the festival from disaster, and the general feeling was upbeat and relaxed, if not completely revitalized.

It will go ahead on a revised date in 2022, with a similar format, but with improvements to enable more activities to go ahead in the case of rain.

Julian Temple Band Rocks at Revitalize

Although it rained for much of the weekend, worse hit was the road from Queenstown, which washed out, meaning artists who had not already arrived in the district were unable to attend, along with some groups of festival goers. Ticket sales were down 25% on expected numbers.

Unlike, other unfortunate festivals around the country at that time though, Revitalize had a Plan B. 

“It’s usually hot and sunny at that time of year, although, our district does border Fiordland, so it can rain on any given day in the year,” says Revitalize organiser Tim Gow, who holds the annual festival on his Mangapiri Downs OrganicStud farm.

The farm has a largely disused woolshed, given that the Gows breed hair sheep which don’t require shearing. Originally, the woolshed was going to be the Hub of the Festival, a central place for information, ice, kitchen facilities, First Aid, children’s stage, and some indoor activities. However, with the rain, the entire festival moved indoors. In addition, the attached covered yards, enabled people to stay dry.

Several activities had to be curtailed, and gumboots were an essential item. An industrial heater blasted inside, warming up any who had ventured outside. The warm and cosy woolshed, with its natural shearers stage was, in the end, perfect for the reduced numbers of festival goers.

Friday night Open Mic night, saw four new amateur performers, including two who had not performed much or at all before. These were supported by a duet of Julian Temple on guitar/vocals and violinist Alex Vaastra. Paul Ubana Jones gave a taste of his main show and local celebrity Craig Smith was a fabulous MC.

In addition, two new performers, who missed Open Mic Night played on the Sunday, and a saxophonist joined Julian Temple band in their final curtain calls.

Many people came specially to hear the Wonky Donkey Man, and the children were all thrilled to receive a free Wonky Donkey CD to take home.

Unfortunately, the team of five superstar comedians were one group that couldn’t get out of Queenstown. But we hope to see some of them back for next year.

The highlight of the festival was the Saturday night concert, which had a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Mākin wowed the crowd, promising that their first album will be out shortly. Craig Smith sang with a refreshingly raw honesty. Paul Ubana Jones came onstage early, as he had to go the long way around the Island to get to his next booking, but he didn’t disappoint and was as well received as he was last year.  That left Julian Temple Band to finish the show and they certainly raised the roof. A space was cleared for dancing, and JTB agreed to do a second set, including singing two rounds of Happy Birthdays to two certain special people who had tried unsuccessfully to keep the date quiet.

Sunday was mostly dry, and the day started with Yoga Nidra. This was followed by a barefoot grounding outdoors, making some gumboot-less folk wonder why they hadn’t ditched the shoes earlier. Before heading back indoors, the weather held dry long enough for a farm walk and talk to learn more about the organic farming methods at Mangapiri Downs. The day finished “délice crémeux” with a Cacao Ceremony, specially hosted by Ilenie Shaw of Invercargill.

The crowd enjoys a mug of hot cacao after the Cacao Closing Ceremony


PRESS RELEASE: December 4th, 2020


Revitalize, the coolest little festival in New Zealand, is getting bigger by the day. As the countdown to January 1st start date begins, we have signed on five big name stand-up comedy acts, plus other new groups.

As more talent comes on board, our prices will go up, so we cannot guarantee the current low prices will last all month.

Our three internationally acclaimed feature artists are:

  1. Acoustic Soul (and beyond) legend, Paul Ubana Jones
  2. The fabulous, contemporary rock group, Julian Temple Band
  3. One-time World Best Selling Author the Wonky Donkey Man aka Craig Smith.  Plus, Craig Smith will also bring us songs from his latest acoustic guitar album 25°South for his older fans.

In addition, we have no less than five seriously funny stand-up comedians:

  1. Dan Brader
  2. Kevin Passman
  3. Vasu Premkumar
  4. Jamie Patterson
  5. And all the way from Scotland, Gary Sansome.

Our comedians have both material for families that children can appreciate, and mature audiences during the Saturday night Concert.

We are on the verge of signing up new names, including a top international recording artist.


  • The exact programme is subject to change, but will be something along the lines of:

Day 1 – 3pm start: setting up camp, Singer/Songwriter workshops, healing technique workshops & sessions, EV cars/bikes/UTVs, The Wonky Donkey Man, and farm walks.

Day 1 – evening: We are hosting an Open Mic Night with the Stars, where budding musicians can test their work on stage to the audience with help from our major talent artists.

Day 2 – Morning: Meditation and Braingym, Yoga Nidra, Farm Walks and Organic Farming Techniques Talk, The Wonky Donkey Man, How Farmers Can Successfully Adopt Electric Vehicles: cars/bikes/UTVs – with the latest 4WD UTVs available in NZ, coffee and food trucks, animal displays.

Day 2 – Afternoon: Singer Songwriter Workshops, Stand-up Comedy Workshops, The Wonky Donkey Man entertaining the kids, yoga, reiki, ayurvedic consultations, weaving (TBC), organic food trucks, Under 5’s playpen, children’s tree swing, teen farm walks, drone display

Day 2 – Evening: A full concert on the raised stage, with all our stars entertaining us until 9:30pm

Day 3 – morning: Similar to day 2 morning plus more healing sessions.

Day 3 – Afternoon: Breathwork and captivating Cacao Closing Ceremony (TBC). Event closes 3pm

Particularly topical is our range of electric vehicles, as it has been reported many times by news agencies that EVs are no good for farmers. We aim to show how our organic farm has successfully been using EVs for a few years now. We will have a dealer from Invercargill and several EV owners on hand to talk about suitable vehicles and what it’s like to own EVs.

We encourage any out of towners to explore the local area, travel down the Southern Scenic Route to Invercargill and beyond, head up to the Otago Lakes District, or finish their holiday visiting the Fiordland National Park.  Indeed, we expect many people will add the festival on to their New Year’s Eve celebrations in Queenstown and Wanaka, etc. 

The majority of festival-goers, we are sure, will be locals. Many of these attended last year and were talking about it for weeks after.

We urge people to buy their tickets before the event. Early Bird specials are available until December 11th from (by searching for Revitalize Festival). Or go to our website for more information 



  • Revitalize is an intimately small 3-day festival situated beneath the stunning scenic beauty of the Takitimu mountains in Southland on the edge of Fiordland national park. In its second year, the next Revitalize festival focuses on revitalizing music, healing therapies, and sustainable living for a refreshing start to a new and better year.
  • Revitalize is the brainchild of the Gow family who have been farming the 469 Ha (1150 acres) land since 1937. For the last 31 years, they have been Biogro certified organic, and no longer use pesticides, fertilisers, animal vaccines, dip or drench.  They have bred two new breeds of meat animal: Shire Hair sheep and Tufty cattle – both highly sought after by chefs for the fine-grained, great-tasting meat.
  • The venue is on a working Organic stud farm situated on the Southern Scenic Route in Blackmount. Mangapiri Downs OrganicStud Farm® 2576 Clifden Blackmount Road, Blackmount, Southland 9682. The closest major towns being Otautau and Te Anau.
  • Camping will be available at $10/day or there are several lodges in the area, including Borland Lodge which is a 15-minute drive.
  • Five comedians have confirmed, three of whom are internationally acclaimed stars.
    • Gary Sansome, a Scottish comic from UK.  His accent is so thick, he’s funny just hearing his voice.  Gary has performed across the globe at some of the biggest Comedy Clubs in the UK, Ireland North America, Australia, and Mainland Europe.  (will attach a very rough bio for more info)
    • Kevin Passman, who was born and raised in the swamps of Louisiana, USA, but lives in NZ now. He has a style that combines brutally funny observational material, free-wheeling, wildly raw storytelling, and moments of inspired off-the-cuff improvisation that can go anywhere.
    • Daniel Brader, “Known for his morally-questionable storytelling, Dan has a way of making your own wild stories seem tame by comparison.” – quote from Busselton Mail.
    • Vasu Premkar, a charming, and incredibly likeable comic who is one of Christchurch’s rising comedy stars.
    • Jamie Patterson Catch him at the beginning of his career because this comic is going somewhere. Grand finalist at NZ’s Raw Comedy Quest, Jamie is currently touring with his solo “Awokening.”
  • Disclaimer: all items subject to change and are COVID-19 rules dependent.
  • Revitalize is also on both Facebook and Instagram where the latest updates and news are posted first: @Revitalize_Festival


Press Release: November 29th, 2020


Revitalize is the coolest little festival in New Zealand. Intimately small, and scenically beautiful, you’ll be able to get up and close to our top three internationally acclaimed Kiwi acts. Acoustic Soul (and beyond) legend, Paul Ubana Jones; the fabulous Julian Temple Band; and onetime World Best Selling Author the Wonky Donkey Man aka Craig Smith.

In its second year, Revitalize has already developed from a one day event to a three day camping festival experience from 1st to the 3rd January.  This year, the focus is on revitalizing music, healing therapies, and sustainable living.

As well as the main stage, there will be singer/songwriter workshops, open mic night, reiki and ayurvedic therapies, yoga, organic walks and talks, electric farm vehicles and a range of EV cars from enthusiastic owners ready to answer questions. 

Situated on the Edge of Fiordland, the venue is a working farm that has been organic for 31 years. The landscape is not only stunning but is also an integral part and point of the festival, created by Tim Gow of Mangapiri OrganicStud Farm.

“We’re expecting the locals of course, but we also believe many people will add this on to their Queenstown New Years Eve event. Others may use it as a revitalizing start to the new year, before embarking on a summer tramping holiday or a Discover the South adventure,” says Tim.

Families are welcome to come and camp on the farm or stay at one of the many lodges in the Fiordland National Park.

“Stoked to be a part of this cool little fest happening next year!” says a spokesperson for the internationally renowned Julian Temple Band.

There’s still more room for musicians for one or all three days. We are also looking for more food trucks, children’s entertainers, and people offering natural therapies.

Jan 1st – Day 1: starts at 3pm and includes Open Mic Night with the Stars

Jan 2nd – Day 2: Main Day 8am – 9:30pm

Jan 3rd – Day 3: Alternative therapies in the morning and finishes at 3pm

Tickets are cheap and available on

For contact information go to or email

Venue: Mangapiri Downs OrganicStud Farm, 2576 Clifden-Blackmount Road, Blackmount, Southland, 9682