Bay Dreams South FAQs

What is Bay Dreams South?

Bay Dreams South is taking place in Nelson on 4 January 2020. It is the sister festival to Bay Dreams in Tauranga, which takes place on 2 January 2020. It will be held at Trafalgar Park and is R18. There are also pre- and post-festival events.

Tickets are available. Purchase now to avoid disappointment, as the event sold out in 2019. The majority age range is 18-25 years old, although there are increasing numbers of people coming who are in their 30s and 40s too.

Most people are expected to arrive into Nelson on 3 January, and leave on 5 January, but reports from accommodation providers show that plenty of people are planning to stay and enjoy Nelson this New Year’s Eve, remaining in the region for around a week.

What time does the Festival start?

The event starts at 11am on 4 January, so queues are expected to start from around 9am for the most eager ticket holders. The final acts will finish around 10.45pm and most ticket holders will be out of Trafalgar Park by 11pm.

There is a pre-party being held at the Trafalgar Centre on 3 January which will run from 8pm and go until 3am the following morning.

The Bay Dreams South festival after-party is happening at the Trafalgar Centre from 10.30pm on 4 January and go until 2.00am the following morning. Both the pre, and post Festival parties are also R18.

What Artists and DJ’s are playing?

The main stage will showcase live bands and dance artists with the second stage featuring DJ’s. We can’t share who is playing when at this point in time. Visit for a list of the main artists.

Where will concert-goers stay?

Because Bay Dreams South is happening at peak tourist season, there are two designated campgrounds available for tickets holders to ease demand on accommodation for our regular summer tourists.

These are being facilitated by the Bay Dreams event organisers, and are available for purchase. They range from $99 - $139 for two nights. People will need to bring tents or can buy a tent from a range of Nelson retailers. People will not be permitted to sleep in cars or camper vans. See to book a camp site.

Rutherford Park Campground

The first campground is at Rutherford Park, between the Trafalgar Centre and Trafalgar Park, and can hold up to 1,400 ticket holders. The public will still be able to walk along the Maitai Walkway but the bridge connecting Rutherford Park to Trafalgar Park will be for ticket holders only on 4 January.

Saxton Field Campground

Saxton Field is also a designated campground, holding up to 3,400 campers. The public will still be able to access Saxton Field and use the other spaces to play sport, walk dogs or kick a ball around.

What transport will be available?

Buses will be available to transport ticket holders to and from Trafalgar Park and Trafalgar Centre on 3 & 4 January. These will run between the festival campgrounds, as well as Brook Valley Holiday Park, Maitai Valley Holiday Park, Tahunanui, Stoke and Richmond. Buses will follow the regular bus routes, so those ticket holders staying with friends and family can also hop on board.

How can I contact festival organisers?

Bay Dreams South has set up a free phone number for the public: 0800 800 061. Questions can also be sent to They are on Facebook and their website is

Can I talk to festival organisers and Council about the event?

Three community meetings will be held on the 2nd and 3rd of  December for organisers and Council staff to share how they will make the event run smoothly, for the people attending the festival and residents/business owners. Feedback will be taken into consideration in ongoing Council decision-making.

Who profits from this event?

The festival is being delivered by a private promoter, Bay Dreams South Ltd. No Council staff or elected members will financially benefit from this event.

How much will this event cost ratepayers?

Bay Dreams South pays commercial rates for all facilities and services provided by Council. The event comes at no financial cost to the ratepayer.

Trafalgar Park

When is the music expected to stop each night?

The festival at Trafalgar Park runs between 11am and 11pm on 4 January. Noise from the event will be continuously monitored to ensure it does not breach the allowed limit under the resource consent. The pre-party and after-party events are being held indoors at the Trafalgar Centre.

What security is being provided around the venue in residential streets?

Bay Dreams South has provided an extensive security plan that includes providing security in nearby local streets as well as in the venues. Bay Dreams South is working closely with Police regarding its security plans. There will also be people dedicated to cleaning rubbish from surrounding streets. The 2019 event was relatively incident-free.

What numbers of police will be necessary to patrol and control at campsites and festival venues?

Bay Dreams South is responsible for providing a security presence to ensure the safety and security of festival-goers and the general public in and around the venues. Police can and will respond to any issues involving crime. Questions about the number of Police available will need to be directed to that agency.

Camping (Saxton Field & Rutherford Park)

Saxton Field is smoke-free, how will this be enforced?

The Bay Dreams South campground at Saxton Field will be situated on the football pitches and will be fully fenced. The campers are over 18 years old and smoking is likely to be restricted to a designated area within this space. All other areas of Saxton Field will remain smoke-free for the public to enjoy.

Who is responsible for cleaning up at Saxton Field after the campers leave?

Bay Dreams South organisers have an agreement to clean and remove rubbish from Saxton Field.

What security will be in place at Saxton field?

Bay Dreams South is using a professional events management company to manage security. Professional security guards will be employed to ensure the safety and security of patrons and the general public. The campsite security plan will be reviewed and approved by the Police.

What camp management will be available at camping sites?

Bay Dreams South is responsible for managing the campsites, according to a detailed plan agreed with Council and Police. Bay Dreams has employed staff specifically for this purpose.

What are the hours of camp management at camping locations?

Campers are able to arrive from midday on 3 January and are required to leave by midday on 5 January. Camp management and security will be in place during this entire period.

Why is Saxton Field as it is 11km from the event?

Saxton Field is a big site able to cater for large numbers of campers and it has some existing infrastructure such as toilets and showers. Rutherford Park only has space for 1,400 campers. Saxton Field also has the option to allow camping at some distance from residential areas.

What facilities will be available for those camping at Saxton Field?

Bay Dreams South has provided extensive planning to Council to ensure there are adequate showers, toilets and other facilities. The existing sports ground toilets and showers at Saxton Field will be supplemented by portable toilets and showers.

What provision will there be for the safety of guests at this event?

Security and St John will be at all venues 24 hours a day or while they are operating including Saxton Field. Entry to campsites is tightly controlled with all campers issued a wristband, bag inspections, no visitors and fencing to restrict entry. The campsites are not BYO.

Is there a plan for an overflow of campers away from residential homes?

The campground at Saxton Field is limited to a maximum of 3,400 and campers need to pre-book and hold a valid ticket to Bay Dreams South. The location of this campground is on the football pitches around Saxton Football Pavilion, and have been placed as far away from all residential boundaries as possible. There are plans in place to work with our permanent campgrounds, the Nelson i-Site, and traffic wardens etc. to manage ways to accommodate additional campers and freedom campers who may come into Nelson during this busy time of year looking for a place to stay.

Wakatu Carpark

If Wakatu carpark is used as a passenger drop-off point for buses, will people still be able to park and shop there?

Yes! Until 5.30pm only a section of the Wakatu carpark (closest to the bus depot) will be used as a bus drop-off, leaving the remainder of the carpark for customers. United Video customers will also have access until 9pm 4 January. Other carpark areas have been looked at but due to a number of reasons including bus turning circles, space, safety and availability, Wakatu Carpark is the most suitable location. This decision has been made by elected Council members as a part of a hearing process and feedback from businesses directly affected by this closure was taken into consideration when making this decision.