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Bay Dreams South FAQs

What is Bay Dreams South?

Bay Dreams South is taking place in Nelson on 5 January 2021. It is the sister festival to Bay Dreams North in Tauranga, which takes place on 3 January 2021. It will be held at Trafalgar Centre and Rutherford Park and is R18. There is also a Pre-party on 4 January 2021.

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 6 January, but reports from accommodation providers show that plenty of people arrive early and enjoy Nelson's New Year's Eve celebrations and remain in the region for around a week after the event.

What time does the Festival start?

The event starts at 11am on 5 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 Centre and Rutherford Park by 11pm.

There is a pre-party being held at the Trafalgar Centre on 4 January which will run from 8pm and go until 2am the following morning.

What can I take to the festival?

Keeping yourself hydrated is important at an all-day festival – you can take empty clear plastic bottles (that can be recycled) for water. You will not be allowed entry to the festival with other drinking bottles or canisters.

What Artists and DJ’s are playing?

The festival will feature a multi-genre lineup with world class international and Kiwi acts across multiple mesmerising stages. Visit for a list of the main artists.

Where will concert-goers stay?

Because Bay Dreams South is happening at peak tourist season, there will be a designated campground available for ticket holders to ease demand on accommodation for our regular summer tourists.
This is being facilitated by the Bay Dreams event organisers, and is available for purchase. Sites range from $99 - $109 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 campsite.

How can I contact the festival organisers?

Questions can be sent to They are on Facebook and their website is

Are council members profiting from this event?

The festival is being delivered by a private promoter, Bay Dreams South Ltd.

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.

When is the music expected to stop each night?

The festival at Rutherford Park and the Trafalgar Centre runs between 11am and 11pm on 5 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 is 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 2020 event was relatively incident-free.

How many 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.

What transport will be available?

Buses will be available to transport Festival ticket holders for free to and from Wakatu Square on 5th Jan (until around 1am on 6th January). These will run to and from 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.

The Late Late Bus will be operating after the Bay Dreams service finishes. The Late Late Bus leaves Trafalgar Street on the hour, with the last service departing at 3. Fare $4 (Cash and Bee Card only).

The venues are smoke-free, how will this be enforced?

Rutherford Park and the Trafalgar Centre are smokefree areas, however there will be clearly marked, designated outdoor smoking areas during the festival.

Rutherford Park Campground

The 2021 campground is at Rutherford Park, between the Trafalgar Centre and Trafalgar Park, and can hold over 1,000 ticket holders. The Rutherford Park Campground is now sold out. The Maitai Walkway and the bridge connecting Rutherford Park to Trafalgar Park will be closed to the public from 9am January 4 until 4pm January 6, access will be for camping ticket holders only. There is no camping at Saxton Field in 2021.

Who is responsible for cleaning up after the campers leave?

Bay Dreams South organisers have an agreement to clean and remove rubbish from Rutherford Park.

What security will be in place at Rutherford Park?

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 campground security plan will be reviewed and approved by Police.

What camp management will be available at camping sites?

Bay Dreams South is responsible for managing the campgrounds, 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 the camping site?

Campers are able to arrive from midday on January 4 and are required to leave by midday on January 6. Camp management and security will be in place during this entire period.

What facilities will be available for those camping at Rutherford Park?

Bay Dreams South has provided extensive planning to Council to ensure there are adequate showers, toilets and other facilities. The existing Trafalgar Centre toilets and showers 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. Entry to campsites is tightly controlled with all campers issued a wristband, bag inspections, no visitors and fencing to restrict entry. The campsite is in a liquor-ban area and no alcohol can be brought into the camp.

Nelson Marlborough Health will also be providing on-site medical services. Learn more on the Nelson Marlborough Health website.

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

The campground at Rutherford Park is specifically for festival ticket holders. Campers need to pre-book and hold a valid ticket to Bay Dreams South. 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.

The campground at Rutherford Park for ticket holders is now sold out. Other campgrounds, such as Maitai, may have space available.

How can I contact the festival organisers?

Bay Dreams South has set up a phone number for the public: 027 211 1256. Questions can also be sent to They are on Facebook and their website is

Can I enter via Trafalgar Street?

Only those with camping passes will be able to access the venue from Trafalgar Park side of Trafalgar Street. All attendees will need access the venue from Paru Paru Road. Campers will only have access to the bridge on 4 January only.

Will the pathways around the park be closed to the public?

Yes, pathways along the river will be closed to the public during the event.

Will the footbridge over Saltwater creek be open for walking from Akerston Street?

The footbridge will be closed but may open at the end of the show for ease of egress for those staying in that area.

Is the river walkway, alongside the library still open?


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 on January 5 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 car park for customers. The carpark will then be closed until January 6. 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.

For more Frequently Asked Questions please see the Bay Dreams website