17 Oct 2020

Interislander brings back 'Bands on Board' for summer

2:43 pm on 17 October 2020

Bands will be able to cross the Cook Strait for free this summer, provided they perform during the crossing.

A close up of the Interislander ferry that returned to Wellington port due to a security threat.

File photo. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

The "Bands on Board" scheme run by Interislander provides free transportation for musicians who entertain the passengers.

It's only possible to do on the Kaitaki ferry sailings however, as no other ferry has the stage area to host musicians.

Since 2006, 4694 sailings have had an artist perform, with genres spanning across folk, jazz, blues and reggae.

At the peak times of summer, there's normally one performer per crossing. Whether that will continue with closed borders is not known.

Bands looking to get involved in the scheme are being encouraged to apply at the Interislander website.

"We vet all applications to ensure the quality and suitability of performers and we prioritise family-friendly acts," said KiwiRail chief executive Greg Miller.

"Passenger bookings are already heavy over the Christmas - New Year period and having performers on board gives bands exposure to a new audience, as well as free passage for one vehicle and up to six people, while creating a festive Kiwi summer vibe for Kaitaki's passengers."

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