KORA share their top 5 venues to play in New Zealand


Who said breaking up had to be such a disheartening affair? Certainly not New Zealand reggae/dub outfit KORA.  Today they have released “Gone”, a heartfelt track detailing the end of a romance and the difficulty in coming to terms with its end. The song acknowledges heartbreak, yet has a vibrant and captivating silky smooth vibe. If your relationship is about to hit past tense, then give this one a spin. Breaking up never felt so joyous.

The band hit the nail on the head with their explanation: “The inspiration for this song is simply life. The highs and lows of love and loss have been sung about since the beginning of time, but how we come out the other side is the journey that makes us stronger.” 

KORA need no introduction in their homeland. They formed in the 1990s and since then have racked up over fifty million streams on Spotify and over 205k followers. Incredible numbers indeed. They have multiple platinum-selling albums and are undoubtedly one of the country’s most captivating live acts. “Gone” follows on from their recent single “All You Need” which has received plenty of love on Spotify playlists and made YouTube’s ‘Top Songs of the Week’.

“Gone” has been a fan-favourite for some time in their live shows, so a recording of it was overdue. The band writes of the process: “Gone is a jam we worked on during lockdown, sending stems backwards and forward between us from Papamoa to Queenstown, the North Island to the South! The video kept being pushed back by lockdowns and travel restrictions, and then when those ended there was no snow…so it’s been a patient process realising our vision on this one. The mix was done by Scott Banks @ Studio DMI out in Las Vegas, and he has kept it smooth and buttery.”

The accompanying video is breathtakingly beautiful. It drives home the message that breakups can be hard, but beauty can be just around the corner. It was filmed in Queenstown by acclaimed cinematographer Heath Patterson. Daniel McGruer from the band says: “The video is filmed in my backyard, a special place and a home to the band, where the song was written and recorded. A spiritual journey to find your groove and soul after a painful breakup.”



So, as well as giving us a killer breakup song to end the week with, KORA has shared with us their 5 favourite venues to play in New Zealand. Given they have toured the length and breadth of the country many times, they come from a position of strength.

KORA shares their favourite venues to play in NZ

Blackbarn Vineyard in Hawkes Bay is a great spot. It has a natural amphitheatre-type vibe, and is such a gorgeous venue surrounded by beautiful villas, it has some of the best wine, the staff are awesome, and they always supply amazing food, the crowd always show up for a good time.

Rhythm and Alps in Cardrona Valley (Otago) is a favourite. Stunning location and amazing scenery. The organisers and event staff are just like family, and we have a lot of love for them. Queenstown/Wanaka is a home to the band, and we have written a lot of songs in this part of the country. Our latest music video, “Gone”, was filmed in the mountains not far from here.

Splore (Tapapakanga National Park) has got a special energy, and a fruity summertime vibe right on the beach. The festival has a great culture and a loyal following. The festival is unique and has great charm and character, very colourful and quirky, kid-friendly, and people dress-up to amplify the fun.

Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth (Taranaki) is another large amphitheatre. It can feel overwhelming and detached because of the large pond at the front of the stage. However, the awesome local people and music lovers from the area really know how to party and make you feel connected; there is nothing quite like it. The park surrounding the venue has beautiful trees and gorgeous greenery.

The Powerstation in Auckland City (Tāmaki Makaurau). If you are looking for an intimate old-school and classic rock style venue it’s hard to beat The Powerstation, a legendary venue. Many amazing local and international artists have performed here, so good to be up close and personal with everyone.


You can keep up to date with Kora on their websiteFacebook, Instagram and YouTube

Bruce Baker

Probably riding my bike, taking photos and/or at a gig. Insta: @bruce_a_baker