Lorde times long-awaited homecoming with Kiwi summer
Lorde fans are gearing up for the singer's first national tour in nearly six years.
The Grammy Award-winning artist's dates in Australia and New Zealand were originally planned to kick off her Solar Power world tour in 2022, but were postponed when travel restrictions made entry into the country uncertain for her touring band and crew.
The first concert of the rescheduled tour will take place next to the beach in Wellington's Days Bay.
Lorde told RNZ's Music 101 her last album - also called Solar Power - was informed by the sights and sounds of the New Zealand summer, which made the timing of the upcoming gigs all the more special.
"I think of the album as very much about here, the beaches and the grass that I know. I'm prepared for it to be quite emotional for me."
Musician, podcaster and Lorde superfan Jason Parker moved to Auckland after he bought his tickets to the Wellington show. He said he would travel down to Wellington, as well as try to see Lorde in Auckland.
Parker said the wait for the rescheduled events had only added to his excitement.
"I'm much more amped than I was, the sun is shining, Covid stress and worry is a thing of the past and it'll just be really good to see my friends in Wellington and be in the sun with Lorde."
Lower Hutt mayor Campbell Barry purchased 10 tickets in 2021, and said he was thrilled to be attending the rescheduled concert in Days Bay with his friends.
The venue, on the eastern edge of Wellington Harbour, holds a modest 4500 people. A second date was added after the first show sold out quickly.
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Barry said the council was working to set up extra parking, buses and ferries from the city to help cope with the influx of fans into the small community.
"If we put on a fantastic Days Bay, Eastbourne day, then it would be great for many people to jump on the ferry across the harbour [and] not have to worry about their travel needs at all."
Lorde will play 14 concerts in New Zealand and Australia during February and March.
Promoter Brent Eccles said ticket sales were on track for a great tour. He said the rush of acts returning to New Zealand stages was a relief to the embattled industry, but a glut of events was making success uncertain in the country's small market.
"Everyone wants to come at the same time. If you add to that the postponed shows happening as well, there's an awful lot in the market. I don't want to look too far forward, I'm a bit scared to be honest, but it's also exciting."
Eccles said Lorde had been smart to choose smaller, more intimate venues for her dates in Australia and New Zealand.