The South Island’s biggest New Year’s music festival Rhythm & Alps has released its first announcement of national and international artists confirmed to play at the 2019 festival.

London artist WILKINSON is to headline the New Year’s Eve event in Cadrona Valley, toting a full band and a small string orchestra. His 2019 hit ‘All For You’ is set to be an unofficial Kiwi anthem and will have the crowds heaving as he helps to usher in 2020.

American trap and bass producer RL GRIME makes a return to the Southern Alps and will light up the main stage December 30, while hotly anticipated British electronic artist JON HOPKINS will hit the arena following his 2019 Glastonbury festival success with a live AV show, playing exclusively in New Zealand at Rhythm & Alps alongside neuroscientist-turned Sam Shepherd, otherwise known as FLOATING POINTS.

UK veteran jungle producer SHY FX will bring his unique spin on drum and bass centre stage, while US rapper FREDDIE GIBBS will make his first festival appearance in Aotearoa.

House and techno fans can look forward to US talent HONEY DIJON, a vocal advocate for trans rights and gender awareness. Honey Dijon will share the stage on New Year’s Eve with British producer HAAi, who dexterously mixes Turkish funk and Kenyan beats.

Prepare to be hugely entertained by UK multi-genre princess EVA LAZARUS, whose legendary voice returns to R&A for the second consecutive year alongside Scottish reggae outfit MUNGO’S HI FI, whose sound system follows Jamaica’s traditional style.

Founding member of Jurassic 5 Charles Stewart, will bring his Los Angeles sound to the stage under his hip hop title CHALI 2NA, joining international DJ artist KRAFTY KUTS with a double bill on the main stage.

Home-grown talent will be flying the NZ flag high, including acts OPIUO, LADI6, MAKO ROAD, THE BUTLERS and electronic staple STATE OF MIND.

Drum and bass fans will flock to the sets of UK artists; the elusive BREAK and ever-popular LENZMAN, with more acts to be further added to the line-up.

More electronic goodness on NYE will be delivered by groove merchants PSYCHEMAGIK and party startersFLEETMAC WOOD who will bring their celestial sounds to the stage, incorporating remixes and edits that will have the dance floor pumping.

“We’ve hand-chosen these acts from around the globe to showcase a swathe of musical talent that cherry-picks from all genres and musical styles,” said Alex Turnbull, Rhythm & Alps festival director.

“We’re unbelievably excited about the calibre of this year’s artistic selection and we know this festival won’t disappoint. It’s another international level line-up, with a second announcement still to come.”

The festival welcomes 10,000 partygoers and more than 5,000 campers to the stunning Wanaka area.

“Rhythm & Alps is regarded as the safest festival in NZ and the best place to be in the country for New Year’s,” Turnbull said. “With awesome music, immaculate stage production, amazing weather and a relaxed atmosphere, we’re proud to deliver a world-class festival in Wanaka’s spectacular Cardrona Valley.”