Hosted By Lava Bar, Rotorua
Who is Ardijah? If you’re asking this question, you were probably born post nineties, haven’t lived in New Zealand for long, been living under a rock or all three. The name rang a bell for me, though I had to turn to youtube to jog my memory…and just like that I was taken back to being a small child dancing around the lounge. Happy feelings.
Now, this place was PACKED. With Ardijah’s first single released back in 1986, the fanbase standing shoulder to shoulder, filling the venue, was a loyal one.
Fans sung enthusiastically along with the beautiful and talented Betty-anne and ranged from a younger generation to an older crowd.
I tried to make my way up to the front.
What was I thinking.
Everyone in the crowd was so mesmerized and engaged with Ardijah’s performance, that nobody could see me trying to inch my way through.
I took a breather and rethought my strategy which is usually just a “get in there” approach.
I would cover around the bar for a bit then pick an unsuspecting security guard to give me a ride to the front of the crowd.
I found him. He looked at me like I had well and truly lost my mind. I looked back at him like I had (most forms of communication in these environments is non verbal, unless you enjoy screaming over music only to still be unheard) We were committed.
Wedged between utility cases for musical instruments, the crowd and Ardijah- I had set up camp to get as many shots of these guys as I could. There was no getting out and if I did, there was probably no returning.
Yeowww…what a bloody treat being up there with my camera was.
These people could perform with such artistry it was evident how their fanbase has remained over these years. I was particularly fascinated with how powerfully and beautifully Betty-anne performs. I mean- you really could not take a bad photograph of her mid performance. Every frame, her energy and mood transcends through. My back was aching from sitting in an awkward position for so long, but my little photographers heart was happy.
When the set finished, fans who had purchased a gold pass were able to have a meet and greet.
Ardijah enjoy talking to their fans, they were engaging with each an every person who came up and wanted a picture and I mean truly engaging with meaningful conversations. You could see how much value and respect they have for their audience by the smiles and gleaming eyes adorning faces around them.
Well done Lava Bar for Hosting an exceptional evening with Ardijah on their Rotorua leg for their Every Night Tour! You can see more photographs from the evening on their facebook page here.