Coro Summer Fest Story

The Coro Summer Fest is a celebration of summer goodness: A small boutique festival with live music, put together with love by the Sephton family, set on family land beautifully enclosed location surrounded by native forest. 

14 years ago, when Matt Sephton and Caitlin Moloney decided to make Coromandel Town their home, one thing they both felt passionate about was contributing to the local creative community.  With Matt working as a sound engineer (Coro Sonic Lab) and Caitlin as a ceramic artist, over the years they have developed strong creative connections that extended beyond Coromandel town which in turn have enriched many community events.

The Coro Summer Fest has grown from this practice of bringing community together, creating connection through the arts and finding passion in bringing joy to others.  The festival began as a small community gathering to see one or two bands that were touring over the summer and looking for places to perform. Through Matt’s connections with the music scene musicians often reached out to him asking for advice until one day we thought, why not put on a gig on the lawn?  As Christmas and New Year are such a busy time of year here in Coromandel, it was a really great opportunity for our local community to come together and catch up before heading off to their busy lives again. It was really special and a success from the start. 

People come and enjoy an afternoon of spending time with their family and friends, picnic under the trees, lawn games, listen to live musicians from around New Zealand and occasionally touring international artists.  As we are literally inviting people into our home, we work hard in creating a culture of respect and awareness for our home, hospitality and neighbourhood. This is of the utmost importance to us.

We have now been hosting this event for 5 years and it has developed from a small gathering of friends and neighbours, into an even heartier celebration of extended family and community attending. It has truly stunned us the effort people have made to attend our event and is also a huge affirmation of our efforts to create an enjoyable, unique celebration on our lawn.

 We now can book acts that we could never have dreamed of having perform here, due to the support of attendees and also because of positive word of mouth.  We take care of performers who make the effort to come here by providing comfortable accommodation, healthy food and good hospitality so they leave feeling well rested and cared for. This level of care is important to us as this ensures maintaining positive connections with our performers and extending our creative community even more. 

We recognise that our event has grown quite quickly and we are very aware of keeping it manageable and limited to one day. We have been extremely fortunate to have never had one complaint and have loved seeing our community support this event every year with open arms. In a place as small as Coromandel, it is vital for events like this to happen.

The arts are important for creating and maintaining connections with each other, music makes us dance and creates goodwill. It is our hope that for one day of the year we can continue to celebrate together as a community that is fueled and revitalised by the Coro Summer Fest. It is a labour of love, a heartfelt passion project and as a family we feel honoured to be a part of its creation.