Posted by David Hulme
This story was featured Rotary Down Under
Rotary Matamata’s second annual Concert by the Lake event is being hailed as a success with organisers now looking for ways to draw an even bigger crowd in 2017. Almost 300 people attended the concert, which was held on the property of Rotarians Peter and Ineke Thissen, in Matamata, New Zealand.
Peter, an engineer, designed and built the pontoon which the artists performed from out on the water in what can only be described as picturesque surroundings. He dreamed up the concept of a concert on a pontoon at his property several years ago and 2015 saw that dream become a reality as 350 people attended the inaugural event. 
This year’s crowd were entertained by Kiwi songstress Jamie McDell, who performed a number of her solo hits before teaming up with her younger sister Tess in a world debut performance of their new collaboration called Dunes. The McDell sisters were joined on stage by the Tim Armstrong Beatles Tribute Band who literally had the pontoon bouncing as they pounded out the Fab Four’s hits while Tauranga-based jazz/blues band Kokomo provided a melodic accompaniment during their time on the pontoon.
Rotary Matamata event director Lynette Stanley said overall the club was very pleased with the way the concert had gone. “We have received nothing but positive feedback from concert-goers and we know there were several other huge events nationally that clashed with ours meaning ticket sales were down on last year,” Lynette said. “We are confident that next year with the positive publicity that we have achieved, numbers will grow and we will be able to give even more money to worthy causes.”
Proceeds from this year’s concert are being split between two local charities – Pohlen Hospital (the town’s privately operated hospital) and Starfish Social Services (a counselling/mentoring programme for at risk youth in area). “Both of these charities have a large impact on our community and it is great that we can support them in any way we can,” Lynette said.
Work will begin shortly on getting ready for the 2017 concert with the first priority being signing the acts to perform.