New Zealand’s ‘first bloke’ Clarke Gayford to return to DJing at a music festival this summer

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New Zealand‘s ‘first bloke’ Clarke Gayford will be playing a DJ set at Kiwi music festival Splore this summer. 

Jacinda Ardern‘s partner will be returning to the decks for the multi day live-in festival at Tapapakanga Regional Park, an hour’s drive from Auckland. 

The event has been organised after COVID-19 restrictions were overhauled across the country with authorities bringing infections rates under control.  

Mr Gayford has decided the festival is the right time and place to get back behind the decks after a few years away.

Jacinda Ardern's partner Clarke Gayford will be presenting a surprise DJ set at Kiwi music festival Splore this Summer (Pictured together entering Government House on Friday)

Jacinda Ardern’s partner Clarke Gayford will be presenting a surprise DJ set at Kiwi music festival Splore this Summer (Pictured together entering Government House on Friday)

The 44-year-old is well-known for his music in New Zealand, previously hosting a show on electronic music station George FM.

He’s played gigs on iconic party island Ibiza and music festivals including the Big Day Out.

Splore festival director John Minty said he was delighted to welcome Mr Gayford back to the festival scene.

‘Clarke’s played Splore before and he came with Jacinda three or four years ago … he’s quite a regular over the years,’ he said.

The 44-year-old (pictured) is well-known for his music in New Zealand, previously hosting a show on electronic music station George FM

 The 44-year-old (pictured) is well-known for his music in New Zealand, previously hosting a show on electronic music station George FM

‘He has great taste in music, eclectic with plenty of surprises. And it’s very danceable. He brings a nice charisma to the stage and that’s why we’re putting him on the roster.’

Mr Gayford said ‘when the timing feels right, it feels right’ to return to DJ-ing duty.

‘After the year we’ve just had who doesn’t want to escape a bit of the madness?’ Mr Gayford said.

‘I couldn’t think of a better place in the world to be than at the magic that is Splore.’

Ms Ardern is no stranger to DJing herself, most recently performing at Laneway Festival in 2014.

Ms Ardern is no stranger to DJing herself, most recently performing at Laneway Festival in 2014 (pictured)

Ms Ardern is no stranger to DJing herself, most recently performing at Laneway Festival in 2014 (pictured)

Festival organisers have been forced to kill a developing rumour that the popular PM would be also appearing on stage after promising a ‘surprise female act’ alongside headliners Shapeshifter.

‘I can quash that one. We do have a special female guest who’s a singer but it isn’t Jacinda,’ Mr Minty said.

‘Though she is most welcome to come with Neve. It’s a family-friendly festival.’

Mr Minty said the major feature of this year’s already sold-out event was a commitment to female acts among an all-local line-up.

Splore’s main stage will feature only female performers or acts featuring female artists.

‘We’ve always had a very diverse lineup but going 100 per cent local-based this year I thought we would make a bit of a statement,’ Mr Minty said.

The few overseas-based performers, such as DJ Stefaan van Leuven of Belgian band Soulwax, were incidental.

‘He’s living down here at the moment or got stuck and he put his hand up so we said ‘sure we’ll find a spot for you’,’ Mr Minty said. 

Jacinda Ardern performs her DJ set in the Thunderdome at Laneway Festival (pictured in 2014)

Jacinda Ardern performs her DJ set in the Thunderdome at Laneway Festival (pictured in 2014)

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