New Zealand festival encourages participants to wallow in mud

While many outdoor music festivals often turn into a mud pit, the revellers aren’t normally happy to end up knee-deep in sludge.
However, a new event in Rotorua, in New Zealand’s central North Island, will mix mud and music on purpose, promising “an adventureland of muddy madness and mayhem.”
The inaugural Mudtopia Festival is to be held December 1-3 and is set to include a line-up of local musicians, a mud arena, a mud run and a variety of mud wellness options for the less adventurous.
A total of 350,000 litres of mud – around 10 large tanker trucks or 32 concrete-mixer trucks – will be brought to the festival area for visitors to wallow in, according to event organiser Alice McKay.
The mud arena will be filled with giant pools of liquid mud that serve as a playground for a variety of games, not to mention an inflatable obstacle course that will be covered with slippery mud.
Rotorua is approximately 2.5 hours’ drive from New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland, and is famous for its distinctive smell of rotten eggs, geothermal activity, geysers and bubbling mud pools. Tourists have flocked to its natural hot springs since the early 19th century.
Rotorua’s mud is high in minerals, particularly silica, due to its contact with geothermal and mineral waters from deep in the earth.
The festival is not the only mud-based activity Rotorua has on offer. Its most active geothermal park, Hell’s Gate, invites visitors to mud baths, a mud foot pool and mud facials, while the Polynesian Spa invites guests to indulge in various mud therapies. — dpa