Rhythm & Vines audio engineer David Peterson dies

An audio engineer at Gisborne’s Rhythm & Vines festival has died.

A director for Auckland company Wavefront Audio said on Facebook that one of its employees, David Peterson, had died from suspected heart failure.

Police confirmed a person had died at the festival at 3am on December 31.

There were no suspicious circumstances and no indication that drugs were involved, police said.

The death had been referred to the coroner.

This is probably the hardest post I’m ever going to write. On the night of December 30, Work colleague and best mate…

It is understood the person had died due to a medical event rather than an accident.

Wavefront Audio’s Milo Kerrigan posted on Facebook about the death, naming the dead man as David Peterson.

Kerrigan said Peterson, a colleague and best mate, passed away from suspected heart failure.

“Dave had injured his arm 2 days before requiring a few stitches and was on light duties as the system tech for the 3 stages we look after at R&V – typically, being the hard ass roadie that he was, he was back after a couple of hours patched up and soldiering on.

“Often on a gig like this one, once things were running to his liking, he would grab a few Z’s in the front seat of the van. A couple of us knew he was there (the van was outside the production office) and he was in his usual relaxed snoring position. Unfortunately when one of the crew went to rouse him, he was unresponsive. We got him out and Bex started CPR – medics were there very quickly and took over. I knew when I held his cold hand that he had gone.

“I’m very thankful that he was here doing what he loved, that he managed to get the MLA system going and have 2 nights playing with it and that he was surrounded by his mates and crew.”

Kerrigan said Peterson had worked at nearly every Rhythm & Vines festival ever held, and the crew had worked hard after the tragedy to finish the gig, “and I’m pretty sure we did him proud”.

“Dave was a hard man with a soft centre, a perfectionist and a solid friend. He taught me the power of the grumpy face! He will be severely missed by me and many others.”

The incident follows the death of concert-goer Fletcher Wong, 19, whose body was found on Thursday. He was last seen at the concert on Tuesday.

There were no suspicious circumstances, and the death has been referred to the coroner.

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