Tom Batchelor at Whitianga Scallop Festival

Singer Tom Batchelor is bringing the X Factor to next week’s Whitianga Scallop Festival.

Batchelor, 22, was one of the big personalities on the TV talent show this year and festival co-ordinator Fiona Kettlewell is stoked to welcome the one-time busker to the musical line-up on September 14.

On his Facebook page, Batchelor – one half of psychedelic folk and blues duo River Jesters – gave the “awesome festival” a big thumbs up and urged people to buy tickets before they sell out.

The singer joins fellow performers The Vegas Brown Band, The Trenwith Boys, Tim Armstrong, Dylan, Coral Pitcher, The Great Brain Robbers, Ed Jackson and Topia on one of three music stages.

Less than a week out from one of the biggest events on Whitianga’s calendar, Fiona is buzzing. Everything’s in place for a sensational day and tickets are selling faster than the kebabs on the Cathedral Cove Macadamia stand – the festival’s perennial people’s choice winner.

“Traditionally, some people wait until the last minute to buy tickets as they watch the weather forecasts, but they seriously risk missing out this year,” she says.

The festival is held in a reserve sandwiched between the main street and the picturesque, boat-dotted Whitianga River. As well as scallops served up in every variation imaginable, festival goers will enjoy an abundance of other tasty food, wine and beer; demonstrations from celebrity chefs; live music; craft stalls; and scallop shucking and best-dressed competitions.

And when it’s all done and dusted, but you’re not ready to call it a day, check out Whitianga’s bars and restaurants; many have both scallops and live music on their menus over the festival weekend.

While you’re at it, admire the scallop-themed window displays around town, as business people get into the spirit.

For more information and tickets, visit


Anti Spam Code *