We arrive on the Kapiti Coast, an hour from Wellington, to densely grey cloud. "It will clear," a friend says, but I'm not sure I believe him. It doesn't matter though; we've been sipping vivid pink drinks and ciders in the car on the way, so our spirits are as high as the raincoats zipped up our necks.

The first thing I notice is the amount of families here. It's full of them, but it's nice to see. Children dressed in wacky prints oblivious to the storm, more interested by the rows of vintage suitcases lining the lake.

We head to the bar, load up on more drinks, and then walk past the luggage being brought out of the rain to watch Nadia Reid. I last saw Nadia around about November time at San Fran in Wellington after listening religiously to the intricacies of her second album - I was blown away then, as I am now. She's a real talent, and her songs always sting me with emotion. It's nice sometimes to feel that jolt when you've lost your head to routine.

Sadly the weather is not on Nadia's side and, after three failed attempts at playing uninterrupted by technical difficulties, she pulls the plug. An understandable shame.

The day progresses with a mix of excitement and ease. The tickets we've managed to procure allow us into the V.I.P. area, which is fun if not for the array of sofas and seats fenced in by bunting. We drink more; we catch up with friends; we enjoy Louis Baker's soulful rendition of Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On?'

Other highlights of the day include watching Glass Vaults from underneath a tree, leaves framing their colourful, dancey set to which one Mum in particular looks like she's transcended the North Island's coastline and found herself in a rock-and-roll paradise, population: one.

Dunedin musician Anthonie Tonnon shows us a slideshow of railway stations, and then rouses the audience with his songs about trains and shape-pulling. He reminds me a little of Patrick Wolf, swirled with a touch of mod.

The Black Seeds bring their Kiwiana reggae to the main stage as the closing act of the night, overseen by the sun blazing in the final hours of daylight. We dance and sweat some more, enjoying the heavy energy permeating through the crowd. 

Then it's time for the after party, at which we see Olmecha Supreme who "travel to the frontiers of slamming soundscapes" with their Afro futuristic roots music and make us move our feet unlike any other act.

The weather couldn't rain on Coastella's parade, instead it thrived as a friendly showcase of the mastery of New Zealand musicianship. What a bloody good time it was.