Jim Beam Homegrown is New Zealand’s annual one day festival celebrating the best of Kiwi music along the Wellington waterfront. 2018 was my first year attending and like many others we made a long weekend out of it to soak up all the fine food, coffee and culture Wellington has to offer.
Four stages popped up from Te Papa to TSB Arena, and with the adjacent stadium venue there were five genres of stages. At the Te Papa end we had the Dub ‘n’ Roots Stage mixing dance and soul from the likes of Fat Freddy’s Drop to Shapeshifter. In the Electronic Stage tent we enjoyed DJ Aroha featuring MC Tali. On the Lab Stage we were graced by Kings, Savage and David Dallas. Moving to the City Stage were classic singer songwriter types including Hollie Smith, and last but certainly not least was the Rock Stage where we revelled in the reunion of Elemenop.
Starting from 1pm the festival got going, but pacing ourselves and trying to avoid the 2pm rain storm, my friend and I fuelled up then meandered from Cuba Street downtown to pick up our wristbands and pass through the gates around 3pm. Throughout the afternoon we wandered between stages soaking up the atmosphere and taking in the waterfront views.
By 7pm months of anticipation had finally accumulated into this one day where we would scream our hearts out singing classics from Elemenop and then end a fantastic day by tearing up Shapeshifter’s dance floor.
My favourite new discoveries of the day were Deadbeat, a non-stop drumming solo to popular music, and DJ Aroha featuring the smooth lyrical stylings of MC Tali.
If any festival organisers are listening, one thing I would like to see more of next year is more decor and local flavour put into the overall experience of the event. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to transform the waterfront walkway into an artistic interactive journey? Wellington being our cultural capital it seems there is a lot of room to build on showcasing local talent here.
Packing Essentials For Homegrown
- Something warm – it can get icy cold in Wellington with April winds so just make sure to come prepared for all weathers with a couple of layers you can swap up.
- Cash – to skip the card only queues for drinks.
- I.D. – to exchange your ticket for the wristband and enter the venue.
- Band tee – not so much of a dress up festival, although don’t let that stop you going all out!