It was a long weekend with the Auckland Folk Festival and Laneway, but we made it through! Here is my quick summary of the weekend, this will be followed over the next couple of weeks with some full length interviews and features of the bands I met. 

Auckland Folk Festival 
This was one of the best weekends I have had in living memory, full to overflowing with live music and beautiful people. Second Hand News had a gazebo in the market place and it quickly became clear that the couches and shaded area were a hit with all who came past. I’m planning a bigger gazebo with more couches for next year already! 

We were lucky enough to meet Reg Meuross on Monday at the Bunker for his performance. We spent a couple of the Folk Fest evenings with Reg in the gazebo having dinner and he told some amazing tales from his touring life. He is a beautiful songwriter and I believe I heard murmurs he’d be back in the country in late 2015/early 2016, so watch this space. 

The Nukes were my breakout band of the weekend. I’ve had numerous conversations with Snapper, the infamous banjolele player, but had never seen them live until at the Fest and they were brilliant. I heard so many snippets of conversation and most of them started with “They made the ukulele not sound like a ukulele.” We had many late night sessions with the boys from The Nukes who were sharing the gazebo next to us. 

Four other bands graced the main stage and were all outstanding. The Remarkables and the Federal String Band were exactly what I needed from a big band with banjos, double bass and numerous bluegrass songs. Other Roads were fantastic and I heard lovely things about their more intimate performance last night at the Bunker. Into the East are a lovely couple, and you can check out Chris’ interview with them here. They are currently competing in a competition and have just released a new video, details can be found here. I’m on there voting as often as I can! 

I met many wonderful people and have made many new friends who I am excited to begin working with, playing with and listening to. The Festival is going to be a highlight of many years to come. 

All I have to say about Laneway is that it did not live up to the Folk Festival. 
The music was amazing. Angel Olsen played some dirty, raw indie folk and as expected Angus & Julia Stone were mind blowing. But overall it was too hot and the crowd was too drunk, rude and uninterested in the music. It seemed a lot of people turned up to Laneway because it was the “place to be seen.” 
But, you can’t win them all, and one excellent festival was probably enough for Anniversary weekend. 

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