Honey Jam Festival draws big name acts

SUCCESS: Jamie McDell, whose debut album Six Strings And A Sailboat debuted at number eight on the NZ Top 40 Chart will perform at the two-day festival.
SUCCESS: Jamie McDell, whose debut album Six Strings And A Sailboat debuted at number eight on the NZ Top 40 Chart will perform at the two-day festival.

More than 3,000 people are expected to flood into Kerikeri for January's two-day Honey Jam Music Festival.

The event, organised by Toby Garland, includes 17 bands. Supergroove, featuring Kiwi legend Che Fu, is the headline act.

Securing a group of such high calibre is seen as a coup for the Far North.

Mr Garland grew up in Kerikeri but has lived in Chamonix in France for the past 20 years.

He has returned to New Zealand and has a team of experienced curators to help produce the first Honey Jam Festival.

He says it could become a "mini Montreux", the famous 46-year-old music festival held in Switzerland.

Mr Garland's friend Mike Moss has also returned to Kerikeri from working abroad and has offered his 40-hectare farm at Te Kowhai Pt Rd, off Redcliffs Rd, as the festival site.

A track about 1km long has been built into the heart of the property and 20 army cadets will co-ordinate traffic.

The site has camping space for those wanting to stay overnight.

Mr Garland says it is compact and facilities are accessible. He is mainly using nearby contractors to provide marquees, staging, sound, lights and web design.

The area's food suppliers and craftspeople have been invited to book a stall.

Boutique beers and wine will be on sale at a bar operated by Fishbone owner and wine expert Steve White while Kerikeri's Tony Harrison will provide staging and sound.

"It's a boutique music festival in every way and designed for adults and children to enjoy. There will be no walking for miles from stage to stage, no endless queues for food or drinks or, very importantly, the toilets."

Other bands performing over the two days include:

● Wellington five-piece The Thomas Oliver Band, whose debut album topped the iTunes Blues Charts in New Zealand and Australia.

● The exuberant 10-piece Batucada Sound Machine, still based in New Zealand but regularly performing in Europe.

● Whangaroa's reggae exponents 1814, who have earned national and international prominence.

● The Nudge from Wellington.

● The five-piece Young Lyre from Auckland.

● The AK Samba percussion band with its fusion of Brazilian rhythms coupled to hip-hop.

● BONJAH from Melbourne will perform a one-off show for the festival. The band, which hails from Tauranga, has a strong reputation across the Tasman.

Mr Garland has also chosen four local bands to deliver 30-minute support performances.

Solo performers include:

● Jamie McDell whose Six Strings and a Sailboat can be heard on radio and seen on TV.

● Auckland songstress and writer Lydia Cole, who performed on her own national headline tour this year.

● Wellington singer-songwriter Louis Baker who is described as an impressive emerging talent.

The Honey Jam Festival runs from January 26 at 11am until 6pm on January 27.

Tickets are available at Eventfinder and from thehoneyjam.co.nz.