All aboard for Homegrown

20:52, Feb 27 2013
Homegrown
GETTING CROWDED: More than 17,000 fans will party to 45 bands at six stages over 10 hours.

Rock, pop, reggae and dub will be pumping out of speakers on Wellington's waterfront this Saturday for the sixth Homegrown music festival.

The festival consists entirely of New Zealand music.

More than 17,000 fans will party to 45 bands at six stages over 10 hours.

However, a thought should be spared for the 531 staff working hard in the lead-up to the sold-out event.

Media, sponsor and hospitality manager Jonnie Halstead said the waterfront transformation would take 10 days and 6000 man hours to complete.

It involves 60 Homegrown crew and numerous sub-contractors, such as construction workers, plumbers, electricians and marquee companies.

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"It's a huge operation.

"The main stage in Waitangi Park takes all of those 10 days to complete. It holds 10,000 to 12,000 people. The main marquee is 75 metres by 35m," Halstead said.

"That's 2625 square metres of tent. It has to be put up with a crane.

"The stage needs to be built, the crowd barrier, lighting, and then you bring in the sound.

"There is a village around it as well with all the bars and food places."

The acts for the show were booked months in advance, he said.

"It would surprise many fans how far in advance we confirm the line-up," he said.

"As the media manager I am still getting people facebooking me requesting certain bands.

"We started booking the acts for this week's festival from last April to June."

He said for Homegrown to be a success the New Zealand music scene had to be strong.

"We are about showcasing New Zealand music, but because we book the acts months in advance we need our headline acts to be going strong and not breaking up," he said.

"It is the strongest it has ever been.

"That shows the quality of artistry we have and the amount of investment being poured into New Zealand music."

Halstead said because the event was R15 a lot of work went into ensuring it conformed with its liquor licence.

"We are one of the only events in New Zealand that's R15, where there are no penned areas that you have to go in to drink," he said.

"We put a lot of work into making sure the area is managed and we have never had an incident of minors getting their hands on alcohol. We want to set a tone of having a safe and highly produced environment that music fans can come and enjoy.

"Everyone has to have a wrist band and there are different colours for R18s.

"If you're a minor you don't even get near the bar area and we have roaming security.

"We take a hard line on any minor who gets their hands on alcohol and an even harder line on those over 18 who supply them with it."

 

BY THE NUMBERS 

 

The Wellingtonian