Teens urged to support music gigs venture

New project aims to revive live music in region

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 12:35 04/03/2014
Nathan Telford
ALDEN WILLIAMS/Fairfax NZ

FILLING GAP: Nathan Telford, who is launching Nelson Underage to put on music gigs for teenagers.

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The "dire" lack of live music for Nelson teenagers is about to be rectified.

Nelson Underage is to launch on March 15, and organiser Nathan Telford is calling for local bands to compete at the event.

Supported by the Youth and Community Trust, Nelson Underage would put on a variety of gigs through the year.

Launch event, Soundclash, will be at St John's Hall, where eight local bands are to compete for a prize of $500.

"Soundclash is a one-night competition-styled boxing match, where bands compete against bands. Combining talent, energy and passion, each act will have to engage the crowd and win their vote to move through the knock-out heats and onto the finals, before being crowned as Nelson's first Soundclash champions," said Mr Telford.

Also in March, Nelson Underage plans to host a dance party, with Sydney-based DJ Northie to headline the night.

Event organisers would work with the police and youth workers to make sure the events were alcohol- and drug-free, he said.

Since the closure of the New Hub in New St due to its earthquake risk, the Hub team went mobile, renamed the Truck and hosted after-school recreation sessions and events through the Nelson region. Nelson Underage was developed by the same group.

Mr Telford said Nelson youth had gone without live music opportunities for too long. "I think in the past, there were some events that were probably OK but not that great. We wanted to establish a new platform and events."

Nelson city councillor Pete Rainey said he was right behind the initiative.

He was supportive financially and offered advice on events management to the organisers, drawing on his experiences of running the Smokefreerockquest.

He admired Mr Telford's enthusiasm.

He said the Rockquest he put on was only once a year, whereas the Nelson Underage events would foster and support a local music scene to grow through the year. He said for too long, Nelson youth had missed out on opportunities to see live music.

"It's been dire, I don't think we do very well for the young people in our town in this area. You can't just provide sporting facilities for young people. They need a whole range of stuff."

Mr Rainey had championed the council to provide more creative outlets for youth so was pleased to see these events develop.

However, he said it was now up to teenagers to get behind it.

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- The Nelson Mail

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