Jim Beam Homegrown organisers have announced the first line-up for next year’s event despite ongoing uncertainty around Covid-19.
Staged on Wellington’s waterfront, the all-Kiwi music festival will take place on March 19, 2022, with tickets available now.
Already 27 acts have been confirmed, including Drax Project, Shihad, Sir Dave Dobbyn, SACHI, Gin Wigmore, Mitch James, Katchafire, JessB and The Beths.
Homegrown director Andrew Tuck said making plans is scary and ‘incredibly nerve-wracking’ with Covid-19 restrictions still in place, and uncertainty around vaccinations.
But he said they were pressing on, confident that by March things will have settled down.
“In 2020 we had to postpone and a massive sum of money was lost, so that’s always in the back of your mind.
“Every time you do an event like this you’re putting up your own money and even your house, in a lot of cases.
“We have learned a lot, though, and have safety protocols and procedures in place. And we will, of course, take the Government’s lead as to any recommendations they have, to keep people safe.”
Tuck said if everything goes to plan, there will be something for even the fussiest groover.
“You could be 16 through to 60 and there’s something there for you. That’s what’s so great about Homegrown and New Zealand music.
“I’ve shown the line-up to my 17-year-old son as well as friends that are my age, and they all were excited and knew which acts they’d see.”
Shihad’s Tom Larkin said it would be great for the industry to be able to perform again at such a scale.
“Covid-19 has been incredibly devastating for the music industry, the pathways we use for live performances are literally shut.
“All of us in the band are stoked to be part of Homegrown again. Our new album, Old Gods, is coming out this week, so Homegrown is going to be a platform to really showcase that.”
Drax Project’s Matt Beachen said although they’ve played at Homegrown twice before, those performances won’t compare to the 2022 event.
“To say we’re pumped is an understatement. We’re excited to do some shows again. There’s going to be something special about Homegrown this time, it will be different in a good way.”
Beachen said he expects the energy to be unlike anything they’ve seen before – similar to what’s been happening overseas, as people come out of lockdown and start attending festivals again.
“I’ve been watching footage from America and it looks like the energy is insane, with people in the crowds going nuts. We’re looking forward to getting a bit of that.”
Capacity will be reduced to around 23,000 for next year’s event. Tuck said that was to create a little more space for people.
“We’re not using the stage we had at TSB last year but we’ll increase capacity in some other areas such as the Electronic stage.”
In terms of vaccination requirements, and whether it will be mandatory for those attending, Tuck said they would follow the Government’s advice.
“At the end of the day we’ve got to rely on the professionals and what they believe should happen.”
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