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Vodafone Homegrown Reviews

Pulling into Wellington city on Friday night, my mouth was watering in anticipation of the next day. Vodafone Homegrown was finally here. I had my day all planned thanks to the wonderful maps provided on the website to take in as much muzic as possible, without settling on one genre for the day. Not easy as that sounds. I have returned home with my feet full of blisters and aches in my legs that I have not felt in a long long time, but I digest. The weather is looking questionable but the forecast was for one hell of a party.

Finding the event was really a no-brainer; follow the crowds making their way to the vast garden of marques. First stop was the market area and the Amphitheatre stage, once I worked out where I was and the quickest way from the 5 stages on offer it was time to start my mission. 

Let’s Go!

First on the agenda was a stop at the Smokefree Electronic Stage to catch DJ Spragga aka Sola Rosa’s Andrew Spraggon. With a blend of a hip-hop, funk, dub, Latin, mash-ups and everything in-between. Only a light crowd at this stage with a few people enjoying the bar and seating on offer while enjoying the pumping sounds coming from the stage.

Next on the list was a walk over to the Cadbury Moro Dub and Roots Stage as crowd favourites Katchafire were due to kick things off. After fighting my way through the crowds of people and finally resting at the side of the marquee, I was in a good position to groove along with the crowd for the next hour.

2 O’clock can quickly and it was a mad dash across the waterfront to the Jim Beam Rock Stage to catch Streetwise Scarlet. I had seen the band play once before but they were constantly interrupted by power outages through out the night, so I made sure I got to hear them give there all. The crowd was starting to come in as the TSB Bank Arena was about quarter fill in the mosh at this stage. After 30 minutes of their set which included Let’s Go it was time to head back to the Smokefree Electronic Stage to catch Clarke Gayford. Walking into the crowd who was enjoying the thumping tones from the stage as well as by a couple of girls dancing on either side of the stage wearing cowgirl outfits borrowed from the Dallas cheerleaders.

Tahuna Breaks were in full swing by the time I was released by the siren dance so it was a quick trip to the stage to catch some of the set before running (I use this term very lightly) to the over side of the waterfront to see Goodnight nurse.

After catching my breath I stopped at the Amphitheatre Stage to see the break dancing competition.  The way some of the guys avoid breaking their necks always astounds me. I would have been more popular in high school if I could bend like those guys. After a refreshment break at one of the many tempting food stalls it was time to head back to see Elemeno-P. This was the first time I have had the opportunity to see them live and they did not disappoint. Entering through a haze from the smoke machines while being piped in by a couple of guys in kilts, which was a sight to curl your toes. After listening to Better Days it was off to see Tiki play.

The crowd was huge and they quickly went wild with the first harmonic strum of Always on my Mind. The crowd quickly become engrossed in singing along which had them eating out of his hand in no time. After his set he went straight into his merchandise tent to sign a few autographs for the eagerly awaiting fans. I even gave into temptation and brought a couple of his eco bags to haul my gear around.
Once I was sorted it was back into see Tim Phin in the Smokefree Electronic Stage. The crowd had really started to pack in now and there was all types of dancing going on, some good and some I have not see since I was at a 40th birthday party in Taihape.  I made a dash straight through towards the next rock event.

Next on the Jim Beam Rock Stage were the Feilding boys, Evermore. Now living in Melbourne it was like a home coming for the band. I spotted the band walking around the market area earlier in the day chatting to fans with a number of teenage girls yelling, “I love you guys” as they walked past.

Now was time to see The Black Seeds in the Cadbury Moro Dub & Roots Stage to a packed crowd. No change of getting up front but the music flowed freely through the crowd.

Time for Opshop to take the stage, when One Day started it was time for the crowd to join in once again having all heard the song from radio and those handy NZ post ads.

Now off to see one of the groups I have been waiting for most of the day, Kora from Whakatane had the Cadbury Moro Dub & Roots Stage packed to maximum capacity with the crowd in full swing when I Got was jammed out.

A quick trip (excuse the term) through the Smokefree Electronic Stage to catch State of Mind at the start of there set then off to the main event for me for the night. Blindspott.

Having been seated next to the band earlier and wanting some real rock to roll through my veins, this was it. Eagerly awaiting the return of one of NZ’s most loved rock bands after they split almost 2 year ago I have had text’s coming in all day requesting info and photo’s of the band to confirm they are playing.

Smoke filled the stage as it turned pitch black, the menacing sounding bass kick echoes through the hall. With a wave of people chanting Blindspott at the top of the lungs the band could not have had a more welcoming comeback. With the crowd erupting when they came out on stage even the issue with Marcus Powell’s guitar having a faulty lead, roadies running out on stage to correct it mid song. The first of the girls at front were getting lifted over the barrier within the first 30 seconds of the set. Playing favourites such as Nil by Mouth, S.U.I.T and Phlex it was a moment I won’t forget in a long time. The pulsating crowds in the mosh were like the concerts you normally only see in the American rock videos. I hope it won’t be the last time I experience this unbelievable band.

To close the night off ventured back to the place where I started the night, The Smokefree Electronic Stage, Concord Dawn was the perfect choice for my night to end but the party to just begin. With a packed marquee full of pumped partygoers with the coma club on the grass outside.

As I was leaving I have to take my hat off to the organizers, as this was a well-staffed and run event. Every staff member I talked to was polite and very helpful and knew exactly where everything was as well as tips on getting the best photos.

As I was walking back to my accommodation, limping due to the blisters I have occurred during the day fresh with memories that made the 2 hour walk bearable.
One word to sum it all up.


John S


I go by the name, Miss NZ.  Not in the beauty pageant kind of way that you’re most likely thinking, but for my fondness of our country’s diverse musical talent.  I love it, so it only makes sense that I’d head down to Wellington’s waterfront for the second homegrown festival to see what some of New Zealand’s more popular acts have been working on over the year just gone. With names like The Black Seeds, Fur Patrol, Tiki and Supergroove, it’s easy to see how the event was a sell-out again, so here’s hoping this becomes an annual treat for the capital.

Starting off the freezing cold day at the Indie stage with a few other early birds, Auckland’s Brain Slaves put on a wicked show that should have packed out the venue.  Instead I think I’d be pushing it to say that a hundred people turned up.  Last year we saw the lads grace the stage as The Coshercot Honeys who played all of their tracks off their EP, We’re All Lions.  I must say I’m rather dissapointed with the name change, but their new material makes up for that.  Songs like Die For Me and Dancing Queen were beautifully performed and are one’s I’m looking forward to hearing more of in the future. Chuckling their way through White Roses made the kids up the front do the same.  It sounds ridiculous to say, but I think that moment may have just been by favourite of the entire day!  Well, that and watching front-man Sasha Carlson scream erratically in the much-loved 2007 hit, We’re All Lions.

Seeing as I spent most of my time at the Indie stage last year I decided that this time I’d give the other areas a whack.  The evening there consisted of Dimmer, Weta and Head Like A Hole, which didn’t really appeal anyway, so this was a plan that I was happy to stick with. 

I’ve seen Streetwise Scarlet a few times last year and wasn’t very impressed, but curiosity got the better of me, so the Rock Stage was my next stop.  Again, the guys had nothing special to offer, playing through their songs like every other time, with little enthusiasm or excitement across their dull and rather tired faces.  It looked as though the crowd seemed to feel similar coz’ I didn’t see too many hands in the air.  Even for their ‘C4 song’, Let’s Go.

Luckily Bang Bang Eche had more than enough treats on offer to get my dancing shoes on which were to last for the rest of the day.  These kids are full of beans and produce some awesome tunes that make it impossible not to fall in love with them.  I’d have to say my favourite song of their set was 4 To The Floor which saw the crowd leaping up and down for more, while front man Zach Doney threw himself around the stage with his free flowing locks in his face.  There’s never a dull moment watching these kids who play off the energy of the crowd which was constantly growing in size as their set went on.

Having not seen them before, I can now safely say that I’m quite the fan of these youngsters who we can proudly call our own.
Nice work kids!

Heading back to the Rock stage for some pop that everyone knows, it was time for one of the happiest bands on earth, Elemenop.  Having seen them plenty of times before, I was kind of looking forward to seeing something new from the group who have now been around for six years.  Nothing had really changed since I last saw them in the middle of last year, but it was nice to have a sit down and enjoy some familiar tunes from the popular kiwi icons.  Opening with bag pipers, made me wonder what we were actually celebrating while the Scottish couple next to me joked about ‘not being able to get away from the damn things’.  Thank goodness it wasn’t long before they got into a song everyone could sing along to, Nirvana, which was followed by more radio hits like Pay For It and Verona. 

One of the acts of the day I was most looking forward to was The Checks.  They seem to get better every time I see them, and Homegrown was no exception.  These lads are huge, and it’s easy to see how they manage to draw in a massive crowd of both the guys and the gals.  Personally I think they should have been on the Rock Stage seeing that they have opened for the likes of Oasis and Muse in the past, but still it was nice to have the intimate feel that the Indie stage brings.  Blasting out their newer tunes which are to grace their album due out in June, they got the crowd going before heading into some of their well known songs – Take Me There and Terribly Easy.  Ed Knowles charmed the ladies with his sexy eyes and beautiful manners thanking everyone for coming along.  Ooooh these guys are hot, and most definitely going places!

The Black Seeds had already started by the time we got to the Dub stage, but after a wicked performance by The Checks, I wasn’t too upset.  We were there in time to hear the popular band play some of their newer hits like Slingshot and Make A Move which was a nice change to their usual stuff that I’ve heard a few times over now.  Standing right at the back of the tent, this short ass couldn’t see a thing – shame, I do quite like to watch DJ Mike Fabulous get into the music so intensely.  Cool Me Down was one of the last tunes the guys performed, which I reckon should’ve been re-named Warm Me Up.  At this point in the evening it was freezing and we were just about ready for a cup of tea, some grand dad slippers and a knitted blanket!

Kora was next on the list, and to be honest, I think they were next on most people’s because the Dub tent didn’t seem to thin out.  If anything, it probably got even more packed out as my friend and I found ourselves dancing against the rubbish bins for the most part of the show, but man am I glad we stayed!  I’ve heard only good things about this band, so it only seemed right to choose them over other favourites State Of Mind and C4 cutie Nick D.  The crowd danced up a storm to favourites off their self titled album and even though I didn’t recognise the music, I loved every minute of it and I can now say I’m a fan and am ready to get my running shoes on to race out and grab a copy of their popular disc to add to my collection.

Catching the end of Blindspott at the TSB Bank Arena before Supergroove took to the stage was a mistake for this little lady, I’m telling ya’.  Those guys have always pissed me off, and hearing them talk in between songs made my feelings of hatred grow even stronger.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re a talented bunch and I won’t lie, they did a damn good job of getting the crowd hyped up for Flex – so good that I even found myself singing along.  But by the time they finished their efforts were quickly undone by calling the crowd ‘scumbags’ and the likes.  Charming.  I guess their fans must like being treated like pieces of shit... 
I’m just glad this was only a reunion show, or whatever the hell they named it. 

After an intermission that was long enough to fade my anger, Supergroove were ready to put on a show not only for the fans of their music, but the inner child in us all.  Watching vocalist Karl Steven trip around the stage made me wonder if they ever went away in the first place?  Or maybe he’s been secretly dancing over the past however many years to keep his fitness, because lets be honest, even though you it doesn’t show, he is getting on.  The lads sung crowd favourites Can’t Get Enough, Sitting Inside My head, and we were even treated to a beautiful version of Che’ Fu’s Fade Away.  Wicked!  Another un-expected treat came towards the end of their set when pop cuties Elemenop hopped on stage to finish with You Freak Me and Scorpio Girls.  Dave Gibson looked a little uncomfortable at first with all the action going on around him, but that was soon replaced by his excitement.

Apparently this set could have been the last for the old-timers, as we were informed that they had no more dates on the ‘Supergroove calendar’. 
Somehow I don’t think that’ll be the case, with the amount of people they drew in but I guess time will tell.  If we’re lucky maybe we’ll see them again at the waterfront for another event like this one.

All in all homegrown proved a huge success once again, and man am I pleased it didn’t rain!  How can you ever expect to win a beauty pageant looking like a drowned rat?

Amanda Ratcliffe

Editors note - Photos will be added to this feature real soon!

Vodafone Homegrown has now sold out!

Vodafone Homegrown will be returning to the Wellington Waterfront on Saturday 14 March, 2009.

Set across 5 stages along the beautiful waterfront, 35 of New Zealand's premier bands and DJ's will be rocking the Capital from 12:30pm to 11:00pm.

The 2009 line-up is jammed with talent and even more impressive than the epic 2008 line-up so if Kiwi music is your thing then Vodafone Homegrown is guaranteed to blow your lights!


With capacity for 6,000 people and the country's best rock acts, the Jim Bean stage in the TSB Arena will be cranking from start to finish.

Luger Boa to open Jim Beam Rock Stage

The bands confirmed to perform on this stage are; Luger Boa, Blindspott, Supergroove, OpShop, Evermore, Elemeno P, Goodnight Nurse and Streetwise Scarlet. Thanks to Jim Beam you'll also be able to enjoy a cold Beam from the best seats in the house.

The Cadbury Moro Dub & Roots stage will be right on the edge of the waterfront lagoon under a massive marquee which can handle up to 5,000 people. If the weather is mint, we'll open up the marquee and let the sunshine in so everybody can chill by the lagoon and soak up the luscious beats.

If it gets gnarly, we'll just close it up and get a groove on in the marquee. So whatever the weather, the Cadbury Moro stage will be sorted.

The bands confirmed to perform on this stage are; Shapeshifter, Kora, The Black Seeds, Tiki Taane, Tahuna Breaks and Katchafire. To make sure your day is complete the very smooth Sunshine Sound System and legendary Manuel Bundy will keep the beats rolling during the band change overs.

The Smokefree Electronic stage will be located at the top of Frank Kitts Park under a huge marquee with enough room for 2,500 people.

It's a prime place to be with a solid line-up, a Jim Beam Bourbon Garden and great views of the rest of the waterfront.

If the weather is good we'll be getting it on in the sunshine and under the stars, and if for any reason the weather doesn't play the game we'll be able to move into the marquee and keep cranking.

The bands confirmed to perform on this stage are; Concord Dawn, State of Mind, Aural Trash, Tim Phin, Dick Johnson, Clarke Gayford and Sola Rosa.

The Nokia Indie Stage is located in Shed 6 only 50 metres from the Jim Beam Rock Stage and with this years confirmed line-up you'd be crazy if you didn't check it out.

The bands confirmed to perform on this stage are; Head Like A Hole, Weta, Dimmer, The Checks, Fur Patrol, Bang Bang Eche, Tiger Tones, The Coshercot Honeys and DJ Knave Knixx.

This year we are turning it up on the Amphitheatre Stage during the daytime with a mix of hip-hop, funk and soul. The 3 on 3 breaking is always worth a watch and it will be a great place to get a groove on during the day.

Thanks to the Wellington City Council and Red Bull it's all free. So if you miss out on a ticket to Vodafone Homegrown, you can still come and check out the waterfront and the Homegrown vibe.

The performers on this stage are; Manuel Bundy, Sunshine Sound System, DJ Reno from Shapeshifter, Dick Johnson and Cool Kids Club.


Update 29 Jan: Tickets have now sold out to Vodafone Homegrown!

Vodafone Homegrown is a 15+ event. If you are under 15 you will need to be accompanied by a legitimate guardian.

Children 5 and under are free.

More information on tickets

Event Info

To make your Vodafone Homegrown experience the best it can be, it pays to know what's going on before you get to Wellington.

The following pages on the official Vodafone Homegrown website outline all the general event information you should need:

An event timetable will be available at the end of January, when the final line-up announcement has been made.

Bars and Alcohol

Vodafone Homegrown is a licensed event and there will be bars and each of the stages.

Please make sure you bring your ID because everyboy will be checked and wrist banded when you get there. No ID, no drinking.

Vodafone 787 Service

For exclusive Vodafone Homegrown offers and key event info, sign up to the Vodafone 787 service. All you need to do is txt HOMEGROWN to 787 on your Vodafone mobile.

It costs nothing and Vodafone will keep you up-to-date with what's going on before the event, plus hook you up on the day with exclusive offers and key event info.

Website Links

Vodafone Homegrown Official Website
Vodafone Homegrown MySpace Page
Full Gig Listing on muzic.net.nz
Vodafone Homegrown forum on muzic.net.nz

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