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By Martyn• 29 Mar 2016
On Saturday April 2nd, the Jim Beam Homegrown Festival will once again fill Wellington's beautiful waterfront with over 44 acts performing across six stages to a crowd of thousands. Held annually since 2008, the festival is always a great chance to check out a wide range of established New Zealand bands, DJs, rappers and solo artists under what often tends to be sunny conditions. Running between 1pm to 11pm, it's a long day, but one well worth it for attendees. If you love New Zealand music, Jim Beam Homegrown is one of those place where memories are made, and as well as hearing your old favourites, you'll probably discover a new musical love or two. To purchase tickets or find out more, visit Homegrown's official website here. Right, let's work our way through the stages.
Jim Beam Rock Stage: Located right down Jervois Quay, The Jim Beam Rock stage is well, your place for good old classic sounding Kiwi rock and metal. This year the day kicks off with emerging Auckland rock supergroup City of Souls (featuring members of Blindspott, Blacklistt and 8 Foot Sativa) followed by Wellington sludge metal heroes Beastwars and classic Kiwi garage rockers The Datsuns. After that we have Christchurch pop rock stalwarts The Feelers, newer rock blood Villainy and I Am Giant, with heavy rockers Blacklistt and Devilskin closing off the day. It's gonna be a day of heavy riffs, big hooks and pounding rhythms.
Locally Sourced Stage: Just down from the Jim Beam Rock stage, the Locally Sourced stage is your place to hear, you guessed it, newer local bands. It also includes the markets for the day, so drop by for food and shopping. Ladyfruit, Tyson Smith and Dugtrio will be your entertainment for the first half of the day, giving you a mixture of soul, blues and synth-funk vibes. Later in the day Lord Echo, BT & The Vibes and Troy Kingi will be sharing some serious boogie, blues-rock and funk vibes before The Toblerone Sessions close things out on a soul/funk tip.
Urban Stage: If you like folk pop, alternative RnB and hip-hop, the Urban Stage is the place for you. Situated just before the waterfront lagoon, it's a fun stage with food and drink available. On the day it's going to be effectively split into two segments. For the first half of the day Maala, Jamie McDell and Avalanche City will be presenting some poppy and folky sunshine sounds. Afterwards, with kiwi soul singer/rapper Ladi6 kicking off, the stage goes into a serious RnB/hip-hop mode. After Ladi6, well-known chart toppers P-Money, Home Brew, Savage and Stan Walker will do their thing, with intermission DJ sets from Wellington's very own club king DJ Marek. Expect a lot of classic New Zealand music from the last decade.
Lab Stage: On the other side of the lagoon, it's a similar mixed vibe over at the Lab Stage. After X-Factor star Beau Monga leads the charge, he will be followed by RnB/rap acts Donell Lewis ft Wrd Up, then some very localised New Zealand rap vibes from Team Dynamite and Average Rap Band. Later that day in a special moment, the loved Anika Moa is performing a special set with the equally loved Tiki Taane, afterwards Opshop frontman Jason Kerrison will play a solo set, leaving Sola Rosa Soundsystem to close the event with some wonky beats.
Lipton Ice Electronic Stage: Just around the corner from the LAB stage (near Te Papa), the Lipton Ice Electronic Stage is your place for dance music and DJ culture. House, drum and bass, trap and EDM look like the vibe for the day, so make sure your wear your sensible shoes. Cymbol 303 & This Pale Fire and The Beat Mafia are the first two acts of the day, followed by Dick Johnson and Dan Aux, making for a trajectory headed straight to partysville. Afterwards, The Peacekeepers vs K-Lab, Trei feat Tali, Tiki and Thomas Oliver and State of Mind will close things out with some serious drum and bass vibes.
Jim Beam Dub & Roots Stage: At the very end of the festival grounds lies the Jim Beam Dub & Roots Stage, the place for, as the name suggests, New Zealand Dub and Roots. It's a tremendously fun stage, as made clear by the line-up. Things start hot with sing-a-long favourites Katchafire, and only get hotter with funky rockers AHoriBuzz. After that, Sonz of Zion will keep the reggae vibes alive, before David Dallas shows us why he's one of the most popular rappers in the country. With Sunshine Sound System handling interlude DJing, the evening will close out with performances from The Black Seeds, Kora, and in a huge finale, Shapeshifter. Great vibes for all.