On a cloudy Saturday, 15 bands along with a variety of speakers and volunteers packed into Zeal in Hamilton to engage and perform over 10 hours and raise both funds and awareness for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.
Real Slam Poetry MC'd the event, which kicked off with local up-and-comers STATIC in the main foyer around 1:30pm and didn't conclude until after 11pm, with Fire For Glory wrapping up the event.
The brainchild of Fire For Glory frontman Josh Pinho, in conjunction with Lily Mou (Downfall Productions, REI), the all-ages festival ran smoothly throughout the day, with a variety of acts volunteering their time and services to the event - some travelling from as far as Christchurch to take part. The festival successfully raised more than $1,000 for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand with all bands performing for free.
Many brave speakers got up and shared their stories, their struggles, and their hearts with the all-ages crowd. Topics of the discussions ranged from anxiety and depression to the importance of remembering to nurture your inner child and embracing that which makes us unique.
There were tears, there were heavy and emotional moments, but more importantly, there was such a feeling of love and support for one another.
As Bad Sport put it on their Facebook page,
We felt so much love in a room full of strangers who are now family. Look after each other, love each other.
Above all, one thing was stressed - that help is always available, and it's important to korero.
The Band Lineup:
One Of Everything
She Loves You
Cold x War
Seas of Conflict
Fire For Glory