Christchurch’s Nostalgia festival and the Kapiti Coast’s Coastella joined forces to ensure their futures as independent, unique and innovative music events. The partnership is testament to their determination and resilience in a market that is increasingly dominated by large music companies.
Coastella Festival co-founders Paul Brown and Gerry Paul started their venture in 2016, after putting on a successful Trinity Roots concert at the Tuatara Brewery in Paraparaumu. Audience members said they loved having cultural entertainment and arts on their backdoor, which inspired Gerry and Paul to start a family-friendly music festival on the Kapiti Coast. The pair reached out to Nostalgia festival organiser Johnny Gibson, who chimed in with some great advice from his experience of running the Christchurch festival. They found that they shared many of the same values; creative collaboration, event sustainability and uniting communities. Since then Johnny, Gerry and Paul have become mentors to each other, as well as sharing resources and skills between them.
Attracting international acts is one of the many challenges the festival organisers face, but by working together they can make it more worthwhile for those artists to make the trip. A couple of years ago, the trio got together over a few beers and got to work; “We sat down and made a wish list of who we’d love to get to our festivals and who we’d love to introduce to our audience,” says Gerry.
It’s an ever evolving list and sometimes it takes a few years for the stars to align, but we’re really delighted about the acts we managed to secure.
This year festival goers in both cities, will be looking forward to catching two notable Australian acts; Mama Kin Spender and C.W. Stoneking, as well as acclaimed New Zealand band Trinity Roots. Gerry, who manages the music programming, works closely with the international artists to ensure their time in New Zealand is a unique and worthwhile experience. Both festivals value the importance of programming emerging local artists, shown this year through bands The Beths, The Miltones and Soaked Oats.
Summer is packed with music festivals so for Nostalgia’s Johnny Gibson, it’s important for both events to stand out visually. With a few years of graphic design experience under his belt, Johnny worked closely with Coastella on developing their branding and festival identity. Along with award-winning creative agency Strategy, the team created a colourful, fresh and graphic new look for Coastella.
Their collaboration is crucial in order for both festivals to survive in a highly competitive music event market. In 2018 New Year’s eve festival Rhythm & Vines was sold to Live Nation, the world’s largest live music company. Similarly, Wellington’s Jim Beam Homegrown relies on a huge alcohol sponsor to keep it afloat. Coastella and Nostalgia are staunchly independent, which allows them to spend more time on creating boutique festival experiences for punters and musicians.
Festival goers won’t be disappointed by the two festival’s unique offerings - from organic food producers to locally made beer, and of course plenty of outstanding music from here and abroad.