Tag Archives: Festival Life

been | One Love 2020

One Love 2020 kicked off the new decade with one of the best line-ups in the festival’s history. Held in the sunny Tauranga Domain over Auckland Anniversary weekend, New Zealand’s favourite Reggae festival delivered on all fronts.

Another year, another exhilarating music party, featuring an incredible array of international big hitters and local talent. Good vibes, hot sun, Reggae & Roots music, and pure love sums up my One Love experience which kicked off on Saturday 25 January with a high of 29C and nothing but clear sky and a light breeze, and 20,000 people just having a good time.

The scorching heat didn’t keep us from dancing, while others preferred sitting down and chilling out; watching from the edges of the dance floor. Water mist canons were placed around the domain, a much-needed relief as people moved and danced.

International stars such as Sean Paul and Shaggy, as well as Kiwi favourite’s Katchafire , L.A.B, Sons Of Zion, Nesian Mystic, and Fiji were among the 26 artists and bands to perform over the two fun-filled days.

Sean Paul’s dance hall goodness included banger after banger took us back to the good times early 2000s with the dutty wine dance moves.

Shaggy our favourite Mr Lover Lover had the crowd singing and dancing along to every song; each one of them serving the Jamaican flavour.

My favourite Bay musos L.A.B owned the stage on the second day. Saying they deserved to close out the festival is an understatement, they carved up the stage and the crowd’s reaction to the live performance was undeniable.

We had the pleasure of Nesian Mystik reuniting on the One Love 2020 stage – they’re a group who owned Kiwi summers in their day and when they hit the stage, it was like they never left. We’ve missed you guys!

Other highlights included Jackson Owens’ joining Sons of Zion on stage as their new vocalist – I’m looking forward to seeing more of what he brings to the band. They certainly knew how to get the crowd moving.

Jaro Local is a fast-rising Pacific star, making waves internationally with his unique blend of modern island music and reggae. He had great crowd interaction which they repaid by knowing his music and songs.

THIRD WORLD is one of the longest-lived Reggae bands of all time, and one of Jamaica’s most consistently popular crossover acts among international audiences. Mixing in elements of R&B, funk, pop, and rock and, dancehall and rap, Third World’s style has been described as “reggae-fusion” – We certainly felt their energy on Day One; what an epic experience!

Stan walker with his Yummy challenge was better in real life than Instagram also when he was joined on stage with Hamo Dell and Ria Hall and Tawaroa Kawana; there was no shortage of pure talent in their performance.

International reggae stars Fiji had the crowd vibing out with Sprawnbreezie and having the crowd singing word for word.

Each one of the performers did justice over the weekend – there was plenty to love about One Love Festival 2020. We can’t wait to see what you have in store for us at One Love 2021.

Images by Meenal Maharaj.

Photos + interviews coming soon.

SFS | 5 mins with Jess B

NZ Hip Hop Queen, Jess B is quickly making a name for herself on the NZ music scene. Racking up over 450,000 streams, she has quickly established herself as a powerful festival and international support act. Catch her in her coordinates as she makes her full live Splore debut this February.

Describe your perfect summer music festival in three words…
Sunny, colourful, collective

Name the top three artists who would make up your ideal festival line-up
Missy Elliot
Erykah Badu

What are you looking forward to most about playing the summer festival circuit?
Performing is something I love doing, and I also love to connect with people who connect with my music in any way 🙂

In your opinion, what’s this year’s Summer Anthem?
Toast by Koffee

Out of all your tunes, which one is the one that ‘never fails’?
Take It Down ft. Rubi Du

What’s are the top 3 tracks on your Spotify playlist?
Depends what playlist!

What’s your personal ‘guilty pleasure’ track?
I don’t have any guilty pleasures. I like what I like!

What’s your social media of choice?

Who do you follow and where?
I follow no one anywhere, I am trying to create my own lane 😛

What’s your go-to festival outfit?
A co-ordinate set of some sort.

Word association:
MusiC – life
Festival – fun
Camping – family
Fashion – expression
Roadie – friends

Situated in a beguiling bay on the shores of Tapapakanga Regional Park, Splore is an annual, boutique and arts festival like no other. Described as New Zealand’s greatest dress up party, this three-day entertainment extravaganza promises a good time, good vibes, and hot showers! Better yet, this magical music festival is just a short drive from Auckland city.

Splore 2019 takes place 21-24 February. The 2019 edition of the festival has SOLD OUT.

been | WOMAD New Zealand 2018

Once a year, New Plymouth transforms from an idyllic, picturesque city near middle Earth, into the globe’s largest platform for World Music – WOMAD festival. The three-day festival returned from 16-18 March, with performers, arts and crafts,ad and cuisines from across the world. There were performers from six of the seven continents on earth, all with a common goal; making music, the universal language.

Day one opened with a bang with Brazilian collective, Bixiga 70 (interview coming soon!). Their progressive Afrobeats set the tone for days to come and got the crowd on their feet. We kept going until Thievery Corporation who closed on the Bowl stage with their fusion of sounds – with everything from Jazz to Indian classic, Middle Eastern and electronica; they were the perfect way to close the day and had the masses dancing to their to their tune.

Brazilian collective, Bixiga 70

Thievery Corporation

Auckland 5-piece, The Miltones made their WOMAD debut on the Brooklands stage. Wearing Brook Tyson (as mentioned in our #SFS chat), front-woman Milly Tabak owned the stage and seduced the crowd with her sultry tones. Their bluesy, folk rock ballads were a hit with the crowd that had gathered for this early set.

The Miltones

Over at the Taste the World stage, Ghanaian goddess, Jojo Abot cooked up a remix of a traditional curry. Between cutting and mixing, she offered the audience a glimpse into life growing up in Ghana and the inspiration behind her music.

Jojo Abot & Jax Hamilton

After a mesmerising show at this year’s Auckland Arts Festival (read our review), Aldous Harding’s mellifluous performance ensured she will be missed as she takes a touring break to work on her new album.

Aldous Harding

There was no time to nurse the hangover on day two with St Patrick’s Day and shades of green in full swing.

We started our day with the stunning Anoushka Shankar and her talented band. They graced the Bowl stage, euphoniously performing songs from her latest album, Land of Gold. Inspired by the Syrian War, the raw emotion behind each track was beautifully transmitted.

Anoushka Shankar

Kamasi Washington was up next. The international Jazz superstar, performed tracks from his album, The Epic. Performing with his band, we were treated to a new form of Jazz, intertwined with hip hop, RnB and progressive music.

Kamisa Washington

Jojo Abot followed later on in the day with her fierce raw enigmatic performance on the Gables stage. Her powerful voice, married with Ghanian and western beats, was the perfect blend to get the crowd jumping. Performing singles from her albums FYFYAWOTO and NGIWUNKULUNKULU, it was a performance we won’t forget easily!

Jojo Abot

Day two was headlined by Havana meets Kingston, a soundclash that joins up Roots, Reggae, Dub and dancehall with Son, Salsa and Rumba. Australian producer, Mista Savona brings together members of the Buena Vista Social Club and some of Cuba’s finest musicians to create an experience that transports you instantly to the streets of Jamaica and Cuba.

Havana meets Kingston

All good things must come to an end, and what an end it was. With a long drive back to Auckland, we only had time for one act on Day 3. We treated ourselves to Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band on the Bowl stage. Their chemistry on stage was electric; transpiring through the performance and into the audience who didn’t stop moving. The hour-long performance felt like a celebration of life and was the perfect way to end our WOMAD 2018 experience.

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band

Thank you, WOMAD and Thank you, New Plymouth – we’ll be back for more next year!

Check out more photographs from our experience: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Photographs by Vikesh Patel and Meenal Maharaj. All photographs were taken on a Nikon D850 #IAmNewZealand