Widely regarded as the Waikato’s greatest rock and roll export, The Datsuns are heading back to Hamilton to headline a two-day showcase of local music.
The second Future City Festival will be staged at three Hamilton venues on Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10.
Securing the services of The Datsuns, who have topped the album charts in New Zealand and broke into the top 20 in the United Kingdom album charts is somewhat of a coup for festival organisers.
The four-piece group, who have been compared to the likes of Led Zeppelin, The White Stripes, The Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs formed in Cambridge in 2000 and made their name with memorable gigs in venues such as Hamilton’s Ward Lane Tavern in the early 2000s.
They hit the big time when they were featured on the cover of the revered British music magazine NME in 2002.
A selection of established Hamilton-based bands will also appear at the festival, including 5 Girls, Glass Shards, Cheshire Grimm and Date Month Year.
So too will some newer acts, namely shoegaze popsters Bloodlux, lo-fi indie rockers Bitter Defeat, and a debut performance from System Corporation, a band consisting of three quarters of Hamilton band Rumpus Room and two members of The Datsuns.
Auckland bands also feature heavily, with indie pop of The Beths and The Scones, plus surf-punks Dad Jokes, and experimental solo artist Pumice.
A further 11 yet-to-be-announced bands will also play at the festival, making a total of 23 bands performing at Nivara Lounge, Creative Waikato and the Meteor Theatre over the course of two nights.
The inaugural Future City was held in March this year and was a great success.
It is brainchild of Arpie Shirlow, who started Hamilton Underground Press in 2015 in an attempt to help breathe more life into the city’s burgeoning music scene by organising shows and publishing zines, podcasts and online articles.
“Future City is a way of crystallising what we do, which is to try and support the local scene by putting on bands that we like and support them as best we can,” Shirlow said. “Last year’s festival was a great success, so this year we have stepped it up a bit.
“We are very proud of the mix of bands that will play, and were absolutely stoked to have The Datsuns back in Hamilton. They will play last on the Saturday night, so it should be quite a spectacular finale.’
The festival schedule will runs from around 7pm each evening until midnight. Once one band finishes playing, there’s a five-minute gap before the next band starts at the next venue, which makes it possible to walk between venues and watch nearly every single band.
“There’s a tiny bit of overlap this year, but it’s still possible to see nearly all the bands. People really enjoyed that part last year, walking between venues, catching some fresh air and meeting new people. It was lovely really, the social aspect that came from this community of music fans.
“The venues are all-ages friendly too. Last year we had parents bring their teens along too, which was pretty amazing. It was a great atmosphere and we can’t wait to do it all again next March.”
A second announcement will be made in the coming weeks. Weekend passes, which cover entry to all venues on both nights, are on sale now at undertheradar.co.nz at $59. Single day tickets will be released early in the new year.