11 Mar 2017

Hamilton's underground music scene is alive and well

From RNZ Music, 3:00 pm on 11 March 2017

Contenders Photo: Jana Whitta

‘Hamiltron, City Of The Future' - or so it has been coined.  Is there more to Hamilton than The Riff Raff statue and Holdens? Often criticised as lacking in culture, and generally getting a bad rap from the rest of Aotearoa, the local music scene is one that has come and gone over the years, for reasons unknown.

In the heart of the Waikato, Hamilton is a major city that boasts one of the country's biggest universities, and a large student population, but it often struggles to find an audience for its local music talent, and to attract other acts from across New Zealand and beyond to add it to their touring circuit.

Future City aims to change that. It's a DIY underground music festival sprinkled with acts from bigger cities, but focused on local talent. Jana Whitta attended the festival, and sat down with some of the stalwarts of the Hamilton music community (and some fresh-faced newcomers), in an attempt to uncover the reasons behind the music scene's frequent changes.

Glass Shards

Glass Shards Photo: Jana Whitta

Festival organiser Rob Shirlow runs the publication behind Future City, Hamilton Underground Press. He says the reason for the festival is “To make something cool happen, to make something bigger happen, and get out there bit more. And for people locally and a bit further afield to know Hamilton's got something cool going on, and we’ve got our own bands that are really, really neat”  


Elider Photo: Jana Whitta