Go Live Festival | Gig Review

Written by on 29 July 2021

On the cool Saturday that was July 24th, music lovers from all over Ōtautahi congregated in the symbolic Christchurch Town Hall to catch twenty local bands or solo artists performing across five different stages for an event like never before. The all-ages show brought together a most eclectic vibe to the incredible night.

Little Fang rocking the RDU stage. Photos by Aaron Lee.

Produced by the Christchurch City Council and supported by some iconic New Zealand brands and radio stations, this event exceeded expectations; assembling different demographics from 90s Pumpkinhead fans to lovers of up and coming artists such as There’s A Tuesday. The sonic distinctions between all musical acts ensured a diverse crowd in age and style, brought together in one place with the same intent of enjoying local talent.

Local post-punk band Marsha. Photos by Aaron Lee.

The Christchurch Town Hall’s iconic walls were transformed into five stages, catering to whatever each individual was hoping to experience on the eventful night. An eclectic mix of surf rock, hip hop, indie rock and stripped-down folk created a beautiful dissimilarity of sweaty headbangers strolling past seated listeners enjoying a stripped-back performance by The Raddlers with their loved ones in the Acoustic Lounge.

Joe Sampson performs on the RDU Stage. Photos by Aaron Lee.

The character of ‘Go Live’ was perfect for a frosty Ōtautahi winter evening as it encapsulated the nature of a festival, with many people in the crowd finding their favourite space and staying there the entire night, others migrating from stage to stage attempting to capture the whole experience.

Big Sima controlling the crowd at the RDU stage. Photos by Aaron Lee.

One of the highlights of the event was Ōtautahi based quartet Dolphin Friendly, taking on the Radio Hauraki Stage in the James Hay Theatre, putting their comprehensive style on display, emulating psych reggae, diverging into a Beastie Boys-esque sound that transitioned into an original song that managed to arrange Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’ chorus into the middle. The show changed pace in the best way when the boys brought out Big Sima to perform their latest collaboration, ‘Neverland’.

The significance of the Go Live Festival is incomparable and will be for many, a most memorable part of this dreary winter in the south. An affordable event that came when most needed, bringing all walks of life together in the central city for a night to remember. The success story of the event will hopefully be worthy of an annual tradition, if so I’m already looking forward to it.

Crowd goers and Little Fang. Photos by Aaron Lee.

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