Rock gods bless West­fest

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ROSE REES-OWEN

Soundgar­den, Ju­das Priest and Faith No More are com­ing to Auck­land next month thanks to the ef­forts of a 23-year-old mu­sic pro­moter and his team.

The head­lin­ing acts in­clude some of the big­gest names in rock and metal mu­sic and will be per­form­ing at the mu­sic fes­ti­val West­fest.

Other popular acts in­clude Fall Out Boy, Fren­zal Rhomb and Lamb of God.

It is be­ing put to­gether by West Auck­lan­der Olly Martin and his team at ODR Pro­duc­tions.

Martin and a busi­ness part­ner set up the busi­ness in 2006 when they were play­ing in a band in Palmer­ston North as teenagers.

‘‘Be­ing in a band you are a pro­moter of five or six peo­ple. There’s al­ways that per­son who takes con­trol and or­gan­ises peo­ple – gets them from A to B. Per­haps I’m not good at it but I’ve al­ways done it,’’ he says.

He en­joys pro­mot­ing more than play­ing mu­sic and he says it is very re­ward­ing work

‘‘It’s not so much the money at all. It’s lit­er­ally the more ef­fort you put in the more you get back. If you push some­thing re­ally hard then you can see the re­wards.’’

He be­gan pro­mot­ing small ‘‘grass-roots shows’’ but busi­ness be­gan pick­ing up in 2013 when ODR pro­moted the band All Time Low, which played a sold-out show at the Pow­ers­ta­tion.

It was also around that time the idea for the fes­ti­val took shape. The in­au­gu­ral West­fest was held last year at Vec­tor Arena.

Well-known bands Korn, Rob Zom­bie and Me­gadeath played to more than 10,000 peo­ple.

Martin is able to se­cure the big name acts by ‘‘piggy-back­ing’’ on the Aus­tralian mu­sic fes­ti­val Sound­wave.

He says the bands are al­ready in the area so with­out too much ef­fort or ex­pense they make the trip to New Zealand as well.

Martin was en­cour­aged by the Face­book page Bring Sound­wave to New Zealand, which is fol­lowed by more than 9500 peo­ple.

He saw the de­mand for it and had built up enough con­tacts in the mu­sic in­dus­try to go ahead and do it.

‘‘We thought ‘ why not?’ Peo­ple want it, so we took a crack at it and it seems to be do­ing OK.’’

While try­ing to de­cide on a name, he laughed with his busi­ness part­ner that it would pre­dom­i­nantly be West Auck­lan­ders at­tend­ing be­cause of the metal and rock line-up.

It was also orig­i­nally planned for The Trusts Arena in Hen­der­son. They moved it to Vec­tor Arena be­cause they needed a big­ger venue and now it is off to Mt Smart Sta­dium as they al­ways in­tended it to be an out­doors fes­ti­val.

But the name and brand of the fes­ti­val has stuck. He says a bet­ter name for it might be SouthWest­fest as a large num­ber of ticket sales are from the South Is­land.

Go to cen­tral­leader.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to see head­lin­ing act Soundgar­den play

Photo: ROSE REES-OWEN

Young pro­moter: Olly Martin, 23, is one of the main peo­ple be­hind the al­ter­na­tive mu­sic fes­ti­val West­fest which is bring­ing big name acts to New Zealand.

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