What to expect from Coastella 2018

Whenever people ask me what I miss about home and the UK (apart from my friends and family) I always think about festivals. This might seem like a silly thing to miss, but in the UK the range and quality of festivals is vast and great and festival days are some of my most treasured memories. My festival missing is probably not helped by the fact that I have been in New Zealand for almost 18 months now and I have not even attended a single music festival. For this reason I am SO ready and excited to pop my NZ festival cherry for Coastella 2018 which is happening on February 17th on the Kapiti coast just out side Wellington.

Coastella is the kind of festival I love: small and creative with international music, art installations and amazing food! The line-up includes amazing Wellington bands like The Mermaidens and Nadia Reid as well as some awesome further afield acts like The Black Seeds, My Baby and The Young Folk (scroll down for full line up or check out the Coastella website).

So, to get some inside info, I caught up with Coastella Co-Founder Paul Brown, to find out a little more about the festival, what the big plans are for Coastella 2018 and what we can expect from the day:

Lost in Silver Fern Interview with Paul Brown, Coastella 2018 Co-Founder

LISF: When did the festival begin?

PB: Coastella started way back in 2016 and this year will be the third consecutive year.

How many festival goers are you expecting this year?

We’re expecting close to 3500 people for 2018. We had between 2500 and 2700 last year, so the festival is growing slowly and organically from year to year, which is great and this is how we like it. We are hoping for it to grow but we are pacing it. We don’t want it to be too big too quickly.

The festival is held at Southward Car Museum on the Kapiti coast, this is an original venue, why does it work for a festival like Coastella?

The location is a dream spot; an old estate with an vintage car museum located on it. We actually stumbled upon the location by chance. I used to go to the car museum as a child but had kind of forgotten about it and then we ran a smaller gig there in 2015 which sold out and was a huge success so we knew it had potential.

The location is magical because there is an amazing natural amphitheater surrounded by bush. You can see Kapiti Island in the background and there is a lake. Its so picturesque which is exactly how you want a festival to be. The amphitheater really captures the sound too so its ideal.

How did you decide the lineup?

We wanted to provide something for everyone with a mix of genres. In previous years we have had themes, last year we had a loose Irish theme with some bands from Ireland. This year there is no theme as such just a variety of genres. We are on the lookout for artists throughout the year and are always scouting.

We talk to people and influencers in the music industry as well as getting advice from musicians and friends. We try to head to other festivals too for scouting bands. Gerry, the other co-founder is also a musician so knows the industry well.

Is the festival a good way to experience local music?

It is an international music festival but we also attract and champion some great local and national bands like the Mermaidens, Nadia Reid and The Black Seeds. This is very exciting but we also have some wonderful international talent. The band I am personally most excited about this year is the Hot Potato Band, who are from Australia.

What else can people expect on the day?

Expect surprises on the day! Theatrics for example will be a big thing. I suggest you look out for Tiny Town: A 10ft container turned into the smallest theater in the world. This sits four people at any one time and there will be a first in first serve waiting list so get in there quick. Also look for Alien Junk Monsters from Wellington who will be doing a parade in which everything is made from junk, their outfits and instruments.

The food will also be great. There will also be an international food experience with food and beverages from all over the world. Particularly wine, craft beer and craft cider.

What do you think about the range of festivals there are in New Zealand?

I think there is a good mix of festivals in New Zealand as a whole, but the Lower North Island was lacking what we have to offer. Coastella is about a lot more than just the music and thats why we are different.

In terms of other festivals, we love and are inspired by, Wondergarden in Auckland Nostalgia Festival in Christchurch and Port Fairy Festival near Melbourne are probably some good examples of the kind of day we are putting on.

Which artists should we look forward to the most?

I would definitaly look out for Hot Potato Band and Nadia Reid from Wellington. George and Noriko will be great and of course The Black Seeds.  Definitely get excited for Louis Baker’s after party too!

What are your top tips for a great day at Coastella?

Dress up in your festival attire.

Bring a shade umbrella.

Bring your friends

Grab a programme so you don’t miss anything

Get ready for a great time!

So there we have it. Thanks Paul! Hopefully we have some great weather on Feb 17th

Is anyone else going to Coastella? Get in touch and let me know.

All the photos in this article are from last years festival, but watch out here on the blog as I will be posting my photos and a run down of the day after it happens.

Some Coastella 2018 Info for ya:

WHERE: Southwards Car Museum Grounds, Otaihanga Rd, Paraparaumu

WHEN: 17th February 2018: 1PM – 9PM

WEBSITEwww.coastella.co.nz INSTAGRAM: @Coastella FACEBOOK: @Coastella TWITTER: @Coastellanz


The Black Seeds
Hot Potato Band
Nadia Reid
Louis Baker
My Baby
George & Noriko
Jordie Lane & The Sleepers
Glass Vaults
The Young Folk
Frank Burkitt
Niko Ne Zna
Jeep Road
Olmecha Supreme
Anthonie Tonnon
Rhombus in Dub

Thanks for reading and come back soon!

For similar posts you might like to check these ones out:

Experiencing Wellington through Cocktails

Why World of Wearable Art is so important for Wellington

Progressive New Zealand  – How NZ is leading the way into the future

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Josie x