Whanganui music fans are celebrating the announcement of a two-day music festival to be held in the region this summer.

A Gathering In The Forest Festival will be held near Whanganui over Waitangi Day weekend in 2017.

The two-day festival – at an undisclosed location – will be a hometown event for the Pussywhippers and Castlecliff Lights who will join more than 20 bands from Auckland and Wellington.

The Pusswhippers will join Castlecliff Lights as hometown acts at A Gathering in the Forest

The Pusswhippers will join Castlecliff Lights as hometown acts at A Gathering in the Forest. Photo/ Stella Gardiner


The festival is being hosted by Wellington’s Eyegum Music Collective which has been putting on events in houses, bowls clubs, community halls and bars since 2013.

A Gathering In The Forest is its most ambitious project yet and Eyegum’s Joel Cosgrove said the collective had spent much of the year planning it.

“We’ve got most of the bands confirmed and just sorting out a couple of the others,” he said.

The location will be revealed to ticket holders closer to the date but it a short drive from Whanganui and was the perfect spot for organisers.

“Having somewhere that’s three hours from Wellington, six hours from Auckland. It’s isolated so there’s not too many people to annoy,” Cosgrove said.

The festival was announced almost a year to the day since the closure of Space Monster – a music venue which had helped build Whanganui’s reputation as regular stop for touring bands.

“I played at Space Monster a few times. It’s a really special and important place.”

Whanganui’s Georgie Ormond has been working on the festival with Eyegum and said was a boost for Whanganui’s music scene and would help keep Whanganui in the minds of bands on the touring circuit.

Half the ticket revenue from the 250 tickets available will go to the musicians.

A Gathering in the Forest – somewhere near Whanganui – February 4 & 5:

Skux (AKL), Womb (WGTN), Beatcomber (WGTN), Goya (WGTN), Madeira (AKL), Jon Lemmon (WGTN), Soccer Practice (AKL), Heavy (AKL), A Girl Named Mo (WGTN), Dbldbl (AKL), Pussywhippers (WANG), Trip Pony (AKL), Castlecliff Lights (WANG), Levi Patel and Suren Unka (AKL), Draghound (WGTN), Hiboux (WGTN), Mothers Dearest (WGTN), Sea Views (AKL), Happy Plaster (WGTN), The Pleasure Majenta (AKL). More to be confirmed.

Prices start at $60 + bf. From January 1 tickets will cost $100