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Wairarapa welcomes back iconic music festival

More than 1000 people bopped and jived under Wairarapa’s glorious sun at Summer Hummer on Saturday.
For the first time since 2017, Queen Elizabeth Park was buzzing with families
and music lovers for Masterton’s biggest music event of the year.
The weekend festival attracted a range of performers, including local young beatboxing champion Maceo, and bands Deluxe Edition, Tin Palace, and headliner Kings. The day went off without a hitch, organiser Stella Lennox said.
Kings said it was exciting to be back performing in front of a live audience.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been able to play shows, the last one we did before this was Matariki.
“It’s been really cool to interact with the crowd.”
He said he had especially enjoyed playing for younger people.
“I got some hangi, some raro, three dollars.”
Kings said Wairarapa’s young people had the same energy as a New Year’s Eve crowd.
He said his interest in music began at a young age, banging pots and pans around the kitchen.
Since, he has clocked over 20 million streams on his debut single, Don’t Worry Bout’ It.
Kings said he was so impressed by Wairarapa beatboxer Maceo’s performance that he had to bring him on stage during his set too.
He said they had not rehearsed or planned the performance, it was all improvised.
Masterton had a special place in King’s heart because his daughter’s grandparents still lived in the town.
“She’s half Mastertonian.”
In addition to another album set to be released next year, Kings said he had also been working on a short film called The Path to Kings.
The film would unpack his journey from childhood to the present day, and what he had learned from his father and brother’s struggles.
A band of Wairarapa College students, Captivated, played rock, grunge, and ‘90s tunes to a crowd of adoring locals.
The band played covers and two original songs.
A second student band also from Wairarapa College, Dragonfly, played a range of original rock songs.
Local act Deluxe Edition played a variety of hit songs, encouraging a cluster of attendees to get up and dance.
Summer Hummer was also rocked by SinManSaint, a rock band with seasoned locals and Wellingtonians.
Frontman Blair Ramsey said they had a great time, and the crowd was good.
“We even had one person dancing.”
He said the band would love to come back and perform again, but it was also important to give other bands an opportunity to perform.
Lennox said the event would be coming back next year, and organisers were already discussing who the next headliner would be.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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