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Festival brings a classic feel

Summer Hummer returns today with what looks to be a fantastic kick-off to the sunny season.

Headlining rapper Kings will perform alongside local and national bands for a gold coin entry.

The classic Wairarapa event is returning for the first time since 2017.

Former mayor Bob Francis organised the original event in 1997 to make a music festival accessible for everyone.

I’ve never been to a multi-day music festival before, not Rhythm and Vines, 121 Festival, Bay Dreams, or WOMAD, because they always seem too far away or expensive.

Even though I should be their target demographic, I’ve either not had a car or not had a spare $300 at the time.

Besides, the marketing makes them look so fun and youthful, but camping in a muddy field for three days with a bunch of Otago University party animals would surely have its downsides.

And the single-day festivals like Laneway and Homegrown never fall at the right time of year for me to feel like partying hard.

A global pandemic also rudely interrupted my early twenties, which didn’t help my festival-going agenda.

But Summer Hummer is different.

For one, you can’t get more classic than an event founded by Masterton and refereeing legend Bob Francis.

It’s filled with local bands and has a storied history of legendary Kiwi lineups going back through the years.

Secondly, unlike other one-day festivals, it doesn’t cost $100.

It has a gold coin entry, or $5 for families, which means you need quite a good excuse not to go.

It is so cheap that no one in Masterton should miss it due to cost.

Thirdly, it’s right in the middle of Masterton; for many, it is a quiet, strolling distance from home.

There’s no need for drunk driving; you’re not stuck if you want to go home.

People of all ages can come: From young kids to older people; Summer Hummer should have something for everybody.

You might even have an opportunity to crowd surf with Mayor Gary Caffell.

December is also the right time of year.

It is a time when the end of the working year is in sight.

Energy levels are tapering off, it’s getting warm outside, school is finishing, and for many people, Christmas leave approaches.

The heavy lifting of 2022 is almost over.

The beginning of December is a time to party.

At the end of three years of pandemic, lockdowns, cancellations, postponements and boredom, every festival feels like a triumph.

Masterton’s classic festival returns, and I hope we can enjoy the music with our families, friends, and neighbours.

There is so much to do this weekend; from Truckstop Greytown, Solway Brickfest, the national Jetsprints, and Summer Hummer, Wairarapa is the place to be.

Summer Hummer should be a lovely, easy, fun day in Masterton’s beautiful Queen Elizabeth Park.

This week has been patchy on the weather front, hot in the morning, then rain in the afternoon.

The forecast is for patches of cloud and moderate temperature, but even if it rains, I don’t think it will dampen our spirits.

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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