Kiwi music giants Six60 are returning to Western Springs next February and aim to raise the bar again following their record-breaking concert at New Zealand's biggest venue last summer.
The Dunedin five-piece this year made history by becoming the first New Zealand band to headline the Auckland outdoor venue with more than 50,000 tickets selling out in break-neck speed.
Now they are set to do it all again – only bigger and better – with another appearance at Western Springs confirmed for February 22, when they will showcase material from their highly-anticipated forthcoming new album following the release last week of the first single The Greatest.
The five-time New Zealand Music Award winners are determined to prove they belong on the biggest stage in the country and eager to soak up more of the atmosphere of the occasion after the first show passed them by in a whirl of hype and excitement.
"I'm really looking forward to doing it again because all of the shock and awe that was in me when I was out there," explains frontman Matiu Walters.
"It was such a weird feeling getting out there, and the first four songs I was just super hyped up and some of the show I can't even remember.
"Now that we've got that experience we can be more in the moment and be in more control, so I'm looking forward to doing that again and the challenge of actually trying to execute a better show.
"It's a different vibe now - that whole 'this is the first time' thing is gone now - so I feel like we have to do a better job of convincing people again that we belong there."
Rather than be seen as an anomaly, the group hopes another ground-breaking performance can inspire other Kiwi bands to punch above their weight, shake up the local music industry and help change the perception that only major overseas acts belong in stadium-sized venues.
In keeping with the bold sentiment of the new song – which was inspired by an iconic photo of The Beatles meeting Muhammad Ali in 1964 – Walters draws a comparison with New Zealand's greatest sporting team and is adamant: If our country's best rugby players can be relied on to draw huge crowds, so too can our top musicians.
"We're inspired by trying to challenge ourselves and at the same time we're trying to challenge New Zealand music," Walters says.
"If annually the All Blacks can come and play at Eden Park and sell 50,000 to 60,000 tickets, it should be the same for New Zealand music, whoever's holding that mantle.
"New Zealand music should be listened to in that way – it should be epic, we should be proud of it."
The band isn't content with filling Western Springs once a year either and makes it clear they have greater ambitions.
Having supported the likes of UK pop star Ed Sheeran throughout no less than six huge shows here – including three hometown gigs at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium – Six60 know there's plenty of work still to be done.
"Why is it that Ed Sheeran can come here and do it? People make a big deal out of us playing Western Springs with 50,000 but he did like 200,000 people – he did that Dunedin stadium three times.
"So we haven't hit that ceiling. There's still more for us to achieve there and we want to get to that place but we're trying to."
The group have arranged another bumper line-up of international and local artists to share the stage, including Australia's Ocean Alley, Kiwi singer songwriter Mitch James, rap duo Church + AP, DJ Soraya, and newcomers Niko Walters, Paige, and Vayne.
Although just the one show has been announced so far, Six60 are not ruling out playing a second night at Western Springs if the demand is there.
"Anything is possible," says guitarist Ji Fraser. "Our booking agents all have big grand plans but we're just trying to sell this one again and then we'll see what happens," adds Walters.
What: Playing Western Springs
When: February 22 - Tickets available from August 8 through Ticketmaster.co.nz