In the middle of the Tirau plains, way off the main road, there's a hand-painted pink sign pointing the way to Neilstock.
The drive down from Auckland has been tense, hold-ups on the Southern involving an overturned truck meant an extra hour tacked on the journey. Everything was supposed to start at midday, but now it's close to 3pm and fearing a good part of the day's fun is over, finally arriving is a sweet relief.
But for a music festival that was supposed to be in full swing, it's really quiet. There are people straggling around tents and cars, drinking beer and hanging out. But there's no music. At least, nothing that sounds like the lineup of rock bands promised.
Ambling up the hill towards the 'stages' - a couple of shipping containers and two truck trailer bases side-by-side, it's clear everything's still being set up. It's now close to 4pm.
The 'guy' who does the check thing with the mics is still saying 'one, two,' to the other guy manning the desk. Neil of Neilstock is easily found - a troop of small dogs are running around his feet.
Things are running late, he says, but a few hours ago we didn't even have this, nodding in the general direction of the stages.
That's Neilstock for you. A festival-cum-party that's been running for the last 10 years. Neil says before it was Neilstock, it was a party - a Guy Fawkes thing. Then he started inviting bands.
The first year, he had the winners of the Smokefree Rockquest play. Then bands invited a few more bands and it grew from there. People that attend are mates, or mates of mates. As far as publicity goes, there's virtually none - a Facebook page is about it but "it's an organic thing", says Neil.
When the day finally kicks off, the wind is whipping through, it's grey and cold. The paddocks are rough-hewn and tough, scrubby ground makes short work of flimsy canvas sneakers.
My get up is ridiculous, I don't have enough warm clothing on and I haven't brought anything decent with me. The farmers wandering about in Swanndries and gum-boots are far better equipped.
I look like I belong back in Grey Lynn at the sort of festival selling coffee from coffee carts and buying my lunch from designer food stalls.
But the crowd isn't limited to farmers and Grey Lynn-types. There are dreaded-headed hippies, rockers covered in tattoos and even a few men in particularly skimpy shorts. Among it all, there are babies and small dogs, who band together to form a roaming, adventurous gang. Occasionally, one is scooped up for a dance.
This is Neilstock in all its glory - a loose affair that operates under the steam of Neil himself. And of Neil: the man remains an enigma - he won't give his last name and the only clue to his 'identity' is that he works in production and design for a prestigious New Zealand label.
He doesn't do it for the money. Entry costs $40 but that's just to cover the cost of production and to make sure the bands get paid.
Which is about the only thing guaranteed at Neilstock, where the motto is "anything goes".