The posters are going up and the countdown has begun with just over four weeks until Kaitaia MetalFest 2 hits the Far North town next month.

Event organiser Francis Malley has booked five bands to play at Collards Tavern on May 4. May is also New Zealand Music Month.

On the bill are Auckland power-metallers Forsaken Age, ISM, Whangārei grindcore specialists Eolithic Relapse along with SmokeFree Rockquest finalists Silvera and Cherry Blind. A power trio from the Kaitaia College music class is also set to feature on the undercard as special guest act.

Malley, who's day job is the sports reporter for local paper, The Northland Age, has been busy over the past few weeks promoting the event while co-organiser Rob Gerritsen from Paihia has been pumping MetalFest 2 both on social media and on the ground in the Bay of Islands.


Both men said they were blown away by the show of support for the event from the local business community.

The hosting venue will put on dinner for all the bands, various local bakeries and cafes will provide brunch the morning after, and Kaitaia gas station will help offset the bands' costs in coming north with fuel vouchers.

Elsewhere, local manufacturers of artisan chocolate and hot chilli sauce have donated produce to be given away on the night, a Kerikeri music shop has donated record vouchers, and a Kaitaia surf shop is donating T-shirts and coffee vouchers which will be up for grabs on the night as lucky draws and spot prizes.

Malley said he doesn't stand to make a cent with all profits from ticket sales - once expenses have been taken out – are to be shared between the performing artists.

The plan was to make MetalFest a must-do event for both locals and metal fans throughout the country while doubling as a showcase of Far North hospitality.

The upcoming gig is a follow on from the extremely successful inaugural Kaitaia MetalFest at Waipapakauri Hotel in May 2017, co-headlined by Wellington's Bullet Belt and Waipu teenage thrash metal sensations, Alien Weaponry.

The latter have since gone on to become one of New Zealand's biggest and best loved bands in the world, Malley said.

The main reason to organise a heavy metal concert came from the lack of variety in the live music scene in Kaitaia.


"I used to have so much fun attending metal gigs when I was younger. You grow up, but you never lose your love for the genre or the community. But, I've either been too busy, or simply just can't afford to go to see good metal acts play in Auckland."

■ Tickets to Kaitaia MetalFest 2 at Collards Tavern on May 4, cost $15 pre-sale (from, or $20 at the door.