Francis Malley has been busy promoting next month's Kaitaia MetalFest 2.

The posters are going up and the countdown has begun with less than four weeks until Kaitaia MetalFest 2 hits the town.

Organiser Francis Malley said he had booked five bands to play at Collard Tavern on Saturday, May 4 — Auckland power-metallers Forsaken Age, ISM, Whangārei grindcore specialists Eolithic Relapse, and SmokeFreeRockQuest Battle of the Bands finalists Silvera and Cherry Blind.

A power trio from Kaitaia College would feature on the undercard as special guest act.


Mr Malley, whose day job is sports reporting for the Northland Age, had been busy promoting the event over recent weeks, while co-organiser Rob Gerritsen, from Paihia, had been pumping MetalFest 2 on social media and on the ground in the Bay of Islands.

Both said they had been "blown away" by the show of support from the local business community, from feeding the musicians to providing petrol vouchers.

Local manufacturers of artisan chocolate and hot chilli sauce had donated products to be given away on the night (best-dressed, best haircut, etc), a Kerikeri music shop had donated record vouchers, and a Kaitaia surf shop was donating T-shirts and coffee vouchers as lucky draws and spot prizes.

"The generosity from the Far North's small business community has been overwhelming," Mr Malley said, adding that, as a fan rather than a promoter, he didn't stand to make a cent; all proceeds after expenses were paid would be shared between the performers.

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

Last year's extremely successful inaugural Kaitaia MetalFest, at the Waipapakauri Hotel, had been co-headlined by Wellington's Bullet Belt and Waipu teenage thrash metal sensations Alien Weaponry, which had gone on to become one of the world's biggest and best-loved New Zealand bands.

The main reason for organising a heavy metal concert was 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," he said, "but I've either been too busy, or simply just can't afford to go to see good metal acts play in Auckland.


"So, if Mohammad can't go to the mountain, I thought I'd see if I could try and bring the mountain to Mohammad."

A massive turnout would have the bands spreading the word there was strong demand for live music in the Far North, he added.

■Tickets ($15) are available at, or $20 at the door.