The Stomach has been a staple part of the New Zealand music scene for more than three decades.
The Palmerston North City Council-owned music venue is run by non-profit organisation Creative Sounds Society.
Since 1988 countless bands have played, practised and recorded at the all-ages venue, which draws talent from much of the lower North Island including Whanganui, Horowhenua and the Tararua District.
Manager Harry Lilley says the demands on the venue change with the changing needs of musicians.
"It's important in a slightly different way to how it used to be," he said. "It's possibly more about the all-ages and less about the all the bands coming together and doing stuff.
"It seems to be very much about what kind of recording studio we are and how accessible we are and what kind of tools we have and what skills we can offer."
With decades of music also comes decades of archives but it's not just musical archives. The Palmerston North City Council and the Libraries Archives team have been busy digitising band posters - now seen as a valuable part of Manawatū's heritage.
"They took our quite extensive collection of posters that go back basically from the start, from the 80s," Lilley said.
"The end goal of that is they are going to end up in Manawatū Heritage, so they're actually at the moment coding up the metadata so they can be released as a collection for the public to view. It gives you this really interesting smattering of the art, the tangible stuff that goes with doing music."
The poster archive tells a story of the music but also of the technological advances in poster manufacturing - the photocopier playing an important role, with offset printing and screen printing more expensive early options.
"At one stage there was a photocopier here," Lilley said. "After that point you can see this whole wave of stuff that's been made on the photocopier. A lot of it's just printed onto a coloured piece of paper in black-and-white, monochrome through the printer then blasted out 100 copies."
Posters are still popular, but Lilley says online marketing plays a bigger role nowadays. The design aspect is still just as important, and the archive can provide ideas and show new creatives that posters don't necessarily have to be made digitally.
"We might make a Facebook event or something like that and it's kind of like the new version of that old stuff."
Applications are now being accepted for The Stomach's annual music festival "Swampfest' in October 2021. It is the Creative Sounds Society's flagship event and is run over multiple venues, showcasing musical talent from across the region.
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