About

Whangateau Hall is available for hire.

About the Whangateau Hall Folk Music and Social Club

Whangateau Acoustic Music and Social Club is a small community operation run for the benefit of touring independent musicians, the support of local musicians, and local music lovers. We are not run for profit.

What do you do when you’ve got a beautiful wooden 110+ year old hall with amazing acoustics in your neighbourhood? You invite talented musicians to come play there, of course. And then you invite everyone in the community to come out and watch them and hang out together.

The Whangateau Music Series began in 2013 with 3 shows. For the first two years it was very casual and intermittent. But as word of our lovely venue spread we began receiving more requests from visiting musicians to play. And it also became apparent that there were enough musicians and enthusiasts in the area to warrant more frequent engagements.

In November 2014 we started the Whangateau Folk Club (we like to call it the Acoustic Music and Social Club). Club nights are the last Monday of the month. Club nights begin with one hour of floor singers. All interested musicians* are invited to put their name down to perform two numbers. In the second half, we will either have a guest band or a jam night, or just floor singers all night long. Everyone who wants is welcome to join in. Anyone who would rather sit and chat and listen is welcome as well.

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* Acoustic musicians only, please. No drum kits or keyboards. And definitely no laptops. We will have microphones and a rudimentary PA, but no amplifiers. If it can conceivably be played at a campground, it’s probably OK.

There is no committee. There is no plan.

If you know of or are an amazing musician who would like to play at the hall, read the Info for Artists Page, then contact me to book the hall and make it happen.

After a bit of fluffing about, we have settled on the last Monday of the month for our club night. This is subject to change.

Do I have to be a musician to come to Folk Club?

Absolutely not! Performing is absolutely optional. In fact, most people who come to folk club are there only to listen.

If you do want to perform, however, get to the hall a little early to claim a floor singer spot. We can typically fit in 8 performers per club night. Each act can perform 2 songs, or a maximum of 8 minutes worth of material. We ask that musicians perform in one slot only, that is, if you are performing as part of a duo or ensemble, do not also take a slot as a solo artist.

Nobody is getting rich off this.

All money taken at the shows goes towards hiring the hall, providing your tea and bikkies at interval, and the rest to the visiting artists so that they can continue to make great music.

If you enjoyed the show, please stick around afterwards to help clean and tidy the hall and return the chairs to their storage locations! There is no hired help coming around afterwards!

Who is Responsible for this Nonsense?

My name is Jenine, I’m a local musician living at Ti Point, been here permanently since 2005, married Nat Torkington (who you probably already know if you’ve been in the area any length of time). We have a bluegrass band, The Pipi Pickers, you might have seen us around. I’m a huge fan and supporter of folk and acoustic music. I’m also big on community projects, especially anything that gets people away from their TVs and out mingling with their neighbors, so this seemed like a pretty good idea for me.

I’m also a part of a network of independent musicians who support each other by helping organise gigs without the benefit of a recording label or PR/management company to sort things like venues, PA systems and accommodation.

What sort of music can be part of the series?

The hall being what it is, lovely and made of wood, it suits some types of music better than others. And seeing as I’m doing this so I can hear the music I like without having to drive to Auckland, I’m probably going to prefer acoustic and folk acts. This is a really broad category, and can be stretched to include almost anything. Suffice it to say we probably won’t have a lot of thrash metal, hip-hop, rap, or anything that tends to get played really loud.

Why isn’t the Sawmill good enough for my local music needs?

It usually is.

Being connected to the folk music communities in New Zealand and Australia through our band, I get inquiries from independent musicians who want to play in the area. Quite often I will refer them directly to the Sawmill. The Leigh Sawmill Café is an internationally renowned musical venue, hosts amazing bands nearly every weekend, and it’s right around the corner from Whangateau. They treat visiting performers really well and have a great publicity program. Our band has played there many times, and it’s wonderful.

If you are an acoustic/folkie type band, and you really want to play at the Sawmill, try to get a Sunday spot. Shows on Sunday run 5pm-7pm, and people who turn up on Sunday are far more likely to be there just to see you. Friday and Saturday shows can’t start until after 9pm. Sawmill only does music on those three nights. E-mail info@sawmillcafe.co.nz for more information or to request a spot.

Is alcohol allowed in the hall?

Yes, feel free to bring your own beverages.