Big lineup for Big Gig 2

Sugarcoated Bullets rock the stage at last year's Big Gig. Photo: Fraser Thompson
Sugarcoated Bullets rock the stage at last year's Big Gig. Photo: Fraser Thompson
Last November, a bunch of high school pupils decided to gather their friends and put on a gig. They called it the Big Gig and, well, it was, with eight acts, five hours of music and a massive, enthusiastic crowd which was, surprisingly, interested in forming conga lines.

Next weekend sees the much anticipated return of the Big Gig featuring a different, but equally big line-up, a new venue, and a boost to the audio and lighting situation, all of which should add up to an even bigger turnout, according to Alex Cochrane, of Bark Like a Dog.

He is organising it this year with Ayden Crowther-McCaughan, of Sugarcoated Bullets.

"We've got Koizilla and Bathsalts on board because it was originally just school bands, but as we're getting older we're trying to change it and it's sort of like a halfway point where we have some good well-known adult bands and some teenage bands," Alex said.

"Strawberry Sound are helping us out ... This year we're getting some bigger PAs, some moving heads, lots of lights, so trying to do a bit more of a full-on production.

"And I think we're just kind of trying to make it a proper thing that continues to happen; trying to make it more solidified rather than just a one-time event."

However, with a rise in production values comes a rise in ticket price: from a gold coin to $10, or $15 on the door. Alex said the increased revenue would be used to cover venue hire and other costs, and then split evenly across the bands.

"We definitely want to help them out, even though it's not going to be much, it's something."

The teenage bands include Sugarcoated Bullets, Carmina and Painted Blind. There are also some newbies in singer songwriter Liam Boyne and Haven.

Incidentally, Painted Blind is the only non-male act, which is an improvement from last year's all-dude line-up. The irony of playing a male-dominated gig at Otago Women's Pioneer Hall is not lost on the pair.

"We'd like to have more female bands involved, but, I dunno, for us there are just not many that we know.

"Anyone that asks to be involved we normally say yes ... So if any female bands asked we'd be more than happy to add them."

Obviously these two high school pupils cannot be blamed for the gender disparity in music, and putting together an event of this magnitude is an awesome achievement.

See it, hear it

• Big Gig 2, Saturday, July 7, at Otago Pioneer Women's Hall, 362 moray Pl. Tickets $10 from or $15 on the door. Doors open 8pm. R16.

 - Fraser Thompson

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