Monday , June 21 2021

Exclusive: Six60 and the battle for a show at Eden Park



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Six60 frontman Matiu Walters explains why the band is struggling to play at the iconic venue. Video / Michael Craig / Sky Sport
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New Zealand’s biggest band is struggling to become the first group to play at Eden Park in a new fight for live music at the country’s main stadium.

Six60 – who made New Zealand music history by becoming the first local band to sell out Western Springs – became the new faces of a longtime group that hosts shows at the All Blacks’ house.

“This is our main location,” said Six60 frontman Matiu Walters. “Madly, there was never a show here. We wonder why we don’t hit the brake and see if we can make it work.”

According to the Auckland Council Unit Plan, Eden Park can host six musical events per year, depending on the location and respective promoters.

obtain consent of resources.

The process is so expensive that so far Eden Park has not filed an application; all bids will be vigorously contested by the Eden Park Neighbors’ Association (EPNA). The group opposes

additional and noisy evening events on site, dubbed New Zealand’s “National Stadium”.

But next Monday, the heads of Eden Park and EPNA will be arrested at a resource consent hearing at Auckland City Hall, following a proposal by the local administration to be able to host the six annual events without consent.

If Eden Park is successful, Six60 can add Eden Park to its list of 2,021 summer shows. The largest city in the country was a surprise omission from the band’s six-concert tour early next year.

Six60 performs on stage at the sold out show at the Western Springs Stadium New Zealand Herald photography by Alex Robertson February 22, 2020 NZH June 04, 20 -
Six60 performs on stage at the sold out show at the Western Springs Stadium New Zealand Herald photography by Alex Robertson February 22, 2020 NZH June 04, 20 –

Walters confirmed that after playing for two sold-out audiences in Western Springs, they expected to play at Eden Park.

But then they realized the bureaucracy they would have to face in order to perform at the venue – the site of two attempts by the All Blacks to win the World Cup.

No concert has been held on the site in its 120 years of history.

Eden Park chief executive Nick Sautner said he hoped the suburban location would win, based on the support he received before the confrontation.

“Ninety-four percent of finalists indicated that they support music at the stadium,” Sautner told the Herald on Sunday.

“We have received support from a number of people and organizations and we are excited to have an overwhelming level of support from our local community. This further shows the current and ongoing positive relationship that the stadium has with its neighbors.”

Aerial photo of the Eden Park stadium in Auckland.  April 23, 2015 New Zealand Herald Photograph: Brett Phibbs
Aerial photo of the Eden Park stadium in Auckland. April 23, 2015 New Zealand Herald Photograph: Brett Phibbs

The neighbors’ association is strongly opposed to change. The latest newsletter on its website states that residents who have not opposed “the risk of permanently giving up the rights and protections currently under the Auckland Unitary Plan without gain or benefit for you, your family or your community”.

“The Eden Park Trust’s goal is to profit at your expense.

“If granted – that’s it. There is no way to reverse or revise. You have a chance – there is no point in taking the risk.”

Matiu Walters, lead singer of Six60, at Eden Park.  October 21, 2020 Photograph of the New Zealand Herald by Michael Craig
Matiu Walters, lead singer of Six60, at Eden Park. October 21, 2020 Photograph of the New Zealand Herald by Michael Craig

He warned of shows that could end at 11pm and attract up to 60,000 people.

“Don’t worry about the exaggerated / fact-free campaign underway for Eden Park,” continued the newsletter. “False news, as they say.”

Six60 award winners during the New Zealand Music Awards held at Spark Arena in Auckland.  November 14, 2019 Photograph of the New Zealand Herald by Dean Purcell.
Six60 award winners during the New Zealand Music Awards held at Spark Arena in Auckland. November 14, 2019 Photograph of the New Zealand Herald by Dean Purcell.

Eden Park had previously talked about holding a charity concert to raise funds for the LifePod baby incubators – with the lineup set to include the leader of the charts, Phil Collins – in 2018.

This was filed after opposition from some residents, including former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Walters sang the national anthem in preparation for last weekend’s All Blacks / Wallabies showdown at Eden Park.

He said it was “weird” to be able to sing the national anthem there, but “I can’t do my own show”.

If Eden Park’s offer is successful, Six60 can play there in April.

“We want to be the first band to play at this stadium. It makes sense for us to be a local band and we are in a position to do it, fill it and do something here that is crazy. I think we can do an incredible show.

A crowd of 50,000 people are preparing to welcome New Zealand band six60 to their packed concert at Auckland's Western Springs Stadium.  February 23, 2019 New Zealand herald photograph: Chris Loufte
A crowd of 50,000 people are preparing to welcome New Zealand band six60 to their packed concert at Auckland’s Western Springs Stadium. February 23, 2019 New Zealand Herald Photograph: Chris Loufte

“He’s standing there, numb and ready. Look at him. You can see it there and how amazing it would be. How amazing it would be for Auckland and New Zealand music,” he gushed, looking at the box company’s that we’ve been talking about.

“We are going to do cool things and allow New Zealanders to do cool shit in the coolest places.”


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