When you're too young to legally see live music in a licensed venue, for the most part it means you miss out full stop. VICE spoke to Gabriel Everett who, at just 20 years old, is already behind the all ages festival Messed Up at Auckland's Old Folks Association. Gabriel can still remember the pains of being denied entry to see his favourite artists perform, so he decided to do something about it for all the younger folks out there who wanted a chance to see their favourite acts
VICE: How many years has Messed Up been running?
Gabriel Everett: This year was the second year of the festival. I intended for this to be a one-off last year but it seems like it's turned into a yearly event.
Are there plans to grow? Would you take it to other cities?
I've been eyeing off larger venues and different markets so we'll see where that takes me. At this stage I'm pretty set on making sure I perfect the current iteration of the festival for next year
What's the difference between putting on an all ages show versus an R18+ show?
There are obviously a lot of challenges especially with finance as you don't have alcohol sales to lean on. You also usually have to provide all the gear and backline. However, for the effort I think all ages shows are more rewarding—the crowds are more into it and relaxed, so it's always a fun night
How does the art component of the event complement the live music?
I wanted to push the boundaries of a usual all ages show, so I decided to dedicate a section to local art and zines. I'm by no means the first person to put art at a festival. But festivals create the perfect environment for pushing people's boundaries and taking punters outside of their comfort zones. The art at Messed Up was just a way to do that.
How do you select the artists to play and exhibit?
I was quite selective this year, I wanted to limit the number of artists so that the night wouldn't stretch on and everyone's sets would be long enough. I only select the artists I like and I make sure to have seen them live or at an exhibition before booking them.
See more by Danny M. Thompson here.