Friday night’s Open Mic Night has come and gone with fabulous new talent braving the stage – some for the first time.  Due to the poor weather conditions, the event was held inside the Hub on the secondary stage. A move which proved to be a good choice considering the rain did at times bucket down.

The evening started with legendary soul (and beyond) artist Paul Ubana Jones, who gave just a taste of what we can expect from him tomorrow night. As the amateur and semi-amateur musicians were readying themselves, and in some cases psyching themselves into performing in front of the crowd, local artist Craig Smith followed Paul with his sublime voice. Both of these singer/songwriters are here at the festival, prepared to mentor new musicians in workshops tomorrow (Saturday.)



From Roxborough, Matt Pringle on guitar and Fem Hermans vocalist brought us an outstanding performance. Fem is originally from the Netherlands but sings in English so beautifully you’d never guess that English is not her first language. She says, she’s never performed in gumboots before.



Helen Jansen

Next, Helen took to the stage singing her original song “Tell Me Your Story!” for the first time in public.  Helen says she is fascinated by the fact that everybody has their own story, even if they don’t realise it.






Excerpt from Julian Temple Band

As promised Julian Temple (guitar/vocals) kindly gave us a few songs ahead of the Julian Temple Band’s main performance tomorrow evening. He was joined by bandmember, Alex Vaatstra, who mesmerized us with his brilliance on violin.





The League of Ordinary Gentlemen

Doug Gorman and Mark Robbie, two of the “League” sang covers from the likes of Neil Young etc. The League of Ordinary Gentlemen are from Lawrence and are beginning to make a name for themselves in and around Central Otago and Southland.





Garry and Morag

Rounding out the evening were singing duet, Garry and Morag Lorigan. They are a talented couple who can often be found performing with the Otautau Country and Western Club. Morag is also a yodeller, and usually accompanies their performance with her guitar, but tonight brought her mini-guitar because she says the regular guitar didn’t fit into the campervan.