Opshop gears up for Homegrown

Thousands of gig-goers have flooded into Wellington for the annual Jim Beam Homegrown festival.

The love-letter to Kiwi music has managed to convince rock legends Opshop to reunite for its 11th year.

There's no denying the festival's a favourite for Kiwis. Starting in 2008 with 14,000 fans, Homegrown has gone from strength to strength - this year's 21,000 tickets sold out a record six weeks in advance.

"I think if you try and do a good thing and do it for good reasons, good things flow from that," festival director Mark Wright told Newshub. "Sounds a bit cheesy but it's true."

While other festivals have been and gone over the years, Wright credits Homegrown's survival to the fans' appetite for Kiwi music.

"I think there are some of the usual suspects," he says. "But the reality with Homegrown is most of the acts you can see once or twice or three times a year if you want to, but it's the sum of all the parts that makes it work. It's the coming together of all those artists at the same time."

The organisers say 77 percent of the 21,000 ticket holders are coming from outside the Wellington region. That'll pour an estimated $7.2 million into the city's economy.

 Wright says they always want to keep things fresh by bringing in new acts, and sometimes convincing bands to reunite.

"You nag them for years and years and years."

One band that didn't take much nagging to reunite this year is Opshop.

"We didn't realise what we had at the time, if you know what I mean, so it feels really good to have people amping to see us play again," says drummer Bobby Kennedy.

Five years on from their last show - also at Homegrown - they're gearing up for a comeback.

"I've only just taken the scab off [my amp] ," says singer and guitarist Jason Kerrison. "A well-healed scab. Don't quite know how to handle it yet, to be honest."

Since 2013 there's been weddings, babies, and day jobs - but Opshop say it just felt right to take to the stage again.

"The risks are that we could fall flat on our face and look like idiots," says Kennedy. "But thankfully these guys are not as bad as I thought they were gonna be. I mean I'm always awesome, always amazing."

They won't discuss their next move until after their Homegrown slot, meaning for Opshop fans, it could be a one-off opportunity.

Newshub.

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