Wellington Jim Beam Homegrown Festival: What you need to know if you're heading to the Waterfront

Homegrown Festival with people dancing
Wellington's Homegrown Festival returns to the capital this weekend. Photo credit: Facebook - Homegrown

Around 22,000 are expected in the capital this weekend for the Wellington Jim Beam Homegrown festival, with the show making its welcome return for 2023.

Here's what you need to know for the event.

What time should I get there?

The event on Saturday March 18 on the Waterfront is expected to sell out before the big day as more than 45 acts including the likes of Sir Dave Dobbyn, Shapeshifter and Katchafire take to the various stages.

On Thursday, the festival's website said there were fewer than 300 tickets left, so you can expect they'll go in a last minute rush.

Gates for all five stages open from 1pm on Saturday, however tickets will need to be exchanged for a festival wristband from 9.30am on the day.

You will need a wristband as that's how you'll be able to move between the various stages on the day so maybe head there earlier than 1pm to get sorted early. You'll need photo ID and your ticket to be able to get in - and 2022 tickets will be valid as well if you didn't apply for a refund.

How should I get there?

Saturday is expected to be very busy in the city with OneRepublic also playing the TSB Arena on the same night.

However, public transport is included in the price of your ticket, meaning MetLink trains and buses are free if you show your ticket or wristband. The only exclusions are the Cable car and the Eastbourne ferry.

Wellington City Council is advising people to use public transport or walk, ride, scoot or car share to avoid parking frustration during what they are saying will be a "busy time."

There will be parking restrictions in place and the skateboarding bowl in Waitangi Park will be closed from 8am Friday 17 March until 12pm Sunday 19 March.

On event day, Saturday 18 March, from 11am-12 midnight cyclists and scooter riders will be required to either slow down or dismount in the area due to the high number of pedestrians.

And one word of warning - Flamingo and Beam Scooters/E Bikes will not operate on the Waterfront during event time.

Will the event go ahead in the rain?

You can't beat Wellington on a good day they say - and that includes Homegrown festival saying the event will go ahead even if there's rain.

The only thing likely to cancel Homegrown will be high winds - and a cancellation date would push the event by 24 hours to Sunday March 19.

Currently the forecast is for scattered showers throughout the day, so the festival says to bring appropriate clothing and footwear for the unpredictable weather.

What can I bring to the show?

Aside from a good attitude, festival organisers say you can bring a reusable water bottle that must be empty before entry.

Water stations will be set up around the event for people to use.

Bags will be searched on the day and there will also be security wanding at the gates.

The event's big on recycling too, with organisers asking people to recycle properly to prevent cross contamination on the day and reduce waste.

Food and drink will be on sale on site but the event is a cashless one, so make sure you're aware of that prior to it starting.

What can't I bring to the show?

Anything dangerous that could be used as a weapon - that includes folding chairs and umbrellas which could be used to attack others.

The festival also says not to bring alcohol as the waterfront is an alcohol free zone, but while there will be bars at each stage, alcohol is not to be taken out of the stage areas.

Drones need to be left at home too as the waterfront is closed to them - so maybe leave your ambitions to be the festival's cinematic visionary at home with your folding chairs.

There are also no illegal drugs allowed at the event.