The Grassroots Festival Hub is at the heart of the action, offering free and live entertainment featuring an array of Waikato musicians from 5.00pm every night.
Thanks to our new partnership with Waikato Food Inc and the Food Truck League, this is also the place to savour the sights and sounds of the festival, relax with a drink and enjoy some incredible locally produced food. Refer to the timetable on the inside back cover of this programme to see who is performing each night.
New Zealand’s most interesting performers popping up on the weekends, so keep an eye out for them, and of course don’t miss the festival’s beloved Doing Pennants installation, which gets bigger and more colourful every year.
Doing Pennants - Prince Geoffie 1st Arts Council Inc.
Design a flag, sew it on a bicycle powered sewing machine, and then see it added to this multi-year installation.
Every Saturday and Sunday of the festival, 10.30am-12.00 noon and 1.30-3.00pm.
The Garden Delights - Crows Feet Dance Palmerston North
A dance company made up of “mature” dancers, these elegant Edwardian characters are sure to entrance as they interact with you, the gardens, and anything else they find intriguing.
Lunchtime on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21, and from 5.00pm on Saturday 20.
The Drifting Theatre - Stephen Bain and Winning Productions
Equally intriguing for both audience members on the inside and outside, come and be a part of this mobile theatre space.
Between 12.00pm and 2.00pm and 5.00pm and 7.00pm on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28.
A Fantastical Journey by Boat - Sarah-Jane Blake
An immersive performance and virtual reality experience in which you join the Owl and the Cat in their pea green boat and taken for a row.
Popping up throughout the weekend of February 27 and 28.
The Helm! Take the Helm! - Jim Fishwick
Over the course of a few hours, join in and write a full story alongside lots of other people. It's a free-form Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style adventure, where each writer only gets one choice.
10.00-11.30am, and 2.00-3.30pm on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21.
The Garden’s Secrets
Join local storytellers for a live reading of Hamilton Garden’s magical new childrens book, The Garden’s Secrets.
10.00am - 12.00noon every weekend morning of the festival.
Festival Hub Timetable
Saturday 20 February
5.00pm-6.00pm Jaqualyn T Williams Comedy and hot topics for all ages. Bring the kids!
6.00pm-7.00pm Parabola West New age folk electronica from Raglan
Sunday 21 February
5.00pm-7.00pm Waikato University Showcase A musical party mix of students and alumni bought to you by Waikato University
7.00pm-8.00pm JP & the Drag Kings Classic rock with Funk and Blues undertones
8.00pm-9.00pm Retro Valley Mellow Indie Rock that feels like summertime
Wednesday 24 February
5.00pm-6.00pm Jaimee Cruz Missy Elliot influenced rapper, with attention grabbing lyrics and vocals
6.00pm-7.00pm Makuka Stunning soloist with velvety vocal lines and beats.
7.00pm-8.00pm Coral Award-wining local soul singer with x-factor aplenty
8.00pm-9.00pm Hin & Co Popular jazz quintet put their own spin on jazz standards & modern favourites
Thursday 25 February
5.00pm-6.00pm Steve Tofa Multi-instrumentalist and singer with stunning harmonies
6.00pm-7.00pm Socratena Operatic comedy songs performed on ukelele
7.00pm-8.00pm Fifth Degree Get down and boogie to jazz standards performed with flair
8.00pm-9.00pm Hazy Sundays Dreamy, atmospheric violin to lull you into the evening
Friday 26 February
5.00pm-6.00pm Valere Electro Pop and R& B from Auckland
6.00pm-7.00pm BellaDonna Punchy pop with lyrical finesse
7.00pm-9.00pm Waikato University Showcase A musical party mix of students and alumni bought to you by Waikato University
Saturday 27 February
5.00pm-9.00pm Chick Fest A showcase of Kirikiriroa's finest female fronted acts. Feat. Kyla Greening, Phreaze, Shana, Empress, JP Drag Kings, and Date Month Year
Sunday 28 February
3.00pm-5.00pm Lost Tribe of Aotearoa & Friends A line up of Raglan's top roots and reggae bands
6.00pm-7.00pm Isla Indie-folk rock featuring stunning flute & violin flourishes
The Grassroots Hub and The Stage of Enlightenment are made possible thanks to the generous support of the Grassroots Trust and The University of Waikato.
Your MC/Ringmaster/Provocateur Matua X is back to scintillate and inspire as the voice of the festival. He’s often found in and around the Grassroots Festival Hub and is always happy to chat about all things HGAF. Get your timing right and you might even win yourself some free festival tickets or last minute deals. As Waikato’s premium expert in waste minimisation and proactive circular economy practice, Matua X teaches Zero Waste throughout our region’s schools and will also be ensuring that we minimise our environmental footprint and protect our glorious gardens during the festival.
Proud to be a Zero Waste Festival!
In 2020 we introduced a zero waste policy across the entire festival. Managed 100% by volunteers, it proved to be one of the biggest success stories of the festival. Total HGAF 2020 waste equated to:8 household rubbish bags of compostable waste 7 household rubbish bags of landfill waste. The challenge is to improve on that still. So, whatever you bring into the festival, we’d be grateful if you take it home with you when you leave and keep an eye out for our volunteer team of Zero Waste heroes who will show you the way. Let's work together to keep our beautiful city in good nick.