Nostalgia Festival

Date: February 15th 2020

Location: Ferrymead Heritage Park

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reviewed by: HANNAH POWELL


As declared last year, Nostalgia Festival is the underdog of the music festival scene. After my second year attending Nostalgia, I continue to stand by that statement.

With three stages of an impressive line-up, a bigger bunch of soul food but a smaller amount of preloved stalls, the festival has clearly gone through some development.  Still with the primary focus of sustainability and being single-use plastic free, it’s an eco-warrior of entertainment.

Clutching Lyttelton Coffee Co’s specialty mix Cuba Libre in my Nostalgia-branded reusable globelet, my friend and I reminisced of our previous year at the festival as we wound through the heritage streets. Wandering between the Main Stage and the RDU Stage, as well as a brief stint at the idyllic Cassels Lil’ Smoke for Tiny Ruin’s solo, I couldn’t help but think that the layout was once again spot on. With easy access to all stages, and a centre point of food and drink, Nostalgia knows how to host. With a bigger focus on locally made goods and a handpicked selection of vintage clothing, the festival hit the nail on the head for local support. One food stall, The Commoner’s Kitchen, specifically sourced all ingredients from areas closest to Christchurch. Food trucks often dotted around the city set up shop with each other, as well as Sumner favourites Utopia Ice and Bohemian Bakery from Riverside Kitchen featuring alongside the spread.

With the Main Stage perched at the entrance, headliners such as Ladyhawke, Lord Echo and Troy Kingi took the atmosphere to the next level. Marlins Dreaming, Pikachunes and Mermaidens were my personal favourite at the RDU Stage, with that stage being one I frequented to boogie with my friends. Although missing the intimacy of last year’s area for RDU, the new space allowed older folk to easily slip in and dance with the youngins’. Nostalgia certainly ticks the box for family-orientated.

Although an overcast day, the sun streamed through by the end to light up Ladyhawke’s already stunning performance. Everyone was up, dancing, and happy. Every turn was an opshop inspiration, with the festival having the most welcoming, liberal vibe I’ve experienced at a public event. The only downside was, although still a hit to the student’s wallet, the food trucks were not quite prepared for the massive turn out. By the crucial point of dinner time, the vegetarian options were mostly out. In fact, a lot of the food on offer was sold out. With my friend and I clutching our kale and kumara dumplings after a fifteen-minute trek around the stalls to find a vege option still operating, we were disappointed at the lack of plant-based meals. Not to worry – I can only be impressed and encouraging for the significant turn-out for the day!

For a $50 ticket, it’s well worth it. Highlights included stumbling upon an acoustic set in the heritage church and Ladyhawke’s return to the stage after a three-year break. What a gorgeous day.



HANNAH POWELL is Tearaway’s Music Editor and your local film and theatre gal. Complete with bangs and at least one pair of Docs, she’s a music festival enthusiast, green tea drinker and avid horoscope reader. Will most likely be found at the next gig. 

Check out more of Hannah’s work below:

A Moreish Interview with The Shelves

Local Natives: NZ Awaits LA Indie-Rock

International Womens Day: How To Be A Woman