MarchFest is a unique craft beer and music festival, held in New Zealand’s sunniest city, Nelson, at the top of the South Island. Set in the beautiful, traffic-free environment of Founders Heritage Park, the 9th MarchFest takes place on Saturday March 19th 2016.
The Nelson region is New Zealand’s sole hop growing area – and has more craft breweries per head of the population than anywhere else in the country.
Unlike ordinary beer festivals, all the beers available at MarchFest have been specially commissioned for the event and have never previously been tasted by the public.
Every year around 15 regional craft breweries sign up to produce a new beer for the event. These beers all make their world debut at Marchfest. Top of the South breweries include Dale's, Dead Good Beer, Founders, Golden Bear, Hop Federation, Lighthouse, McCashin’s, Moa, Mussel Inn, Renaissance, Sprig and Fern, Totara, Townshend’s and more..
And unlike other beer festivals, MarchFest is not just about beer. It’s also about local wines, ciders and juices, regional cuisine (including a beer and food matching lunch) as well as its ‘event genre mash-up’ insistence on being a craft beer festival, an indie/world music gig, a hops showcase, an educational forum for home/wannabe brewers and a family-friendly day out. It’s hard to believe such a combination can work, but the thousands of people who attend each year are testimony that it does!
Great live music is always a big feature of Marchfest. Headlining and set to draw the crowds will be the hugely popular, New Zealand band Tahuna Breaks. Event goers will also enjoy the blues and 60s funk style sounds of The Nudge known equally for their music, as for their fondness of animal onesies. Also performing at the 2016 event are popular local bands; The Gypsy Pickers, Humankindness, and The Vanguards
MarchFest is also about creating an event where responsible drinking and good parenting go hand-in-hand. There will be heaps of cool stuff for kids to do.
Welcome to MarchFest, Nelson and New Zealand's beer flavoured festival - a celebration of music, food, fun and of course, proper beer.
The Free House and Marchfest top the region’s SOBA awards again!
The 2015 SOBA Beer Awards have just been announced and once again local beer champions Mic Dover and Eelco Boswijk have triumphed in the Nelson and Golden Bay regional awards for Best Bar and Best Beer Event for The Free House and Marchfest respectively. It ius the third year running The Free House has topped the regional craft beer bar charts.
The Free House opened in April 2009 and has championed the serving of craft beers and ciders as well as real ales and local wines in an establishment untied to any single brewery. In the 7 years it has been open, the pub has poured over 850 different beers from over 60 different Kiwi breweries.
Co-owner Mic Dover said, “It’s so cool that SOBA members have again voted us the best bar in Nelson-Tasman region, despite all the other great craft beer outlets that now exist in the region. It’s clear the free house concept is a winner with beer aficionados and Eelco and I would like to thank all our customers for their support since Day One of this beer adventure.”
Meanwhile Marchfest retained the Best Beer Event (Nelson/Tasman) for the third year running as tickets are selling fast for this year’s event, which features 14 brand new beers as well as music from Tahuna Breaks, The Nudge and The Vanguards.
See http://www.soba.org.nz/news/2015-soba-awards-recipients for full results.
Marchfest has received sponsorship funding for this year’s event from the Nelson Events Marketing & Development Programme, which is funded by the Nelson City Council. The Programme’s objective is to stimulate Nelson City’s economy in the shoulder and off seasons by bringing new spending through visitors coming to Nelson for distinct events.
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