5 Mar 2019

Milk & Honey festival: dismantling the patriarchy one gig at a time

From RNZ Music, 4:00 pm on 5 March 2019

Milk & Honey festival is set to take place on International Women's Day (this Friday) in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. The gigs feature women and are run by women. We profile four of the acts who are performing.

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Photo: Supplied

There’s no better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than going to see a bunch of kick-ass women perform at shows run entirely by other women.

That’s exactly what’s on offer at Milk & Honey festival, which takes place in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown this Friday, March 8.

The shows are the brainchild of Elemeno P’s Lani Purkis and music publicist and band manager Teresa Patterson.

Skip to Milk & Honey gig details.

They wanted to provide a safe, inclusive environment in which to showcase women who work in the music industry. Bringing female artists and crew to the forefront, so younger women could be inspired.

There are six separate gigs taking place in the four centres, offering up some of Aotearoa’s top female, LGBTQ+ and non-binary talent.

Folk musician Nadia Reid, who’s playing at Auckland’s Powerstation on Friday, holds inclusivity and diversity in the music industry as an issue close to her heart. “It really is a male-dominated industry,” she says.

Although Nadia has grown up in the industry feeling “respected and empowered” she says it’s not the case for everyone.

The gig will offer people of all genders,  the chance to see themselves … positively represented in an entertainment context, according to Half.Queen, who’s playing at Wellington’s 121 on Friday“We're taking up space that we rightly deserve and dismantling the patriarchy one gig at a time.”

So, with empowerment and great music in mind, here’s our four top picks to go catch this Friday.

Tami Neilson

Auckland | Powerstation

It’s been a big 12 months for country singer and Canadian native Tami Neilson.

Her latest album, Sassafrass!, which came out in June was a hit with critics and fans alike, with Tami spending the last few months touring the album all over the world.

Tami is outspoken about the questions she regularly faces about being a working mother in the music industry, a theme that provided inspiration for her track ‘Stay Outta My Business’, which, Tami says “ is about coming into my confidence as a woman and what I’ve come up against in the last few years”.

Tami’s music is equal parts rockabilly, soul and gospel, and inspired by the likes of Ray Charles and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

will play alongside Nadia Reid, Julia Deans and Ria Hall at Auckland’s Powerstation.


Auckland | Whammy Bar

Persian Kiwi rapper CHAII creates tunes heavily influenced by traditional Persian music and rap, fusing the two together seamlessly. Her latest video for track ‘Digebasse’ is visually colourful, intriguing and pays homage to her cultural background.

She, like most POC (person of colour) rappers, has a lot to say and she's unapologetic about getting her message across.

CHAII has very little online presence but according to her Facebook page, her live shows are intense which will most definitely light up the dark corners of Whammy.


Wellington | San Fran

Ladi6 is without question, one of the biggest female talents in Aotearoa right now. With a career spanning over two decades she doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all… in fact quite the opposite.

In 2019 she’s set to release a new album, a follow-up to 2017’s award-winning album Royal Blue 3000 EP and will feature her latest single, ‘Diagonals’.

This is not the first time Ladi6, aka Karolie Tamati has played with an all-female line up: in 2018 she hand-picked some of the finest female MCs in Aotearoa to play alongside her for her Outta Time tour, which included appearances from Silva MC, JessB & Bailey Wiley.

Ladi6’s music is a powerful combination of R&B and Soul, and she’s guaranteed to set San Fran alight alongside Yayne and DJ Andy Heartthrob.


Auckland | Whammy Bar

Auckland rapper Randa has been keeping a low profile recently, apart from on Instagram Stories, where it’s obvious they’ve become obsessed with ‘piefee’... a coffee inside a pie.

Randa, aka Mainard Larkin who identifies as a non-binary trans person, creates pop rap and delivers performances that are vibrant, organic and weird. They’ve been sporadically releasing singles and EPs over the last few years, t with fans constantly asking when there’ll be more.

It was only in mid-February that Randa finally released the long-awaited video for their track Fashion, which was released way back in July 2017.

Fans hope the new video signals a return to making more music, but for now, seeing them perform on Friday will have do.

Milk & Honey show details:

All shows take place on International Women's Day, Friday March 8.

Auckland | Powerstation

  • Tami Neilson
  • Nadia Reid
  • Julia Deans
  • Ria Hall
  • Sandy Mill

Auckland | Whammy

  • Carb on Carb
  • Cheshire Grimm
  • Chaii
  • Hex
  • Lexxa
  • October
  • Randa
  • Sami Sisters
  • Tooms
  • Wax Chattels
  • Valkyrie

Wellington | San Fran | Curated by Madcap

  • Ladi6
  • Meer
  • Yayne
  • Heartthrob

Wellington | Club 121

  • Alexa Casino (DJ)
  • Half.Queen
  • Peach Milk
  • Amy Jean

Christchurch | Blue Smoke

  • Bic Runga
  • French Concession

Queenstown | Sherwood

  • Mel Parsons
  • Dana Sipos

Buy your tickets here.