24 Feb 2024

Dad bods on display at Hamilton's Meatstock festival

8:43 am on 24 February 2024

Fire up, because NZ's biggest barbecue festival is about to get grilling.

Billed as a carnivore's paradise, the two-day Meatstock festival gets underway on Saturday at Mystery Creek, near Hamilton.

But it's not just the menu that's spicy. Along slide the fire pits and slabs of steak is one of Meatstock's biggest crowd-pleasers - the dad bod contest.

"The best way to describe it is ultimately it's a celebration of just normality and the regular bloke, which is what I love about it," Meatstock organiser Reyan Fernando told Checkpoint on Friday.

A previous Meatstock dad bod contest winner.

A previous Meatstock dad bod contest winner. Photo: Supplied

"You're comfortable with who you are and what you've developed over the years. It takes a bit of work and a bit of commitment to get yourself a dad bod, and I think it's literally just how well you present it - being completely comfortable in the body you are in, basically."

While one previous winner went "full commitment" and stripped down to just his "blue leopard-print underwear and a cowboy hat", Fernando recommends just ditching the shirt and showing the crowd what you've got.

But if you have a six-pack and muscles, don't bother.

"Nope. That's the exact opposite of what a dad bod is."

Meatstock also hosts contests for mullets and hairy chests.

"Hairy chest is probably the only one I reckon that you kind of win whether you have a personality or not - if you've got the hairiest chest, you just win, basically. It doesn't come down to style."

Contestants in previous Meatstock dad bod contests.

Contestants in previous Meatstock dad bod contests. Photo: Supplied

Meatstock runs for two days, and everyone is welcome - but if you're vegan, expect to go hungry.

"I don't think there's much there at all," Fernando laughed. "There's probably a couple of salads here and there… you're coming to a festival that's pretty much about meat."

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