Actions of some upset group’s best intentions

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by George Clark

A local music collective has learned hard lessons after its R16 event received a callout from police for underage drinking.

“Fridae Sesh” aimed to highlight and promote local artists at Hathaway’s Barbershop in the Royal Arcade late last month, and tickets sold out days before it was to be held.

Event founder Asha Smart said the group, consisting of Timaru artists JosiahXVI (Joe Ioane), Molly G Paige and Nico Teen, wished they had been better prepared.

“We thought our R16 event was going to be a great night and, in retrospect, it was. There were a few people who let us down, but those few were significant.”

Authorities attended the scene, confiscating alcohol and taking home drunk teens.

“The idea and implementation were there but we fell short on those we thought we could trust. Namely paid security staff who dropped the ball and let people who had been drinking inside, some with alcohol on them.”

Ms Smart said the idea for Fridae Sesh came from the best intention.

Local DJ Joe Ioane would invite the group of friends over on a Friday night to make music.

“Which is where the name originated from; we called it our Friday session. The idea of the event came about when we got together and believed there was a lack of support or even a place for youth to perform music,” she said.

“Our debut show was in a very intimate venue with maximum 100 people. We chose Hathaway’s because we wanted the first show to be personal.”

The group hoped to create a nationwide following, “so that when you see an advertisement for Fridae Sesh in your town, you know that it’s going to be a fantastic night full of talent”.

Ms Smart admitted it would be difficult to pursue this after the trouble on their opening night.

“We did not make any money, although that was not our intention regardless. But the fact it ended up costing us more than we bargained for will likely hold us back in future,” she said.

“There are no plans for the next show at this stage.”