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Zeal Kāpiti Musicians lounge

Heres what goes down at Zeal Kāpiti Musicians lounge

Every second-month young people come together at Zeal Kāpiti to showcase their skills. From experienced performers to new artists, live sound engineers, photographers, and event managers, this event is made by young people for young people. 

The Kāpiti team of young people arrive at midday to start setting up the stage, lighting, sound gear, green room, clear out the hangs and events spaces, and fill the centre with chairs and beanbags. If the weather is nice they open up our massive roller door which opens up a whole wall in our events space and creates an awesome indoor outdoor flow. Young people start rolling in, some grab the Zeal DSLR cameras and start taking photos and videos while the performers are getting prepped in the green room upstairs. 
Young people MC the event and keep the flow going throughout the night. Anywhere from 5 – 8 different bands / solo performers lined up for each Musicians Lounge event. New bands and performers who haven’t been to Zeal before get welcomed and shown around by youth workers and events team. The music played on stage at Musicians Lounge ranges from heavy metal to 90s grunge to ballads to chill acoustic vibes. A bit of everything!
Currently it’s mostly covers of songs being performed but we definitely encourage young people to share any original songs they’ve written. 

Friends and whānau of performers are welcomed into the centre to come and support in the crowd. The whole night is a total success. 

More than just music

Musicians Lounge events can be young peoples’ first experience of Zeal which then leads to getting connected with our youth workers and engaging in other areas of Zeal such as programs or hangs. According to our Annual Zeal Survey, 72% of young people participate in more than one Zeal activity after they’ve come along to one of our activities. Musicians Lounge gives our young people lots of opportunities to be involved in the running of the event from performing to photography, sound, lighting. It’s a great way for them to gain confidence in their skills. On average we see around 60 attendees coming to support their peers and experience local music.
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Where it started

In 2018 16 year old Hannah had a dream of creating a safe space for young people to perform for the first time. Hannah saw her peers decline opportunities to perform due to their fear of failure and shame. Hannah planned her first Musicians lounge alongside Zeal youth workers.

After just a few events, 100 young people were coming through Zeal Kāpiti doors for Musicians Lounge. This gave an opportunity for new performers to have no limits. Young people could sing in front of an audience for the first time, learn a riff at home and show it off. Rappers, large bands, solo artists, poets and more were embraced by an inclusive and supportive crowd of their peers. 

As Musicians Lounge got larger,  Zeal programmes collaborated with the large event, photography students were able to take photos, live sound students tested out their skills and  barista students made hot chocolates on cold nights. Musicians Lounge is a place to connect young people with wider Zeal opportunities.

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Special thank you

Photos by Tyler Hunter-foreman @tylerhatestheinternet ,  Kāpiti District Council,  Kāpiti Youth Council and all performers, attendees and those who help to put on Kāpiti musicians lounge events 

Want to get involved?

If you are keen to get involved or know someone who would benefit from Zeal programmes, hit us up below