2019 Music Line-up

Great live music is always a big feature of MarchFest.
Check out the full line up below!
The Marianne Navon Trio
The Marianne Navon Trio consists of American songstress and new Nelson resident Marianne Navon on guitar, mandolin and vocals, Denise Glover on violin and vocals and Leo Barrer on cajon/darbukah. Having lived in the US, Australia and the Middle East, Marianne’s songs are rooted in Americana and influenced by Eastern rhythms and modes. Unusual and varied in scope and arrangements, the songs are shaped by many places, cultures and experiences.
Formed in 2015, Buskudara is a Nelson-based funk-jazz-every genre band created for the streets. Udara means eclectic in Hindi and Busk means er.. Busk! Featuring Jane Fisher on Sax, Ryan Beehre on Bass, Martin Emo on Trumpet and Percussion, Davis Remnant on Percussion and Guitar and Tanya Nock on Percussion and Violin. Weather-permitting, Buskudara will do two sets around the park not in the music marquee!
Ben Catley
Australian musician Ben Catley's high energy stage act fuses roots, indie, metal, blues and rock into a pulsating music cocktail that always wows audiences. In the last year, he has supported acts such as Gorillaz, Ben Harper, King Giz and more at festivals in Australia, UK, New Zealand and Singapore and he recently released his new EP, 'Hectic Heart'.  Catch his amazing act at Marchfest as part of Ben's 2019 New Zealand tour! (Ben replaces local act Zorn who have had to pull out of Marchfest for logistical reasons.)
Ras Judah and Culture Embassy
Culture Embassy is a Wellington based 10-piece band of varying cultural backgrounds, that specialises in Ethnic Jazz/ Folk, African Roots Reggae, Latin, Brit/Euro-Folk and Kiwiana. Leader Judah, originally from Botswana, used to live in Nelson and played at the 2010 Marchfest with Indonesian musician Daham and went down a storm - it's great to welcome Judah back to Marchfest!


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.
The Narcs
Kiwi legacy rock strikes again! 1980s Kiwi music legends The Narcs are still going strong and if recent single ‘Summerhill Stone’ is anything to go by, they are still getting stronger. The mainstay trio is made up of Andy Dickson (guitar, lead vocal), Tony Waine (bass) and keyboardist Liam Ryan. The band has just come off the road after a successful five-date tour of New Zealand’s North Island and will end their rockin' summer at Marchfest while being joined by highly respected Auckland based drummer Josh Sorenson.  If you are old enough, take a trip down memory lane or if you are too young to remember The Narcs, have a look and a listen – they still rock!
Press Roll
Local legends Ryan Beehre (Serpico, ex-Minuit) and Martin Emo (DJ Tunesifter, Buskudara, HSBC, Gilles Peterson Havana Cultura Worldwide Remix finalist) are a duo who perform new tunes carved from crate digging through jazz and funk records, electronic beats and bass lines, melded with live Trumpet, Rhodes keyboard and Electric Guitar. A "Press Roll" is a type of snare-drum fill played in Jazz and Funk which is the foundation for making their grooves. Their energetic live show always has a groove that is made for dancing.


Newtown Rocksteady
12-piece Newtown Rocksteady return to Marchfest after a 5 year absence, with their all brass, all bass, all party, big band, big dance, chant down MASH UP - expect a generous dose of soul and a solid helping of skank. Comprised of active members of Wellington’s vibrant music scene, Newtown Rocksteady has a great depth of experience, with members involved in a diverse range of acts including The Nudge, Brockaflowersaurus-rex and Fly My Pretties. The band’s ever-expanding repertoire effortlessly moves between original compositions and adaptations of classic Rocksteady and Reggae gems - guaranteed to get you dancing!