If you like your gigs hot and heavy, prepare to start the year with a bang thanks to Storm the Gates.

WORDS DANIEL DUNKLEY / PHOTOS SHAUN ROSS

Music festival Storm the Gates blasted onto the scene in March with an epic sell-out event starring rock-rap heroes Limp Bizkit. Lead singer Fred Durst and the gang came to New Zealand for the first time in 16 years to smash through a raucous set of classics from their early 2000s heyday, including Rollin’, Take a Look Around and Break Stuff, much to the joy
of concertgoers in Auckland and Christchurch. The mosh pits were overflowing as the band took the stage, supported by
Sublime with Rome, Hed PE, Suicidal Tendencies, City of Souls, Skinny Hobos and Written By Wolves.

Having nailed their first major rock event, the bright minds behind the festival have plans to bring over more greats from the golden era, touring giants and up-and-coming local bands under the Storm the Gates umbrella. The team has already built a reputation for winning over the big names. Legendary screamer Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden has headlined a Storm the Gates gig, and nosebleed thrashers Mastodon and punk rockers Pennywise have also been flown in to perform to huge New Zealand crowds. By the time you read this, the 10-year Blindspott reunion tour will have gone off around the country, and teeth-rattlers The Prodigy, Slayer and Anthrax are locked in for early 2019.

The Storm the Gates team say the festival will be back in 2020 – returning in a big way. They note that lots of rock bands have a real cult following of people who’ll lap up anything they can relating to the band. Their connection to and passion for these artists is intense –
and they’re all in when they come to gigs. Prepare for the craziest mosh pits you’ve ever seen.

The perception is that rock lovers are rough and aggressive, but the Storm the Gates team say the opposite is true – in fact, they’re respectful and unified, because they’re such big fans. It’s a real meeting of like minds.

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