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UKF Tour Returns To New Zealand

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UKF Tour Returns To New Zealand

We had a catch up with Audiology’s Mitch Lowe ahead of their UKF New Zealand Tour which starts tonight.

Grab your tickets here.

Hi, How are you?

Hi! I am great thanks, well I can’t complain after a week away in Bora Bora – had to get one last trip in before the baby arrives. Dad life incoming: July 2024.

Talk to us about Audiology, who are you as a company? What do you do?

Audiology is an electronic music touring company that prides itself on doing cool shit. We are a group of music fans that are passionate about all things in bass music – and I’d like to think that shows in the way we present ourselves. We are an independent events company and started from nothing, so we are just enjoying the crazy 15 year journey we have been on, and we plan to never stop pushing the boundaries for events across Aotearoa. 

What have you been up to recently?

We’re just getting into the busy period in terms of our summer planning- end of the year. All the festival bookings seem to hit at once. On the Audiology front, we’re kicking off the UKF Festival tour this week, so that’s exciting, but our calendar never stops with over 150 shows a year – we can sleep later in life, surely? We are also in the thick of planning our favourite winter festival called Mardi Gras, it’s the wildest street party you can imagine, you’ll have to come check it out sometime.

How did Audiology get started?

It was a bit of an accident and an amalgamation of things. I tried to start a clothing label, ran out of cash and had no way to market it. Throwing a launch party to ‘advertise the brand’ felt like the only viable option, so I got my friends to sell tickets, booked some local DJs, had a massive night- aka woke up with no shoes and some cash in my pocket, and thought wow… ‘Imagine if I could do that again next month!” Over the years tiny $5 club shows slowly turned into medium-sized $10 club shows – and the rest is history. Obviously there have been hundreds of mistakes and learnings along the way, but persistence beats failure and I knew this is what I wanted to do from that very moment. Passion finds a way of getting you through anything… even the billing arguments with agents…Just.

Any stand-out moments?

It’s truly hard to pick a few given we have done 1500+ events, but here goes:

  • Delivering the largest D&B headline show in NZ history with Sub Focus, Dimension and Friction in a 7000 cap warehouse.
  • The Prodigy’s last ever show as a full band, RIP Keith.
  • Seeing Hybrid Minds and Netsky both sell out  their “& Friends” tours in a crazy concept that we co-created 

Talk to us about the scene in NZ… What makes it special?

I believe it’s the people. We are a country that punches above our weight in terms of population. We do it in sport, but more importantly we do it in drum and bass. There are a few things the artists always compliment, the energy and size of the crowds, the beautiful landscape the country has, and the hospitality that we provide. We pride ourselves on all three of those things at Audiology, we genuinely love the artists and consider them friends, so there’s a real family feel here in NZ and that makes it (extra) special.

We want to know more about Castle Street…

A small part of me wishes I went to university in Dunedin because holy damn they are wild. Those street parties are next level. Don’t get me wrong, I live vicariously through the artists we send down there and the amazing content we get, but it would be a different story flatting there and being deep amongst it. Castle Street has seen some things…

You’ve got a UKF tour coming up, what can we expect?

Indeed. This is a really special one for us – to understand the importance of this you’d have to go back to when I was DJing in the 2010 era and UKF was my life, so to be here 14 years later in partnership staying true to the brand (dubstep, DNB, all things bass) it feels authentically full circle. I love every single act on the bill and delivering multi-stage boutique festivals is what we do best. So what can you expect? Expect it all. 

We’d like to hear your opinions on small, grassroots promotions vs bigger productions, underground artists grow through smaller events but they can very rarely survive financially, and big raves are fantastic but what happens to the underground if they are the only viable events for promoters and ravers?

I believe we have found a model that inadvertently answers this question. We operate as a grassroots promotion- which we genuinely are, but with big ambitions, goals and the drive of a big multi-national. We listen to what the people want, that’s our number one objective. So for that reason, we have never stopped delivering the underground club shows as we know the importance of them, not only for artists financially, but for how they feed our larger scale show offerings. I feel deep down people want unique, fun, inclusive experiences – they want to feel like they’re a part of something. That is what bass music is! If you think about it, where else can they display their love for the underground than at the live shows themselves. That’s the beautiful thing about what we do, we fill that gap in people’s lives allowing them to express who they are, our events are purely a vessel. By listening to what the people want, and staying true to the brand, you can create loyalty, which results in longevity, whether the shows are big or small.

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