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Indigo: Same name new face

An old venue will be opening with a new look and new opportunities thanks to input from local music promotor Stephen Upton.

Stephen Upton, Music Studio Manager at Marmalade Audio has bought half of Indigo from current bar owner Adrian Mackenzie.

Upton will be working as the bar’s entertainment and promotions manager. He already has a number of acts lined-up for the coming months including: King Kapisi, Canvas, Mary Staple, Crumb and Dave Dobbyn.

Upton will also be running a “free band” night on Fridays. “This has never been done before, at least not since I’ve been around. The public deserve to see bands, but they can’t always because of the cost.”

Bar Manager Adrian Mackenzie is happy with the arrangement. “It’s easier to run a venue with two peoples combined expertise.” It also means a cashflow injection for the bar which has been struggling since noise problems forced it to upgrade soundproofing last March.

MacKenzie and Upton are making some structural changes. The main one is the entrance way. On Monday night Indigo is having an “entrance-way” party. MacKenzie wants people to come along and get involved. “We will provide free chisels. Its also a chance for us to test the new PA.” The inside of the venue is also being renovated and early next year MacKenzie is looking at putting in a second bar.

Upton will continue to work as Music Studio Manager at Marmalade Audio. He admits there will be occasions when conflict of interest arises but says this can’t be helped. “You cannot work in the New Zealand music industry without that, it’s too small.” However he does not see it as a big problem. At the moment he is more concerned with getting the venue ready for its relaunch on Friday 10 November.

For Upton part owning a bar is the realisation of a goal he set some time ago. He said interest in Indigo stemmed from running a band competition at the venue earlier in the year. “It’s a good medium sized venue and I was annoyed at the way it was being run. There is so much potential in it.”

Wellington bands D-Super and Canvas will play at the re-open of Indigo on Friday 10 November. The bands start at Midnight, after the Weta, Shihad, Fur Patrol concert in the Town Hall, entry is free and the bar will be open till 5am, licence pending.

By Rebecca Thomson


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