Events at The Free House

All Free House events start at 8pm unless stated otherwise.


- a world-touring circus sideshow who specialise in acts of the beautiful and bizarre. They fuse vintage circus with a big dose of comedy and tasteful burlesque to create a show like no other! They have performed over 700 shows in 13 countries, been featured on TV shows, in magazines and in music videos for world-famous bands. They combine the daring of Evil Knievel, the beauty of Marilyn Monroe and the wit of Lucille Ball with stunts like sword-swallowing, whip-cracking, knife-throwing and escapology....All this plus comedy, magic, singing and dancing promises a unique night you won't forget in a hurry! This marks their very first New Zealand visit. THIS IS AN 18+ EVENT - WARNING - CONTAINS PARTIAL NUDITY - 8pm, sorry online sales sold out, a few door sales will be available on the night from 7pm, $10



Mon Nov 24 NELSON LIVE POETS feat. Harry Ricketts
Harry Ricketts is a poet, academic, editor and reviewer. He studied English at Oxford University and lectured in Hong Kong and Leicester before arriving in New Zealand to a post at Victoria University in Wellington in 1981. He has edited collections of verse, critical essays, and other works of non-fiction and his acclaimed biography of Rudyard Kipling was released in 1999. His poetry is defined by dramatic and satiric devices and tones, often grounded in personal commentary.
6pm Koha Entry with purchase of drink.



Sat Dec 6 JOSH RENNIE-HYNES supported by Liam Gerner
Josh Rennie-Hynes is making waves as one of Australia’s most promising and upcoming Americana/ folk singer-songwriters since the release of his debut album, ‘February’. He has been receiving rave responses from his live shows and this is his first ever New Zealand tour. Josh has recently played at The Woodford Folk Festival, Caloundra Music Festival, Apollo Bay Music Festival, Wandi Swagger Festival and the Tamworth Country Music Festival in the space of the last two years. Josh has received high-rotation radio play on ABC local Australia wide, 98.9 fm in Brisbane, and has also had plays on Triple J and community radio, Australia wide.

LIAM GERNER: Steeped in blues and country music, Liam Gerner left his rural family life in Adelaide hills to seek his fortune in London. Almost immediately he was treated as a “hot new talent” and experienced the music business at its most corporate. Breaking free, he headed to the US, joined Texan country rocker Ryan Bingham’s band on guitar and experienced frontline American roots music. Liam also plays and works with his new Melbourne based band The Alan Ladds. 8pm Free Admission with purchase of a drink.




In a nutshell, a group of musicians (instrumentalists and singers) will get together in the Yurt to play music together. This is where everyone plays along, some will do lead breaks on their instruments and others will sing harmonies against the melody. You need to be a fairly competent musician to join a jam session but remember, if you don’t feel your musical skill base is up to this, every jam session needs singers and most musicians love to have an audience. Just come along and listen in and join the fun. Anyone is welcome - if in doubt about your ability to join in - just bring your instrument and listen for a song or two to decide. It is all aimed at fun with music. More info from Anna Heinz on 546 7262. 7.30-10pm, free entry with drink purchase.



Sat Dec 13 SIKA
Sika - Acoustic Tribal Trance - "A dynamic fusion of instruments from many indigenous cultures. Didjeridoo, drums, percussion, native flutes, & ocarina mixed with ambient and upbeat soundscapes to journey into other worlds."
Touring in the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand since 1990, Sika's contemporary compositions express his respect for all people of the world.
He has played with Aztec elders at The Sun Pyramid Teotihuacan in Mexico and with Aboriginal people in the Australian desert. He has played Didj for Aboriginal Elders on stage and in healing ceremonies,performed at The NZ Embassy, Te Papa, The Commonwealth Institute, Stonehenge and Westminster Abbey. Sika has travelled extensively learning much from the indigenous tribes he has spent time with. Much of what Sika composes comes from his deep connection to Great Spirit. This knowledge and experience is incorporated into his music. He continues to mesmerise and inspire audiences at festivals, concerts and sound journeys as well as producing beautiful albums. 8pm, $10 on the door.



Tom’s Field are a Motueka/Nelson based acoustic roots/folk ensemble who serve up a high energy fusion of Irish, folk, & bluegrass sounds delivered with a contemporary flair. Their combination of toe-tapping rhythms and thoughtful vocals has been impressing audiences in the region. The group’s repertoire includes bluegrass harmonies & rhythms, stomping reels & jigs, original compositions and soulful songs all interspersed with cheeky irreverence. Bring your dancing trousers and be prepared to raise a sweat. Collectively Tom’s Field are: Helen Mayhew on vocals/whistle/percussion, Sean Magee on mandolin/banjo, Simon Guppy on vocals/guitar and Tamsin Leenhouwers on violin/viola.
8pm FREE ENTRY with drink purchase

Sun Dec 21 XMAS CAROLS in the YURT with Anna Heinz, 6.30pm FREE











With their unpredictable on-stage banter, exquisite sibling harmonies, irresistible pop melodies & songs that are akin to your favourite stories put to music, The Little Stevies have built an exceptional reputation as a must see live act, drawing keen, loyal, Little Stevie-loving fans wherever they go. They've toured Australia, Canada & the USA extensively and have release three studio albums, their most recent 'Diamonds For Your Tea', released in October was described in the Sydney Morning Herald as "incredibly well-honed, gorgeous songs rip out of the speakers with a deep, warmly polished sound that is better than just about anything I have heard in recent history".
8pm, $10 on door.

Midge McCleary is a jazz, funk, roots and blues inspired musician, and is predominantly a percussive finger-styleplayer.
Although having played and performed in many different lineups he has recently been embarking on solo acoustic missions - no backing band, no gimmicks or fancy effects, just his acoustic guitar, vocal chords & Bigfoot Stomp box. He uses alternate tunings, slapping basslines & appegiated chord progressions, which create a lot of depth andsonic interest in the sound of the guitar. 8pm, FREE with drink purchase





The same band that played last year’s performance returns to the Free House, featuring Steve Low vocals/guitar, Sally knight Vocals, Ted Key keyboards and Kevin Earl banjo. Since last year’s concert Steve Low was a semfinalist in the international Song of the year song writing contest with the song The Afterlife and he recorded a new collection of songs Kiwi Americana. This year the band is blending in soul music elements with the established alternative country style. New original songs since Kiwi Americana are songwriting demos currently being pitched at the US publishing houses. 8pm, FREE with drink purchase




A solo appearance from Mara Simpson of MARA & THE BUSHKAS. Songstress, writer, independent musician, player of various musical instruments and partaker of Hootannany hollaring. Currently living in Berlin. Folk, Rock, Soul, Pop ? or an echo of decades past ? you'll need to hear her to find out.
8pm, FREE with drink purchase





Thurs Jan 29 DYLAN WADE
Innovative guitar player, smooth soulful vocalist, writer of unique songs… Dylan Wade is a performing musician with many years of musical experience. Combining catchy rhythmic percussive feels with insightful uplifting lyrics, from subtle intricate sweet finger picking instrumentals to roots powered funky grooves, it will take you on a musical journey, infusing new age soul into blues, reggae, folk, funk, jazz, with a stream of consciousness ever-fresh vocal delivery. Since the 90’s Dylan has formed, managed and was the front man of several bands and has considerable experience as both a band player and as a soloist. 8pm, FREE with drink purchase



Shayna King is a singer-songwriter - though not in the traditional sense. With a voice described as a “stunning mix between soft and powerful”, the Christchurch, New Zealand artist is fast making a strong name for her music. Having recently played support for New Zealand Artist-Collective ‘Fly My Pretties’, UK Legend ‘Nik Kershaw’ and Australia’s ‘Mark Wilkinson’, King also performs as a full-time artist around Canterbury, often gigging 4 or 5 times a week to support and develop her art full-time. King is currently in the process of writing her new EP and plans are underway for a South Island Tour this Summer.



Sat Feb 14 UNDERSKORE ORCHESTRA (USA) on St. Valentine's Day
The Underscore Orkestra is a Portland-based band, playing a blend of Balkan, Klezmer, gypsy jazz and swing, with a repertoire consisting of both original and traditional material. They have been touring all over the US, Canada, Central America and Europe for the past 7 years. Instrumentation is Violin, Guitar, Accordion, Horns, Clarinet, Bass, Sousaphone Percussion, Harmonica, Piccolo, Ukulele, Bambazoo and Belly Dancing.




Ralph Bennett-Eades has "been singing the Blues ever since the world began" ...well at least since the 70's which is before the world began for some.
He plays Slide, Finger Picking and Driving Rhythm Guitar, as well as the Blues, he writes and performs New Zealand Road Songs, a dozen of them are on his C.D. "The Southern Journey"

You may have seen him Supporting Bo Diddley, Hammond Gamble, or Midge Marsden in the 80's or at any of the North Island Festivals; Nambassa, SweetWaters, Mountain Rock, Strawberry Fields in the 90's or performing at the Gypsy Fairs and Blues and Folk Clubs in both Islands this Century.

8pm, FREE with drink purchase







MarchFest is a unique craft beer and music festival, held in New Zealand’s sunniest city, Nelson, at the top of the South Island. Set in the beautiful, traffic-free environment of Founders Heritage Park, the 8th MarchFest takes place on Saturday March 21st, 2015. Every year around 15 regional craft breweries sign up to produce a new beer for the event. These beers all make their world debut at Marchfest. Top of the South breweries include 8Wired, Dale's, Dead Good Beer, Founders, Golden Bear, Hop Federation, Lighthouse, McCashins, Moa, Mussel Inn, Renaissance, Sprig and Fern, Totara, Townshends, West Coast and more..
And unlike other beer festivals, MarchFest is not just about beer. It’s also about local wines, ciders and juices, regional cuisine (including a beer and food matching lunch) as well as its ‘event genre mash-up’ insistence on being a craft beer festival, an indie/world music gig, a hops showcase, an educational forum for home/wannabe brewers and a family-friendly day out. It’s hard to believe such a combination can work, but the thousands of people who attend each year are testimony that it does!
Great live music is always a big feature of Marchfest. In 2015, SOLA ROSA top the bill. Founder and frontman Andrew Spraggon now has British R&B, soul, reggae and hip hop singer-songwriter, Kevin Mark Trail in the band. Kevin rose to fame by appearing on two tracks on The Streets debut album 'Original Pirate Material', including the UK hit single, "Let's Push Things Forward". Supporting Sola Rosa will be Wellington's hottest new band Brockaflowersaurus Rex. From Australia we welcome acclaimed singer songwriter Jordie Lane followed by 60s tribute band California Dreamers who provide a light-hearted and theatrical contrast to local acts The Saints and The Radtones who get the party rocking from late afternoon with their debut Marchfest appearances.
MarchFest is also about creating an event where responsible drinking and good parenting go hand-in-hand. There will be heaps of cool stuff for kids to do. Welcome to MarchFest, Nelson and New Zealand's beer flavoured festival - a celebration of music, food, fun and of course, proper beer. $29 EARLYBIRD TICKETS AVAILABLE Dec 1st 2014 onwards from The Free House. All info at the Marchfest website here





Fri May 29-31st CEOL AENEAS Irish Music Festival

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Email is here

Our address is:
95 Collingwood Street, Nelson (opposite the Giant Squid !) or PO Box 1975 Nelson.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thurs: 3pm to 10.30-ish, Fri: 3pm to 12-ish,
Sat: Noon to 12-ish, Sun: Noon to 10.30-ish.
Mon-Thurs: 4pm to 10.30-ish, Fri: 4pm to 12-ish,
Sat: Noon to 12-ish, Sun: Noon to 10.30-ish.

Our tel nos are:
03 548 9391 (opening hours), 03 548 3887 (office hours)

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