Nelson dance gigs to help Christchurch families
Nelson DJ Mamadafunk (Sarah Crowther) will play two benefit gigs for those affected by Christchurch's mosque shooting at Nelson's Deville Cafe on Friday and Takaka's Roots Bar on Saturday.


Nelson DJ Mamadafunk (Sarah Crowther) will play two benefit gigs for those affected by Christchurch’s mosque shooting at Nelson’s Deville Cafe on Friday and Takaka’s Roots Bar on Saturday.

Hours after bidding farewell to Pussy Riot, the team that brought the Russian protest band to Nelson have shifted their attention to helping those affected by the terror attack in Christchurch. 

Nelson DJ Mamadafunk and Auckland-based Heylady’s Friday night show at Deville cafe and Saturday’s gig at Takaka’s Roots Bar will now be benefit shows for the victims and families affected by last weeks mosque shootings that claimed 50 lives.

Promoter Janja Markovic and the team responsible for bringing Pussy Riot to Nelson approached the artists to ask if they could make the gigs a benefit for those affected in Christchurch.

“We were reacting to the awful events that happened and saying look what can we do to raise some money? This show was on, why don’t we approach them and DeVille and see what they say about making it a ticketed event and put all the proceeds towards whatever is the most appropriate way of spending it.

“It is about the families in Christchurch but I’ve also heard from a friend that the Muslim community here is looking to raise funds for the first mosque in Nelson, so that is a conversation that needs to happen, about where the best place to put the donations is.” 

​Heylady (Mel Thompson) is acknowledged as one of New Zealand’s top female DJs and played an opening set for British dance act Leftfield last week.

Mamadafunk, aka Sarah Crowther, said she was thrilled to be able to help in the middle of such a horrific time for the country.

“Janja rang me on Saturday morning and asked if they can kind of hijack the gig – It felt like a no brainer, so I checked in with Mel and the venue and they were totally supportive.”

A multi-genre DJ, Crowther said she had planned to incorporate some world music aspects into her set along with the house, techno and minimal sounds planned for the twin gigs.

“I’ve worked hard to reflect the situation, in not too sombre a way – just to pay respects, I guess.”

Ticket sales from both shows will go towards fundraising efforts, while Deville are donating its bar takings from the show to the cause.

Co-owner Evan McLean said opening his venue in support of the gig was the least he could do to help.

“Janja has done well to get onto it so quickly – it’s great that we can do something and hopefully we get a good crowd on Friday.” 

Doors for the Nelson show open at 8.30pm. Pre-sale tickets are available for $20 from Deville, 22 New Street.  An A1-sized Nelson Pussy Riot gig poster, designed by Leah Patterson based on Russian constructivist imagery and signed by Pussy Riot, will be auctioned off on the night.

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