Artist Selection with Jayraj Unka

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve had quite a few Festival goers ask about how our artist team go about selecting bands and musicians to play Festival.

We managed to sit down and steal five minutes with Jayraj Unka, one of the key artist selectors for Festival One. Jayraj’s job listening to hundreds of amazing submissions may sound like a dream, but with so many talented bands and musicians out there the job can be quite tough. Find out the three main things that he looks for when selecting artists.


First things first, what kind of vibe does the band applying bring to Festival One? Does the band, and the music they create, fit in with the community and “One” vibe of our epic festival? Festival One is an intricate tapestry made up of many threads and we want the artists chosen to add the right colours and textures to the mix.

Point of Difference

New Zealand is blessed with a depth of talented artists in all genres, but what’s the band’s point of difference? What is it that makes each band unique and makes us want to stay and listen to their sweet tunes, that no other band has?


You know when you hear that song and it wrecks your soul? I often find myself moved when listening to Underoath or Brooke Fraser. Many bands would be able to fit into the vibes of Festival and have a point of difference, but what captures us most at Festival One is the heart that shines through the music. It’s an indescribable quality, but you can most definitely feel it through the music created!

If your band ticks all the right boxes and you haven’t applied to play at Festival One yet, do not dilly dally or pass go, apply here!