Packing over 70 shows into 18 days in March, the Auckland Arts Festival Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki is bringing a mixture of free and premium events featuring dance, theatre, live music, comedy, visual and digital art, talks and community participation projects, providing employment for over 1000 artists.
Art works include newly commissioned pieces and world premieres, alongside some that were cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The theme of this year’s festival is ‘aroha’, with events and art based around respecting stories, compassion for people, and care for the environment.
There will be heaps of free events, including events on International Women’s Day and New Zealand Children’s Day. The Aroha Art Project will be an opportunity for members of the public to contribute to a collaborative artwork in the festival garden in Aotea Square.
You’ll also be able to see some of Aotearoa’s coolest music acts, like Reb Fountain, Dixon Nacey, Delaney Davidson, and Hine!, a showcase of four breakthrough wāhine toa performers. Comedian Tom Sainsbury will be running a talk show featuring celebrity guests like Hilary Barry and Chlöe Swarbrick.
This will be the first Auckland Arts Festival helmed by new artistic director Shona McCullagh. “The irreplaceable essence of live performance binds and bonds us,” she says. “We really wanted to capture a sense of gratitude – uplifting and creating a centre-stage platform to show aroha to our world-class artists for their support during lockdown, and nourishing our hearts, minds and understanding of the world we live in.”
Get in before December 31 for early bird discounts on tickets.
Image: Tom Sainsbury
Auckland Arts Festival, March 4 – 21