New Zealand (NZ) commonly conjures up images of rolling green hills, snow-capped peaks, rugged coastlines, artisanal foods and tasty wines, but what about music? Perhaps lesser-known on the international stage is its thriving local music scene, headed up by Lorde and Kimbra, the dub bands Fat Freddy’s Drop and the Black Seeds, plus a bevy of lesser-known but popular local acts, like Katchafire, Cornerstone Roots, Kora, Tahuna Breaks, Pitch Black, Shapeshifter and Salmonella Dub. Not to mention the comedy folk duo Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, better known as the men behind the wildly popular HBO series Flight of the Conchords. In fact, one of the best excuses you have for touring this great land down south is catching the myriad music festivals that pop up around the country from December through April from north to south and coast to coast. Here we highlight some of the best for you…
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
: One of New Zealand’s most beloved music festivals, which has a sister event in Australia, is set to kick 2016 off in style. Previous artists have included Angus & Julia Stone, Banks and Belle & Sebastian. The next round promises everything from pioneering artists at the top of their game to acts they’re tipping to break through next year, such as Grimes, Flume and Beach House.
Where: Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland; a great central location overlooking the water. Auckland is the largest and most populated urban centre in New Zealand and its vast harbour, quiet islands and vibrant cityscape offer an exciting and accessible mix of urban, water and outdoor activities, not to mention world-class dining and shopping.
When: 1 February 2016
Stay: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour (5min walk from the venue), The Sebel Auckland Viaduct Harbour, The Sebel Quay West Auckland, Pullman Auckland, Mercure Auckland, ibis Styles Auckland
Auckland City Limits Festival
Inspired by and aligned with the world-class Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas, the event will feature a diverse line-up of major international music stars and local talent. The one-day event will showcase 40 artists from across a broad range of musical genres as well as feature outstanding culinary options, local artworks, an artisanal market, festival fashion, kids zone and a festival forum for exchanging cultural and innovative ideas.
Where: Western Springs Stadium, the surrounding fields and lakeside park. Lying in a residential suburb to the west of Auckland, the stadium is an entertainment venue consisting of a natural amphitheatre that can house 30,000 people and makes for the perfect outdoor music venue.
When: 19 March 2016
Stay: With 10 Auckland hotels to choose from, we’ve something to suit every taste and budget.
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