Peel yourself away from the air-conditioning and iced Americanos, because February is here looking like all kinds of wonderful. We hope you’re ready for another scorcher of a month, and we’re not just talking about just the temperatures, either—there’s so much to see and do and they’re all guaranteed to be mind-blowingly epic. From an extravagant fortnight of Rainbow pride, both vegan and meat-lover celebrations, to more festivals than you ever thought possible, Auckland is coming to life this month. You’re sure to find something for everyone, so get ready for a wild and wonderful February ahead!
Vegan Truck Stop | 1 February
Can you say best start to the month ever? La Cigale is back for another epic Vegan Truck Stop for all you plant-based foodies—but even the biggest steak lovers are guaranteed a scrumptious feed here! Explore some of the finest food trucks dishing up 100% vegan, plant-based goodness for one night, with live music and a bar to boot. The line up is looking nothing short of spectacular, with trucks like Mama Tahina, Otherside, Wise Boys Burgers, Double Dutch Fries and so many more to get excited about!
Dinner in the Sky | 1 February—18 February
Be one of the first in the country to experience this unreal dining experience—suspended 50 metres up in the sky! Taking the world by storm, Dinner In the Sky will be one of the most iconic pop-ups of the year. Take in the views of Auckland Harbour like never before, and feast on a gastronomic treat. From Wednesday to Sunday, you’ll have the choice from seven flights all by different Auckland hospitality heroes, including Simon Gault, Fraser Shenton and Phil Clark! This is taking brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktails on a whole new level… literally!
A Midsummer Night’s Dream | 1 February—31 March
Auckland summer staple Pop Up Globe is back for another stand out season! Regarded as Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece, A Midsummer Night’s Dream will enchant you with side-splitting comedy with a dash of beautiful poetry only Shakespeare could achieve. Fusing Jacobean costumes, lyrical poetry with Maori folklore and language, Pop-up globe introduces this flagship production to you with pride. Transport back 400 years into the past and sit amongst the space the plays they were written, whether its your first time or hundredth, it’ll be a night to remember.
Zirka Circus | 1 February—6 February
Back with its fifth tour of New Zealand, Zirka Circus is bringing even more mind-boggling, spectacular entertainment to our shores! Their new show Send in the Clowns is more spectacular than ever, with performing arts, theatre, and hilarity all wrapped up in a world-class performance! Whether you’re all about the action-packed daredevil acts or beautiful ballet, there is something for everyone in this stellar show! This is one adventure-filled (and animal-free!) circus for the whole family to love.
The Merchant of Venice | 2 February—29 March
Pop-up Globe is back and better than ever, presenting you with one of Shakespeare’s classics The Merchant of Venice. Already deep in debt to his best friend, Bassiano requires one more loan to woo and win the wealthy heiress Portia, unaware that when the due date comes to repay the debt, he will be gambling for his life! Full of wit, drama and disguise that Shakespeare has become legend for, this is based on the performance tradition going way back to 1614, performed by the Buckingham Company—an all-male company of actors and musicians around the world.
American Express Openair Cinemas | 2 February—4 March
Back for another season of blockbusters under the stars, American Express Openair Cinemas’ movie line up is looking all too exciting! From the latest Oscar nominees to the must-see classics, there’s something for everyone. You’ll get to catch I, Tonya, Thor Ragnarok, Pitch Perfect 3, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and so many more over a pizza and a wine (or two!). What’s more, American Express cardholders have a range of extras like loungers and blankets they can score as a cherry on top of a perfect night!
Auckland Pride Gala | 2 February—18 February
The Auckland Pride Gala is bringing you the most dramatic performances and breathtakingly talented performers, as well as a secret line up of guest appearances by Rainbow community icons! Moving into its sixth year, this is New Zealand’s largest and loudest social and cultural programme of events for the Rainbow community of New Zealand! Welcome to each and every New Zealander, there are more than 10 crazy, wonderful events for you to get amongst to celebrate diversity, individuality and being proud of who you are.
2018 Chinese New Year Festival & Market Day | 3 February
Celebrate the Year of the Dog at this the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival & Market Day touching down at ASB Showgrounds! Get amongst all of the traditional festivities including the Lion/Dragon dance, cultural songs and dances, outdoor martial arts and tai chi and games for the kids! And, we know you’re holding out for deets on the food—you’ll be stoked to hear that there will be more than 200 (!) stalls serving up Chinese delicacies, traditional New Year groceries, as well as arts and crafts! This is a FREE event for you to learn more about Chinese culture here in our city over food, performances and presentations!
Waitangi Day | 6 February
On the 178th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty, Orakei Domain is celebrating the occasion with a fun day out at Okahu Bay! Waitingi Day is sorted with this FREE community event bringing fantastic local musicians on the main stage, as well as delish food stalls, an arts and crafts lane as well as a games zone for the little ones! Learn more about the Treaty and how it shaped New Zealand today with the mobile Treaty exhibition from Auckland Museum.
The Another Frickin’ Festival Auckland Showcase | 8 February
Yep, that’s right—it’s Another Frickin’ Festival, and a bloody good one at that! Presented by Comedy Central and hosted at the ASB Theatre, keep the laughs going at one of the hottest comedy tickets of the year! Providing you with enough belly laughs to skip a core session, this show is filled to the brim with the most talented international and local comedians. Featuring Alice Snedden, Guy Montgomery, Ray Badran, Rose Matafeo and more, round up the crew for big night of frickin’ comedy!
Mardi Gras | 9 February
This celebration is all about good food, good liquor and the best party. Round up your best party squad and prepare for an amazing attack by colourful beads, delicious cocktails, live music for Mardi Gras. Orleans is arguably the closest place you’ll get to the colourful streets of New Orleans, Louisiana without the hefty price tag—and dare we say it, you might have an even better time! Bringing the party with a stacked line up of music, dancers, drink and food specials, all packed into Roukai Lane’s legendary venues including Orleans, REC and Racket Bar!
Takapuna Food, Wine and Music Festival | 10 February
Promising a vibe like no other, Takapuna Food Wine and Music Festival is bringing the best of this trio of goodness we all love. A taste of the music line up is looking like The Jordan Luck Band, Nathan Haines Live Band, Latin Aotearoa and Karn Hall! You’ll be dancing to all of them with few tipples from Villa Maria, Cloudy Bay, Man O War, Hallertau, Garage Project and so many more. And, your belly will be well-looked after with the delights from the likes of Miss Moonshines, Urban Escargot, Black Stag Deli, Double Dutch Fries, and The Tinman! You can even treat yourself to a next-level experience with the VIP ticket, including an exclusive zone, private bathrooms, top-shelf beverages and floating food platters!
Moveable Feast Matakana | 10 February
Make a day of it in Matakana! Hosted by Matakana’s Te Rata Wine, Moveable Feast is one scrumptious festival brings some of Auckland’s best street food right to the heart of Matakana village! There’s an unreal line-up of fabulous food—where the hardest thing you’ll be doing is choosing your feast—served alongside Te Rata’s beautiful natural wines, handmade sodas and cider, as well as craft beer on tap! Hit it up after nursing your food coma from the scrummy offerings at the morning markets.
Sabato Market Day | 11 February
Quickly becoming a hot favourite in Auckland’s food truck events, Sabato Market Day knows how to please an Aucklander! With loads of food truck faves on board like Very Good Dumplings, Wise Boys Burgers, Philippe’s Poutine, Double Dutch Fries, Temaki Truck and so many more, your stretchiest pants will be put to the test. Cheesemonger Calum will also be doing a Parmigiano cracking at 12:30pm which is not to be missed—it’s cheese! There will also be in-store specaisl and tastings from all your fave New Zealand suppliers for a feast of epic proportions.
Julius Caesar | 13 February—31 March
The world’s greatest empire is compromised when the wildly unpredictable yet wildly popular leader Julius Caesar can no longer be tolerated. Based on true events in Roman history, let the Pop Up Globe transport you 400 years into the past in the space for which the play was written. Working with top theatre experts worldwide, this gender exploration and role reversal sees the Pembroke’s Company have men play women, and even women playing men for a powerful performance you don’t want to miss.
Urban Street Fest Milford | 15 February
Bringing a night of gourmet street food and dance-worthy live music, Urban Street Fest is ready for a good night, and you should be too! Making its home at Milford Shopping Centre, the food trucks include Double Dutch Fries, The Rolling Pin, Play Dough Pizza, Wise Boys Burgers, and Organic Knowledge just to name a few! This will be matched perfectly with live music from Lee Gray, as well as a tipple or two from the good people at Brothers Beer!
Dunkirk—Friday Films | 16 February
Friday night, a cinematic masterpiece and delish food and drink under the stats sounds like our kind of bliss. If it’s yours too, head down to Silo Park for Friday Films! You’ll have a chance to blow off some steam with a drink or two at the Silo Bar, chow down on some delectable treats from food trucks like Crepes Creations, Kraken Crumpets, Fritz’s Weiners and so much more. Settle in on the green with your creature comforts to watch Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s WW2 masterpiece. One of the great films of 2017, Dunkirk weaves an intricate tale connecting soldiers, civilians and families that is nothing short of epic.
Silo Farm | 18 February
Dust off your gum boots and get out your Swanndri for an escape from the city… right in the heart of it! Silo Park is transforming into Silo Farm for one day only, where they’re giving us city slickers a taste of the farm! From a petting zoo, the finest sheepdogs in town, to a classic gumboot toss and a bicycle-powered saw, expect something for the whole family! It’s not all work down at the farm, ‘cause you’ll be enjoying some ice cold brews and a dance or two with DJ Tido on the decks!
Auckland Fringe | 20 February—4 March
The feisty, independent open-access arts festival is back for a kick-ass two weeks! Auckland Fringe is open to anyone and everyone who wants to get involved, celebrating inclusivity in this wonderful city of ours. From main stage to floating theatres, fancing with cats to dental hygiene talks (very important), immerse yourself in the weird, wacky and wonderful Auckland arts scene.
Meatstock | 24 February—25 February
Reckon you’re the biggest and baddest meat lover around? Meatstock is where you need to be this February for all things juicy, tender meat! See the pros battle it out at the NZ Butcher Wars, or nail the perfect chicken and ribs from five-time World Barbecue Champion Tuffy Stone. If you reckon you’re a bit of a master on the grill, you can even register to be part of the King of the Cue and NZ Barbecue Awards for a chance to score some top-tier prizes. And, if you’re just there to eat, come well prepared—there’s more than ten stallholders serving up all things meat, as well as pros in the industry giving you all the tips and tricks for the perfect cut. Bring on the meat sweats!
Wigging Out | 27 February
Who’s better to peer into the world of female friendships than two men in wigs? Wigging Out brings you Auckland’s hottest new drag sisters, sashaying into your lives quick stat! Anne Ziety and Dee Pression were high school frenemies with more beef than a Taylor Swift, and reunite in a doctor’s waiting room. Starring Tom Sainsbury, the Snapchat Paula Bennett, and Hamish Russell, Drag Wars 2016 Winner, this extravagant show promises lip-syncs, monologues and self-deprecating asides. Let’s not forget the sequins, slipping false eyelashes, and more costume reveals than you can shake ya tail feather at!
Image Credit: Lantern Festival