As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, we’re starting the get amped up for the most wonderful time of the year. We’re talkin’ New Zealand’s summer festival season. Across the country, lads and lasses will be locking in tickets to some of the best summer festivals our country has to offer, all promising an epic mash-up of beats, vibes and all round good times in the sunshine.
Keen to dive into the wonderful world of New Zealand summer festivals? Of course you do! To help you pick and choose, we’ve whipped up the ultimate guide to the best summer festivals in New Zealand. From the classic New Year’s parties to boutique one-day events and family-friendly weekends, here are all the festivals you need to be at this summer. Let the partying begin!
Rhythm & Vines
What’s a summer festy list without a shout-out to Rhythm & Vines? If you’re a) a kiwi and b) partial to ringing in the New Year with thousands of other music-loving punters, then R & A is something you need to experience at least once. Set in amongst the vines in sunny Gisborne, this year’s festival comes with a solid line-up including Schoolboy Q, 2manydjs, A-Trak and so many more. Be there.
Rhythm & Alps
You South Island crew sure know how to party. Rhythm & Alps has become the go-to New Year’s camping festival in Wanaka and Queenstown, and we totally understand why. R & A combines stunning scenery with always awesome acts and seriously good festival feels. Heck, even Auckland folk are making their way down south to get a piece of the action. This year’s line-up is looking mighty fine with Black Sun Empire, Little Dragon, Cigarettes After Sex, Cut Snake and our very own Fat Freddy’s Drop ripping up the stage.
All about that bass? Mangawhai’s Northern Bass is where you need to be this New Year’s. Back for its seventh year, the line-up is as strong as ever with the recently re-united Salmonella Dub, British rapper Stormzy, drum and bass legend Goldie and a bunch of other artists with a knack for putting down sick AF beats. It’s also the perfect place to try out festival camping. They’ve got bars, finger-licking’ food trucks, hot showers and a fancy new toilet area. Winning!
We lost the plot when we heard that Auckland was getting its very own NYE festival and last year’s Wondergarden did not disappoint. This year its back and ready to rock Silo Park into 2018. We CANNOT wait to see Unknown Mortal Orchestra take the stage and LEISURE, Chelsea Jade, SWIDT and MAALA are going to be a hoot, too. Grab your tickets before they’re all snapped up!
2nd January 2018
Are you one of those people who instantly downbuzzes once New Year’s is over? Fret not and book your tickets to Mt Manuganui’s Bay Dreams festival!Kicking off on New Year’s day with a cheeky pre-party for those who can drag themselves out of bed, the main event will be left until the 2nd when the likes of DJ Snake, Machine Gun Kelly, Foster The People and a Pendulum DJ set get down and dirty.
12th—14th January 2018
Nelson’s magical Golden Bay is going to go off with the sound of New Zealand’s best underground electronic music. Yep, Golden Bass is a weekend electronica featuring everything from dub, techno and deep house to reggae, hip hop, psychedelic rock, plus a heck of a lot more. The camping spot includes a natural swimming hole, perfect for cooling down after getting sweaty in the mosh.
19th—21st January 2018
Oh how we love Raglan. With the surf, sunshine and cute wee township, you could almost say that it’s our dream summer destination…although Soundsplash might have something to do with that. This three-day music festival will take place at Wainui Reserve with an electic mix of music, art, yoga, dance, food and bevies. On the music front, our nation’s beloved Shapeshifter will do what they do best alongside Slumberjack, Dub FX, Katchafire, Ocean Alley and many, many more.
29th January 2018
After a super successful shift to their new home of Albert Park this year, St Jerome’s Laneway Festival is gearing up to put on yet another stellar show next year. Held over Auckland Anniversary weekend on 29th January, this boutique festy will be a music-fuelled day to remember. A range of international and local acts will do their thing, some of Auckland’s best food vendors will keep tummies full and the sun will hopefully shine, shine, shine. Our picks? Aldous Harding, Baynk, Mac DeMarco, Pond and The War on Drugs, but you can check out the full line-up for yourself here.
23—25th February 2018
If you think you’ll be sick of being just another number in the mosh bit by February, get your booty to Splore. This three-day festival is in a league of its own with everything from music and performing arts to workshops, installations, kids zones, wellness centres and a whole lotta love. Settle in on the beautiful shores of Tapapakanga Regional Park, put on your party pants and prepare to feel the ‘Mystic Ritual’—the 2018 Splore theme.
16th—18th March 2018
WOMAD is set to bring the best in music, art and dance to New Plymouth next year and it’s going to be a bloody good time. You’ll be kept busy with art installations, site performances and workshops as well as grooving to the epic tunes of Dragon, Anoushka Shankar and saxophone pro Kamasi Washington.
7th April 2018
Homegrown continues to show Welly how to party and its 2018 festival is going to be no different. The line-up of 28 acts is set to drop on Monday 16th October and promises to be all sorts of awesome. With five stages including a brand spanking new stage, you really don’t want to miss this one.
Image Credit: Rythm & Vines