Things To Do

Rally The Crew, Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Auckland’s Newest Festival

By Avril Treasure
12th Jan 2021

A world-class event of speed, technique and precision, the America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport, dating back to 1851—and the pinnacle of the sailing world. And in case you missed it, Auckland is set to host the 36th America’s Cup this year. 

And we’ve got news for you. Get hyped because alongside the America’s Cup comes a new Auckland-wide festival, jam-packed with events that will bring Tāmaki Makaurau to life over summer.

From boutique food and wine experiences to creative sculpture installations and a sustainable beach festival, Summernova is all about bringing people together to celebrate everything we love about this beautiful city.

So rally your crew and mark these dates in your calendar—this will be a summer you won’t forget. 

The 36th America’s Cup Presented By PRADA

Three events make up the 36th America’s Cup presented by PRADA—where the world’s best sailors will battle it out on the Waitematā Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf for the trophy. Next on the agenda is the PRADA Cup from January 15—February 22, where we’ll see challengers face off for the chance to battle Defender Emirates Team New Zealand. The final—The 36th America’s Cup Match—will be held in Auckland from the 6–15 of March and will see the Defender Emirates Team New Zealand race against the winner of the Prada Cup, in an epic battle to keep—or claim—the America's Cup. Cheer on team New Zealand from the water’s edge in the Cup Village or head out on your boat.

Louis Baker And The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

Catching the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra live is a pretty surreal experience, complete with donning some fancy threads and enjoying the atmosphere of the rather regal Great Hall in the Auckland Town Hall. One way to top this experience is to witness a performance of the Orchestra's one-off collabs with local musicians, singers or bands. Taking to the stage on Thursday, February 11 is Wellington native Louis Baker, a Kiwi singer-songwriter and soul musician best known for his live shows and singles (Rainbow, Black Crow and Addict) and his debut album Open. Score your tickets for this unmissable collab over here

Sunsetter Food, Wine And Music Festival

Whip out your sunglasses and get ready for the Sunsetter Food, Wine and Music Festival. Held on Saturday, February 13 at Smales Farm, the full-day festival will feature international and local acts, New Zealand wineries, craft breweries and popular food vendors in a chilled-out setting. Get your groove on in the sunshine with iconic Kiwi band Stellar*, as well as Latinaotearoa, AutoMatic 80s, Samson Live and more. Food-wise, expect delicious morsels from Vege Bang Bang, El Humero, Mr Tanaka’s, Soho, Napoli Central, Double Dutch Fries and Sweet As Crepes. Cool off with an Aperol spritz, a Garage Project Brew, a crisp white from Man O’ War or a glass of Veuve Clicquot. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Young At Art

Starting on February 21, Young At Art is a collection of creative hubs popping up across Auckland, which aims to support the creative pursuits of young Kiwis. Throughout the month there will be a bunch of events to check out, such as installations, music performances and photography exhibitions. Young At Art is backed by Youth Arts New Zealand—a social enterprise that connects, showcases and develops the next generation of creative New Zealanders. They’re the people behind the silent disco city walk, so you know what they’re bringing is going to be good. 

Island Time on Motutapu

Gather your friends together this summer for an epic festival at Home Bay on Motutapu Island. Island Time on Motutapu is going down on February 27 and 28 (with two sessions each day, from 10am to 3.15pm and 2pm to 7.30pm) and it’s all about kicking back with your mates in a beautiful destination. Situated in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf, surrounded by idyllic turquoise waters, you can arrive at Motutapu Island by ferry—or if you’re lucky, your own boat. There’ll be a range of food and drinks there for you to enjoy, as well as performances by local bands and DJs. You’ll also have a chance to learn more about the cultural significance and history of Motutapu as well as becoming immersed in the native flora and fauna. 

Waterbourne Beach Festival

New Zealand’s biggest beach festival—Waterbourne— is back, baby. Kicking off on February 27, the festival spans three weeks at Takapuna Beach over on Auckland's North Shore. Expect to see local live music, devour delicious eats and try your hand at watersports. There will also be a bunch of comedy shows and movie nights to keep you entertained. Catch the likes of Dave Dobbyn, Sojourn and Ashley Alexander taking to the stage over the three weeks. Waterbourne is also a sustainable festival, and wants to encourage us all to protect New Zealand’s unique wildlife and ocean—so you’ll also be able to get amongst beach clean-ups and water safety courses. Pack your swimmers and remember to slip, slop, slap and wrap.


See L.A.B perform their biggest outdoor show to date this summer at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday, March 27. The five-person Kiwi band will throw down an epic two-hour set, covering tracks from all three albums as well as new material. Dance to their smooth mix of reggae, blues, funk and electronic tunes with your best mates. L.A.B will be supported by a stellar homegrown line-up including Mako Road, Ladi6, Ria Hall and The Leers. The concert will be held at The Upper Field where you can boogie the night away or sit back and relax on the grass with some bites and brews. Get your tickets early to make sure you don’t miss out!

Make waves this season at Summernova, the hottest new festival series taking over Auckland this summer—peep the epic line-up here

Editor’s note: This article is proudly sponsored by Auckland Unlimited and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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