The new year is upon us, and thank heavens for that because summer's looking like it’s going to be legendary. From pop, psychedelic disco and soul-funk, to RnB, reggae and burlesque, with your vaccination certificate in your hot little hand, you’ll have the pick of 28 awesome events to celebrate the first month of 2022.
Here's what's on across Aotearoa this January.
Wellington, All January
Free music through January - what more could you want? Gardens Magic is an annual event by Wellington City Council featuring local favourites and up-and-coming talent plus an after-dark light show. Previous performers have included OdESSA, H4LF CĀS, Zoe Moon, SKA PAI and the New Zealand String Quartet so you know it’s going to be good.
The Beach Ball
Various Locations, 2-15 January
Can anyone get enough of BROODS? We can’t wait for this brother-sister pop duo to throw down some bangers at The Beach Ball this summer. And with Flamingo Pier spinning some psychedelic disco and Imugi 이무기 serving the synth-pop R&B, you won’t want to miss these gigs.
Michelangelo - A Different View
Auckland, 3-30 January
From the good people who brought Banksy to Aotea Centre comes an exquisite re-creation of the Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes. Take a visual vacation to Rome, immersing in the 4.6m x 20m reproduction of Michalangelo’s ‘The Genesis’, and fourteen other incredible frescoes painted by Botticelli, Perugino, Ghiralandaio and Rosselli.
Caburlesque - Glam Metal
Wellington, 8 January
Does a throwback to the great hair metal bands of the 70s, 80s and 90s, packed full of burlesque, cabaret, drag, pole and belly dance sound like a bit of you? You better nab yourself a ticket to Caburlesque, stat.
Dance Farm Festival
Whangamata, 8 January
Singer-songwriter Mitch James, electronic duo SACHI and the iconic Ladyhawke are among the first release of artists by Dance Farm, the newest festival to hit Coromandel. With an initial line-up this epic, we can’t wait to hear who’ll be headlining.
King & Queen of the Mountain
Coronet Peak, 8 January
Prefer your music in your airpods while you’re powering up a mountain? This 1.45km sprint may seem short but with an almost vertical route across tussock, rock and shrubs, this is no walk in the park. If you’re up for the challenge, King & Queen of the Mountain is where you’ll want to be this January.
Bread & Circus - World Buskers Festival
Christchurch, 14-30 January
Remember that time the world broke and you were stuck inside for days on end accidentally getting into an eclectic mix of hobbies? (Oh, wait…) Put your lockdown skills to good use and sign up to be a performer in Bread & Circus, or just go along and get your mind blown by some of the best buskers Aotearoa has to offer.
Coro Summer Fest
Coromandel, 15 January
A celebration of community, friends and family coming together to dance barefoot on the lawn with amazing live music Coro Summer Fest sounds like a tonic after the year we’ve had. Performers include three-piece band Kita, DJ Jamin-i, the eclectic Alleykat, Whatakane’s own The Huneybee Wild and the jungle-infused DnB music of Paige Julia with more to be announced.
Hawkes Bay, 15 January
Aotearoa's homegrown indie festival, Nest Fest, will be serving Marlon Williams, Ladyhawke, Kirin J Callinan, The Veils, Liam Finn, Nice Girl and more. With over 50 acts across six unique stages, it's sure to be a magical day in Hawkes Bay.
Nelson, 15 January
New festival, Taste Tasman, is one for your calendar if you're into beer, cider, food and Jordan Luck. It'll be a day of hydration and sweet tunes with the likes of the Jordan Luck Band (of course), Liam Pool + friends, Raw Collective, Toby & Ruby, Knights of the Dub Table and NFX.
Come Together, The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers
Christchurch/Wellington/Auckland, 15 January/20 January/21 January
Flock to Come Together or your favourite hits by The Rolling Stones performed by some of Aotearoa’s finest musicians like Jon Toogood (Shihad), Sam Scott, Luke Buda (Phoenix Foundation), Lou’ana, Diane Swann & Deva Mahal, Brett Adams, Matthias Jordan, Mike Hall, (Pluto), Finn Scholes (Carnivorous Plant Society), Nick Atkinson (Supergroove), Karen Hu an dJol Mullholland MD.
The Extravaganza Fair
Paihia, 15-16 January
If you’re looking for something sprog-friendly The Extravaganza Fair could be just the thing. Taking place on the historic grounds of Waitangi Marae, with market stalls, arts and craft, food, music and kids shows, plus free entry, this market-festival hybrid is hard to beat.
Wellington, 17-30 January
Plant-based foodies and the veganuary-curious will love V-Plates, a brand new multi-day festival in Wellington celebrating plant-based goodness and sustainability.
In The Shade
Auckland, 19 January-2 February
Film buffs will want to snaffle tickets to In The Shade, an epic 50 films from over 20 countries screened across rad cinema palace, Hollywood Avondale, and the gem of the CBD, Academy Cinemas. To channel the summer vibes, the Hollywood will be treating attendees to a beer garden. Dope.
Groove in the Grapes
Auckland, 22 January
Kick back with The Feelers and a glass of vino at Groove in the Grapes. Set at the beautiful Turanga Creek organic vineyard in Whitford this gig is sure to be one sizzling summer performance.
Waipu, 22 January
How often can you say you’re going to a music festival on an angora goat farm? Head to Waipu Waves to soak up the sun and chill out with reggae beats and remixes by the likes of Jaffa Mafia, Murray Sweetpants, Toni Muir, DJ Chop Leon, Amanda Wright and The Dirty Happys.
Auckland, 22 January
Bringing the sounds of summer back to Western Springs Stadium, this festival-in-a-day headlined by L.A.B will give you a solid fix of some of the best musicians in Aotearoa with the likes of Sir Dave Dobbyn, Ladi6, The Black Seeds, Katchafire, JessB and RIIKI.
Napier, 28 January
A supercharged spectacle for the senses is coming to The Cabana, Aotearoa’s oldest pure live music venue. Strap yourself in and prepare to be Glitter Boomb-d with sassy realness served by burlesque beauties Nocturness, Ms Ruby Rebel, Jersey Rhein and Cherry Boomb!
Waimea Summer Party
Martinborough, 29 January
Delight in the stunning Palliser Bay as you get your party on with sweet tunes by local Wellington and Hawkes Bay bands Shenanigans, The Noodles, Chocolate Box, Audio Underground and Three Shots to The Head. Waimeha Summer Party has you covered on the kai and accom front too with a delicious mix of street food on offer plus beer, wine and spirits, and free overnight camping. Score.
BOI Music Festival
Paihia, 29 January
Smooth vibes are coming to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds this January with the BOI Music Festival. Think Salmonella Dub, Tiki Taane, Laughton Kora, Whirimako Black, Savage, JessB, Muroki, Sunshine Sound System, Rubi Du and more.
The Great Kiwi Beer Festival
Christchurch, 29 January
With more than 300 beers on tap, interactive workshops, beer tasting seminars and live music to boot, The Great Kiwi Beer Festival is craft beer heaven. An annual tradition at Hagley Park, if you get a little too…hoppy… you can sober up at one of the 35+ street food vendors. Choiiice.
Wellington, 29-30 January
If you're into the gin like it's nobody's business, grab your gin-loving mates and pop along to Gindulgence. Taking place at Frank Kitts Park there'll be free gin tastings, gin master classes, live entertainment and delicious food. Plus, you get your very own official festival G&T glass as a souvenir.
LOU’ANA Moonlight Madness Tour
Napier/Wellington, 29/30 January
If soul-funk with a dose of Magick is more your thing, you’re going to want to snag a ticket to LOU’ANA’s Moonlight Madness Tour. With a voice described as a “cosmic cocktail of sweet and soulful, with an added gritty, blues edge” this gig will be unlike anything else.
Nightside - 12 Hour Day To Night Rave
Auckland, 30 January
George Fm and Bahvu presents Nightside, a day to night rave like you've never before experienced. Taking place at Sweat Shop Brew Bar, there'll be house and techno selectors while the sun's out and then, come nightfall it's all about RAVE with garage and jungle, acid, ghetto, electro, backbeat and more.
Had your fill of festivals but the wanderlust is strong? Discover NZ's Very Own Grand Canyon and 16 Other Destinations This Summer.
Image credit: BOI Music Festival