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The Best Music Festivals In NZ You Need To Experience In 2022 & 2023

By Lauren Sanderson
18th Feb 2021

People in awesome costumes at Splore Festival.

We don't know about you but we are long overdue for a good festival after the heartbreaking cancellations and C-related fubars of the past two years it's been a long time coming. 

Across the country, we'll be locking in tickets to some of the best festivals in NZ our awesome country has to offer, all promising an epic mash-up of beats, good vibes and all round fun times. 

So dust off your festie attire, grab your crew and take your pick from our ultimate guide to the best festivals in New Zealand. Let the partying begin! 

Sonorous 

Wynyard Pavilion | 5 June 2022

Calling all house and techno fans. If you haven’t experienced the magic of Sonorous Festival yet, then 2022 is your year. An epic line-up of talented artists will take over Wynyard Pavilion during Queens Birthday Weekend—which means you can party on a Sunday without the worries of Monday looming over you. Some of the best names in house and techno will be creating some interstellar sonic grooves for you to get amongst.

Mardi Gras

Ohakune & Queenstown | 18 & 25 June 2022

Winter is here, but that doesn’t mean the party season is over. No siree—so put on your fun pants and embrace the chillier nights. Warm yourself up at Mardi Gras, an epic winter fest in Ohakune and Queenstown in June, featuring a wicked drum and bass line-up. So, if you’re looking to kickstart your winter season with a bang then lock this event in, it’s going to be lit.

Revellers vibe up a mountain at Snow Machine, one of the best music festivals in NZ.Snow Machine

Queenstown | 7-10 September 2022

Clear your calendars an epic four-day ski festival is coming to Queenstown this September and you're going to want in. Ski the stunning Remarkables and Coronet Peak by day, partying it up with your fave DJs at the two epic mountain après stages and then shredding down the mountain to continue the party in Queenstown by night. Can life get much better? We think not. The Avalanches, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Sneaky Sound System and The Presets are just some of the awesome acts that will be taking to the slopes and that's just to name a few. So if it's sick beats and views of Queenstown's idyllic peaks that you're after then be sure to book pronto as this is one of the best music festivals in NZ. Après awaits! 

The Longline Classic

Gisborne |  22 October 2022

Pack your bag and your glittery disco pants for a day of sick beats, dancing galore and so much more at Makaraka Racecourse in Gisborne. Party it up with some big names at The Longline Classic—with the likes of Fat Freddy's Drop, Skeggs Aus, Melowdownz and Flamingo Pier gracing the stage, it's going to go off. 

Outerfields 2022

Auckland | 3 December 2022

Aucklanders listen up. Western Springs is where it’s at this coming summer as Outerfields Festival brings us an epic lineup of artists right on our doorsteps— Think BENEE, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Montell2099 and heaps more. The Outer Fields’ tree and hill-lined landscape has made incredible concert memories since launching in 2019 with shows from Mumford & Sons, Billy Idol and even Snoop Dog, so grab your mates and continue the fun by making more memories this summer at Outerfields.

Festival goers at Rhythm And Vines, one of the best music festivals in NZ.Rhythm & Vines 

Gisborne | 29 -31 December 2022

You can’t go past a classic, and this Kiwi festival is no exception. If you’re partial to ringing in the New Year with thousands of other music-loving punters, then Rhythm and Vines is a rite of passage for any self-respecting Kiwi. Set amongst the vines in sunny Gisborne, this year’s festival is sure to come with a solid line-up. Grab your ticket now or risk FOMO as you watch your friends moshing to the ultimate beats of summer.   

Rhythm & Alps Music Festival

Wanaka |29-31 December 2022

You South Island crew sure know how to party. Rhythm and Alps has become the unmissable New Year’s camping festival in Wanaka and Queenstown, and we totally understand why. R&A combines stunning scenery with world-class acts and seriously good festival feels. Heck, even Auckland folks are making their way down to get a piece of the action. This year's line-up is set to be mighty fine. 

Northern Bass 

Mangawhai | 29-31 December 2022

Think you’re all about that bass? Then Mangawhai’s Northern Bass is where you need to be this New Year’s. Last year, for the first time in 11 years, there was no Northern Bass, which means this year is going to be pretty damn huge. The lineup is 90% locked in, so be sure to snap up your ticket pronto.

Twisted Frequency Festival

Golden Bay | 30 December 2022 - 3 January 2023

Ready to get a little bit twisted? Grab your pals and head to Twisted Frequency, a unique five-day festival in Golden Bay. Unleash your inhibitions to electronic beats spread across four stages and get amongst workshops and interactive experiences all while taking in the views of the beautiful natural surroundings. With a mission to aid the growth of music and art across Aotearoa and the world—now that's something we can get behind. 

Soundsplash Festival

Raglan | 21-23 January 2023 

It really doesn’t get much better than Raglan in the summer. With the surf, sunshine and adorably cute township, you could almost say that it’s our dream summer destination although Soundsplash might have a little influence on that too. This three-day eco-focused music festival takes place at Wainui Reserve with an eclectic mix of music, art, yoga, dance, food and bevies. It's one summer weekend not to be missed. 

Bay Dreams Festival

Mount Maunganui & Nelson | 3 & 5 January 2023 

After expanding from its home in The Mount into the South Island’s Nelson Bays, New Zealand’s biggest festival Bay Dreams is gearing up for what looks to be its most exciting event yet. Once again, the team will be starting the party in Mount Maunganui on January 3, before bringing the good vibes down south to Nelson on January 5. It's going to be a gooden, so stock up on your glitter supplies, and take a roadie to what is set to be an unforgettable event.

Kiwiburn Festival

Hunterville | 25 – 30 January 2023

Ever wanted to go to Burning Man Festival in America? Well, we've got the next best thing. Kiwiburn is a participatory festival, where you bring and make the things that you want to have at the fest. There are no central stages or headline acts, no queues, just a series of surprises—exciting, right? There will be no money exchanged for anything at the event as every performance and art piece is there because somebody has decided to make it, so if you're artsy, it's the perfect place to get your creative juices flowing. There will be a variety of music, art installations and people in costume, neon lights, fire spinners, drummers, random surprises, dancers, free spirits and healers and things you've probably never seen before. We can't promise you who'll be playing, but we can promise you'll have a blast. Tickets sell out within seconds so you'll need to be onto it to nab a spot. 

Someone holds the Maori flag high on stage at One Love Festival, one of the best festivals in Aotearoa.One Love Festival

Tauranga | 28-29 January 2023

If you love a bit of roots, rock and reggae then head to One Love Festival—one of NZ's most popular and vibrant festivals. Known as the largest reggae festival in the Southern Hemisphere, there's been bangin line-ups in previous years and we promise you won't be disappointed with the 2023 line-up either. Featuring UB40, L.A.B, Katchafire, Stan Walker, Sean Kingston and heaps more. Show one love for Aotearoa at this massive good vibes love fest. 

Shipwrecked

Te Arai | 10-12 February 2023

Become a pirate for the weekend at Shipwrecked—a boutique music and arts festival that is sure to capture your heart. Nestled between three lakes in an idyllic landscape not far from the hum of Auckland, the Shipwrecked Festival site at Te Arai has been lovingly curated over the years to transform into a spectacular playground. Taking inspiration from the European festival scene, with uniquely Kiwi vibes–it's going to be an unforgettable experience. So come together to celebrate and immerse yourself in a weekend of underground music, visual and interactive art, nature, and life itself.

People watch an act on stage amongst multicoloured lights at Splore, one of the best festivals in NZ.Splore Festival

Tāpapakanga Regional Park | 24-26 February 2023

Just when you thought you couldn’t take another weekend spent moshing to the beat by day and getting down and dirty camping at night, the allure of seeing out the last of the summer sun at Splore Festival should change your mind. This three-day festival/giant dress-up party is in a league of its own with everything from music and performing arts to workshops, installations, wellness centres and a whole lot of love. Settle in on the beautiful shores of Tapapakanga Regional Park, put on your party pants and prepare for a three-day entertainment extravaganza. No wonder this is one of the best festivals in NZ. PS. We'd start planning your costume now if we were you. 

Electric Avenue Festival

Christchurch | 25 February 2023 

After having to cancel last year's festival, Christchurch’s biggest day out is back and bigger than ever before. If you’re after the ultimate day party then Electric Avenue Festival is the place to be. With more than 25 acts, including big names like Shapeshifter, L.A.B, BENEE, Fat Freddy’s Drop and heaps more, multiple stages and 12 hours of festive fun, this day fest promises good times and great vibes in the heart of Christchurch’s Hagley Park on February 25th. Get amongst it, it’s going to be lit.

WOMAD - The World's Festival 

17—19 March 2023

Think nothing much happens in New Plymouth? Think again. Once again, WOMAD is set to bring the best in music, art and dance together in what’s going to be a bloody good time. This is a culture festival with many different settings up for exploration. Get amongst their Kunming Garden to find your inner zen or hit up their global village where you can eat your way around the globe with international cuisine. You’ll be kept busy with art installations, site performances and workshops as well as grooving to the epic tunes of “the world’s festival."

Homegrown Festival

Wellington | 18 March 2023

Wellington’s waterfront is in for a treat. 2023 sees Jim Beam Homegrown continue its stellar record of showing Wellingtonians how to party. Every year the line-up gets better and better, so we’re expecting no less for their next celebration of Kiwi music culture. Setting new sell-out records every year in their six-stage waterfront party, reserve your tickets now to ring in the end of summer in the nation’s capital.

While you're travelling the country, why not take in one of these amazing Kiwi road trips.

Image credit: Splore Festival, Snow Machine Festival, Rhythm & Vines, One Love Festival, Splore Festival.

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