It is time to say goodbye to April and a big hello to May as we near closer to the middle of the year and welcome all the fun (and cold) that comes with it. This May brings with it a multitude of events to our wonderful city and it is time to get out the calendar and start planning out all of the extra-curriculars you want to enjoy as there is that much to experience over the next few weeks. It is a big month for comedy with the NZ International Comedy Festival, there is also fried chicken weekends, Art Fairs and a stellar line up of international musicians.
Here are all of the best things to do in Auckland this May.
Orakei Bay Night Market
Thursday, 2 May
Food truck fanatics get excited, the Orakei Bay Village Night Markets are coming back and better than ever. The night of street food and live music is the perfect way to spend a Thursday evening. Tuck into some delicious grub from the outstanding range of food trucks on offer, including Jo-Bros Burgers, The Rolling Pin, Double Dutch Fries, Vege Bang Bang and Peach’s Hot Chicken. The beautiful tunes will be provided by local Lauren Collins and there will even be craft and art stalls to peruse as well.
The NZ International Comedy Festival
Thursday, 2 - Sunday, 26 May
What started back in 1993 has now become a favourite on the calendar for Aucklander's every year when it comes back around–The NZ International Comedy Festival arrives once again for the month of May. The festival has significantly grown every year and is now a true comedy extravaganza. The programme offers a diverse and exciting array of live comedy shows from around New Zealand and the world—from stand-up, sketch, improv, comedic-theatre and clowning. With the expansive timetable, there is no reason not to catch one (or ten) of the shows throughout the festival. Get ready to belly-laugh.
Auckland Art Fair
Thursday, 2 - Sunday, 5 May
The Auckland Art Fair is New Zealand’s premier showcase for contemporary art and returns to the city once again this May. Hosted at The Cloud on Auckland’s waterfront, the beautiful location will home more than 40 international galleries, hailing from Shanghai, Santiago, Rarotonga, Jakarta, Australia and of course New Zealand, too. There is a range of art, from painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics and even performance so whether you are a guru or not there is something for everyone. The fair is run over four days with different events and viewings throughout so be sure to check the timetable online to secure your tickets.
Friday, 3 May
The multi-platinum, Australian singer-songwriter Dean Lewis is coming to New Zealand for his first ever show, celebrating his debut album A Place We Knew. Lewis is a newer face on the music scene but has gained a large and fast-growing fan base after his chart-topping single Be Alright blew up the charts and radio. His mostly acoustic and emotion-filled songs are the easy listening kind—perfect for an afternoon in the sun or a lax Sunday morning. Lewis is performing at Auckland’s Town Hall for one show only, where he will play his new music as well as the well-known singles.
Friday, 3 and Saturday, 4 May
Hawaiin Airlines Waiheke Half-Marathon
Saturday, 4 May
Waiheke Island is one of Auckland’s greatest treasures—the stunning beaches, endless vineyards and quiet country roads make the whole place a real escape. One of the best ways to see it all and soak up the beauty is on foot and that’s just one of the reasons we love that Hawaiian Airlines is holding the Waiheke Half-Marathon this May. With the option of the full 21km, a 10km or 5km, you can challenge yourself or just have a bit of fun, in one of the most beautiful spots in the country. Winding through all of Waiheke’s beauty, the race will finish in Alison Park where you can celebrate your efforts and enjoy the rest of the day on the Island.
Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys
Saturday, 4 May
The Auckland Art Galleries newest exhibition Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys opens on May 4th and will be installed until late September. The exhibition traces Hodgkins’ creative life through her travels through France, Spain, Morocco and England. It examines the influence that her location and environment had on her art and development as a modernist painter. The project beautifully explores the notion of travel and adventure as a source of artistic inspiration.
Cinco De Mayo at Mexico
Friday, 3 and Saturday, 4 May
Saturday, 4 May
We Mouve and George FM brings Auckland the multifaceted dance music odyssey, Mouvement Music Festival 2019. Making its way to the North Shore at the North Harbour Stadium, the festival is all about celebrating the world of electronica. Across four stages you can catch the epic line up of 24 international and local DJs including the legends Luude, Enschway and Stace Cadet. Gates open at 5.30pm and will wrap up at midnight, where you can then head to one of the two after parties kicking off.
White Shirt Day
Wednesday, 8 May
Wednesday, 8 to Sunday, 12 May
Back for another year, the Viaduct Harbour will be home to Bright Nights 2019 this May. After attracting more than 63,000 visitors last year, the immersive lighting experience will be bigger and better than before. Across five days, the Viaduct will be transformed into a visual wonderland, with two trails lit up with luminary installations. The underlying theme of this year's trails is sustainability and sea life, so you can expect to experience an underwater masterpiece Monstrum Marina, a giant interactive jellyfish called Crank Zappa and a workshop which allows you to thread and hang plastic chandeliers, to educate the effects of sea litter. This is a free event and something truly special to experience, especially with this year’s important message.
Wednesday, 8 to Thursday, 23 May
The Auckland Theatre Company brings The Audience to ASB Waterfront Arena across two weeks this May. Peter Morgan, the screenwriter of The Queen and The Crown has imagined what is spoken behind closed doors inside Buckingham Palace. Written in a clever and unique way, Queen Elizabeth II holds a weekly audience with her Prime Minister where her wicked wit, candour and explosive passion is hilariously portrayed. The electrifying play boldly imagines what has gone on across six decades of the Queen’s rule, and all of the politics and scandals that have come with it. With multiple shows over the two weeks, there are plenty of chances to head along so grab your tickets now to secure your spot.
Saturday, 11 and Sunday 12 May
Auckland Writers Festival
Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May
For the past 18 years, the Writers Festival has brought Auckland some of the world’s best thinkers and writers to share their stories, teach their tricks and celebrate the world of literature. With more than 200 public events, 230 guest speakers and writers, and more than 75,000 festival goers, the week-long festival has grown into a true spectacle event and a major Australasian festival. Throughout the week you can catch the very best local and international writers of all genres, fiction, non-fiction, poets, journalism, economists amongst more who will be sharing with you their amazing journeys. The timetable is stacked each day and there is so much goodness to get involved with so hop online and start planning your must-see slots.
Friday, 17 May
Country music fans it is time to get excited–Kacey Musgraves is coming to our shores this May for the very first time. The multiple Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter is embarking on her first ever Australian and New Zealand headline tour. Her distinctive pop-country songs and flawless vocals have given her the deserved success and acclaim as she releases her fourth album, Golden Hour. Having toured with the likes of Harry Styles, Katy Perry and John Mayer, Musgrave’s is well recognised in the industry. Her performances are known to have a sense of intimacy, whilst also being playful and fun. Be sure to grab your tickets and get ready for a night of country lovin'.
Fried Chicken Festival
Saturday, 18 and Sunday, 19 May
If there is one thing that is really clear about Aucklander’s, it is their love of fried chicken. The hype and buzz around all fried chicken related news is always off the charts, and so when a Fried Chicken Festival was announced last year it was no surprise it sold out in 19 minutes. The great news is that it is returning this May and bigger and better than before. This year it will be spread over two days, and each day will have a day and a night session. This means the same amazing food and vibe, but shorter lines and wait times. Pretty good deal right? The street food legends that will be attending the festival include Peach’s Hot Chicken, Temaki Truck NZ, Bacon Brothers as well as Lalele Organic Gelato for your post-chicken sweet fix. Behemoth will also be there keeping you hydrated with their impressive range of delicious brews.
Friday, 24 May
The young Australian vocal prodigy, Ruel, is returning to New Zealand this May for one show only at Auckland’s at the Bruce Mason Centre. Originally British born, the young Aussie is a gifted singer-songwriter who started his career on the streets of Sydney beaches busking with just his voice and his guitar. Quickly gaining a fan base that is rapidly growing, the 16-year-old is definitely one to watch as he climbs charts and performs to bigger audiences around the world. His naturally smooth vocals are celebrated in his more acoustic songs, a voice which far exceeds the maturity of someone his age. Be sure to catch Ruel whilst he is here to experience the talent.