Get ready for February—Auckland’s hottest, sassiest and spiciest month. There's the annual Pride Festival celebrating LGBTQI+ and the annual Fringe Festival saluting all that is non-traditional and weird. There's also the Lantern Festival bringing in the Year of the Pig and the Holi Festival of Colours celebrating the triumph of good over evil. On top of this, there’s plenty of free outdoor movies and gigs, world-class concerts, professional sporting competitions, musicals and circus events.
We have one colourful month ahead of us. Here are all the hottest things to do in Auckland this February.
FIH Pro League | 1—17 February
Catch world-class hockey on New Zealand turf as Vantage Black Sticks men and Vantage Black Sticks women take on 11 of the world’s best teams. North Harbour Hockey Stadium will see two games unfold back-to-back throughout February. Catch our national teams face off against Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Pakistan and China. Watch the world’s best in action and experience the atmosphere and entertainment of fierce, fast-paced hockey.
Madiba The Musical | 1—3 February
Showing at Bruce Mason Centre, Madiba the Musical commemorates the life of a truly amazing man—Nelson Mandela. The play is a combination of phenomenal visuals, heartfelt songs and pulsating African dance. It tells the story of Mandela’s fight for a brand-new world of modernity and freedom and all the struggles along the way. Dealing with themes of racial conflict and division, at the core of Madiba is an uplifting message of hope. Incredibly touching, the musical celebrates the man and all he has done for humankind.
1000 Doors | 1—6 February
Architecture, interior design, history, grungy spaces and endless mystery come together in the spectacular installation that is 1000 Doors. Dare to enter and you’ll find yourself stepping across threshold after threshold as you make your way through an endless series of doors, screens, gateways and portals. Explore the numerous vestibules and parlours within, each defined by previous inhabitants and the traces of their past. What you find within, is limited only by your imagination.
SKYCITY Breakers | 1 & 7 February
Support the SKYCITY Breakers as they face off against Melbourne United on the 1st and Adelaide 36ers on the 7th at Spark Arena. Enjoy a professional game of basketball and watch the players go all out in a fight for victory. Engross yourself in the moment and share in the emotions of the crowd, urging on our local team as they dribble, pass and shoot in hope of coming out on top.
Homos, Or Everyone In America | 1—16 February
Q Theatre invites you to Homos, Or Everyone In America— a sexually blunt, politically incorrect and utterly outrageous drama-comedy. With a hilarious, flawed relationship between two men at its core, the play deals with issues of identity, racism, drug use, club culture, casual hook-ups and marriage equality. The play is simultaneously amusing and witty, raising important questions regarding societal attitudes, the nature of love and the state of the LGBTQI+ community.
Cirque Grande | 1—17 February
Walk into the circus tent of Cirque Grande and witness all sorts of astonishing performances. You’ll be amazed at the strength, skill and beauty of the performers who seem to have an endless supply of energy, providing entertainment all night long. The cheeky humour of Grande’s clowns will have you laughing ‘till it hurts. The sense-defying tricks of their daring acrobats and bewildering magicians will leave you staring in awe, questioning the reliability of your eyesight. Dance, comedy, gymnastics and magic… Cirque Grande is everything a great circus should be.
American Express Openair Cinema | 1—17 February
American Express invites you to enjoy a bunch of great films at Openair Cinemas in the fields of Western Springs Stadium. Grab a bite and a brew from on-site vendors and enjoy live music before settling down for the night’s screening. Scheduled to screen in February are some of the hottest titles of the moment, including A Star Is Born and Aquaman, to Bohemian Rhapsody and Mary the Queen of Scots. Pop yourself down on the grass or upgrade to blankets, loungers or table-service. Oh, and don’t forget to bring your dog, because they’re invited, too.
Auckland Pride Festival | 1—17 February
Auckland’s annual Pride Festival is back to honour and support the LGBTQI+ community. The festival is full of exciting activities designed to unite our community, break stereotypes, question boundaries and educate the public. Events range from free movie screenings to drag contests and more. The two biggest occasions, however, are the Pride March and the Big Gay Out. The march sees people of all backgrounds come together and walk for the community. Big Gay Out, held in Point Chevalier park, is a free music event and a safe space for the LGBTQI+ community to flourish.
Silo Park Cinemas | 1—22 February
Silo Park invites you to sit down, relax, and enjoy a bunch of great films. For free. Scheduled to screen in the park are a selection of fantastic movies. We’re talking Star Wars’ newest installation Solo, Jurassic Park, The Blues Brothers, and more. And for Valentines Day, Silo Park will be showing the greatest love story of all time—The Princess Bride.
Movies In Parks | 1—23 February
Make the most of warm summer evenings with a free movie under the stars. Throughout the month of February, a variety of films will be screening in parks all over Auckland. From recent release of Oceans 8 and Jumanji, to old classics like Grease. Check out the schedule and see what’s playing in your area.
Architecture Through The Lens Film Festival | 1—26 February
Academy Cinemas are launching an architecture-themed film festival, Architecture Through the Lens. The festival consists of international films that showcase historic architecture and use it as a narrative device. The films not only present incredible building design, but make it a central part of the story, almost as if it were its own character. Must-see for both film and architecture enthusiasts alike.
Dining In The Dark | 1—28 February
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the famous company Dans Le Noir and their unique dining in the dark experience. Eating in complete darkness, the idea is to cut out vision thereby intensifying the other senses to enjoy every aspect of the food. Smell the complex aromas, feel the textures as they crunch and melt on your tongue and taste every note of flavour. Thanks to Rydges hotel, you can now take this sensory journey right here in Auckland. Featuring a three-course menu and optional wine pairing, the experience will cause you to re-evaluate your relationship with food. The menu will be kept secret and revealed upon completion of the dinner, only. Who knows, you might even discover a taste for something you would never have tried willingly.
Summer Night Sky | 1—28 February
If you’re after an enchanting evening, make your way to Stardome and immerse yourself in the magic of our solar system. Summer Night Sky is a presenter-led show which guides you through all the planets, stars and constellations visible in the sky. Held in the 360-degree immersive theatre, you’ll be able to relax in the reclining seats and enjoy the action upfront. The virtual tour is followed by a telescope viewing from the courtyard or observatory dome, where you’ll be able to take in all the astronomical beauty, wish upon some stars and get a pinch of education while you’re at it.
Pop-Up Globe | 1—28 February
Catch some of Shakespeare’s biggest plays at the Pop-Up Globe. Between the accurate time-specific stage replica and uncanny Jacobean costumes, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported 400 years into the past. But this ain’t a dull rendition from a class of high school English. Pop-Up Globe serves Shakespeare at his best, full of drama, comedy and controversy. On offer in February are four works— The Taming of the Shrew, Richard III, Hamlet and Measure for Measure.
Disney’s Aladdin The Musical | 1—28 February
Check out everybody’s beloved street thief, Aladdin, as he graces the stage of the Civic. Young or old, we’re all brimming with excitement. The musical has the most dazzling of costumes, impressive sets and decorations, a myriad of special effects and all the magic you’d expect from the live adaptation of a Disney classic. In awe of the performance, you’ll be singing Arabian Nights long after you’ve left the theatre.
Experimental Dance Week | 2—9 February
Experimental Dance Week is a week-long festival, acknowledging dance as a discipline and fostering the growth of its creative community. The schedule is brimming with exciting events, from workshops and panel-led discussions to a book launch and of course, endless performances.
Queens of SKYCITY | 2—23 February
Join New Zealand’s four favourite queens for a celebration of all things drag. Kita Mean, Buckwheat, Tess Tickle and Cindy of Samoa will be dishing out tongue-in-cheek entertainment every Saturday, complete with over-the-top costumes, hair and makeup, and aaaaaaall the sequins and glitter. Expect hilarity and dramatic lip-syncing—this is drag race IRL.
Music In Parks | 2—24 February
Gather up your mates, grab some snacks and refreshments and head along to Music In Parks for a day of fun and music. Various parks will play host to the event, with different themes and musicians at each one. Catch local legends Dave Dobbyn and Midnight Youth at Kiwi Gold Rock, celebrate Waitangi Day at Waitangi Ki Manukau or sway to hypnotizing melodies at Blues Legends. One thing’s for sure, there’s something to suit every music taste.
Lily Allen | 2 February
Catch one of UK’s biggest stars, Lily Allen, live at Spark Arena. Famous for her uncensored, outspoken and attitude-driven lyrics, Lily Allen has conquered the hearts of the public with hits like Smile and Not Fair. Grab yourself a ticket and enjoy Allen’s voice on top of catchy tunes that fuse electropop and reggae.
Vector Lights For Waitangi Day | 2—7 February
In celebration of Waitangi Day, Vector is putting on a light show at the Waitemata Harbour. The display will tell an ancient story in relation to Little Barrier Island, and the birth of light and life. The display will be visible from various vantage points across the city, from 9pm to midnight. If you’re a fan of strolling through the city at night, this is the time to do it.
Paws In Parnell A Midsummer Pupstival | 3 February
Us humans can’t be having all the fun—our furry friends deserve a festival, too. Grab your dog and head along to Paws In Parnell for the cutest summer solstice festival out there. Your four-legged friend will have a chance to feast on NZ King Salmon, strawberries and pupsicles, making friends of their own in the process. Don’t let your dog miss out.
George Ezra | 4 February
UK singer-songwriter George Ezra is set to play the Spark Arena. Catch the pop-star performing catchy tunes on the guitar, with relatable lyrics laid over the top, sung in the deep, baritone voice he is known for.
So Pop | 5 February
Salute the glory days of the 90s and 00s with So Pop—a four-hour extravaganza featuring the period’s pop royals. Chuck on your platforms, cargo pants and plastic chokers. Cover yourself in all the glitter you can manage and prepare to dance the night away to the likes of Aqua, Vengaboys, Blue and B*Witched.
The Prodigy | 5 February
The Prodigy is perhaps the biggest name in electronic music, ever. And this February, you can see them, live. Dance the night away to a show of stunning visuals accompanied by state-of-the-art sound and floor-thumping hits.
Night Of the Queer | 7—15 Feb
Part of Auckland Pride, Night of the Queer is a bold show featuring some of Auckland’s most daring queer artists. Following a queer love story with characters inspired by the Greek gods and goddesses, the show is a fusion of circus, theatre, dance and music, with a healthy injection of gender-bending.
Vegan Food Festival | 10 February
Plant-based eaters, finally, there’s a vegan food festival catering to your needs. Believe it or not, you won’t have to modify a single meal to avoid animal products at this festival. For a country that ranks third in the world for veganism, this news is music to our ears. Sink your teeth into offerings from Rolling Pin, Double Dutch Fries and Vege Bang Bang, among others. Bring along your meat-loving mates and show them just how delicious a good vegan meal really is. Shop the mini-market full of eco-conscious products and enjoy live entertainment, day long.
Krishna Holi Festival 2019 | 10 February
Celebrate the Indian festival Holi, marking the beginning of Spring and the triumph of good over evil. Also known as the Festival of Colours, Holi sees people throwing colourful powders at one another, leaving everyone coated in vibrant combinations of hues. Get lost in the electrifying atmosphere, dance to live music and DJ sets and feast on delicious vegetarian food.
Lantern Festival | 14—17 February
The Year of the Pig is approaching and what better way to celebrate than the Lantern Festival? Chinese New Year is a big deal and if you want a good year ahead, you better start it off with a bang. Come along to the Domain and feast your eyes upon beautiful lanterns glowing against the evening darkness. Enjoy cultural performances of dance, music and martial arts, shop Chinese crafts and fill your belly with Chinese cuisine.
KOOZA Cirque Du Soleil | 16—28 February
You ain’t seen circus ‘till you’ve seen a production from Cirque Du Soleil. We’re thrilled to welcome the company back on our soils with their newest performance of KOOZA. Featuring an international cast of 50 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors, KOOZA is all about rubbery contortionists and gravity-defying daredevils. Stare in awe as performers execute impossible tricks that’ll have your heart skipping beats.
Fringe Festival | 19—28 February
Outrageous, unique and exciting, Fringe Festival seeks to celebrate non-traditional narratives and identities. Run over the course of two weeks, Fringe’s events are as diverse as its performers. Everything from dance and theatre to K-Pop parties, aerial performances, drag shows, magic shows and comedy. Catch Russian provocateurs Pussy Riot rip up Auckland Town Hall. Famous for their imprisonment by Putin for “hooliganism motivated religious hatred”, the band have become a symbol of rebellion and freedom of expression. Watch award-winning web-series PSUSY in the backyard of its very creators, accompanied by a sausage sizzle and sangria, with a Q&A post-screening. Fringe is everything weird at its best.
Splore | 21—24 February
Held at Tapapakanga Regional Park in Auckland’s Orere, Splore is a three-day music festival. Set on a beautiful beach-front, Splore is a chance to forget all your worries and live in the moment. To celebrate yourself, your friendships and our planet. Full of diverse music, art installations, workshops, forums and performing arts, the festival maintains a relaxed, positive, friendly culture. Dress up in costume, take part in themed camping, meet new people and enjoy the good vibes that Splore is known for.
Moët Ice Summer Sessions at Fantail & Turtle | 23 February
Embrace the warmth of summer with a champagne-heavy afternoon at the third installation of Moët Ice Summer Sessions. Playing host this time around is Takapuna bar and eatery Fantail & Turtle. Bring your friends and make new ones at the event, sharing your love for fun and good drink with like-minded people. In true Moët & Chandon style, Ice Impérial is an elegant and mature champagne with hints of bright fruit. Enjoy the drink plain over ice or, choose from a variety of Moët Ice Impérial-based cocktails curated around the flavours of summer. Drink, laugh, and bop along to a live DJ set.
Image Credit: Splore