Ten Brilliant Events to Check Out at Auckland Pride Festival
New Zealand’s largest and loudest social and cultural program of events.
From 10–26 February, a fabulous hyper-colour sheen will blanket Tamaki Makaurau, as the Auckland Pride Festival kicks off for its fifth year. The festival is New Zealand's largest and loudest social and cultural program of events for local rainbow communities— gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, takatāpui, fa'afafine, intersex, queer, as well as families, friends, and those who simply want to take part. This year's celebration of culture, sexuality and gender identity is packed with over 50 individual events. These are but a few of the high points.
HOT BROWN HONEY
Not just comedy, controversy, beat-box, and burlesque, but a movement demanding to be heard. Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, Hot Brown Honey welcomes six sassy feminist hybrids in a full-frontal take-down of sexism, racism and 'the man.' Expect an evening of simulated orgasms, thought-provoking lap-dances and an explosion of gigantic breasts that literally smash the patriarchy.
February 14-18 // Aotea Centre // $39
After its sell-out season during the 2016 International NZ Comedy Festival, Chris Parker and Thomas Sainsbury's comedy Camping returns to the stage. Les and Fleur are a middle-aged couple bored as hell with each other; Francis and Connie are newlyweds morbidly afraid of intimacy. They've double booked a romantic camping retreat in the middle of nowhere. As a storm brews outside, cocktails are shaken, catfights ensue, tantrums are thrown and deep sexual desires bubble to the surface like the jacuzzi.
February 8-16 // Q Theatre // $30
Told through movement, soundscape and urban material culture, Femslick scrutinises redundant gender norms and tired cultural codes with vivid and timely responses that pull no punches. Synced to the rhythmic pulse of a Vogue Ball, this work connects its audience directly into its advocacy of self-defence, self-love and self-preservation. Produced by FAFSWAG Arts Collective and funded by Creative New Zealand.
February 14-17 // Basement Theatre // $20
New Normal is a mini-music-festival for Auckland Pride with an all LGBTIQ+ lineup. Dance until your feet hurt to rapper and alternative beat-maker Randa, Sydney-based ambient trip-hop singer-songwriter Will Barling, non-binary performing artist NIKOLAI, and DJ Molly. Everyone is invited.
February 24 // Golden Dawn // $10
AROHA '17 FILM FESTIVAL
20 short films from six countries make up the lineup for this year's diversity-themed, dual-cinema film festival. The two-cinema, two-part film programme includes the world premiere of In The Morning, starring Keisha Castle-Hughes; Fever Dreams, which incorporates sci-fi, animation and native activism; a Hero, exploring fresh ideas around queer gender and diversity; and supernatural horror The Unbidden.
February 15 // Event Cinemas, Newmarket // $20
AUCKLAND PRIDE PARADE
Ponsonby will turn into a full-blown rainbow dance floor on Saturday 25 February as the largest and loudest carnival of change and diversity hits the streets. Over 50 entries are signed up for this year's Auckland Pride Parade, which takes off from the north end of Ponsonby Road, near the Tole Street intersection. It's a march towards full equality. Find a pew and soak in the spectacle.
February 25 // Ponsonby Road // Free
Wet Hot Beauties is a contemporary water ballet troupe made up of more than 80 water ballerinas. The collective's new show, Sea Change, is described as "A splash-tacular water ballet championing grrl power! A metamorphosis of mermaids! A war cry of water ballerinas! A flotilla of femininity!" Through dance and dazzling aquatic kaleidoscopes it explores the roles women play in today's society, the challenges, demands and expectations placed on modern women, and their resilience, courage and power— all set to a pumping sound track of legendary divas.
February 21–26 // Parnell Baths, Parnell // $40/$30
THE NANNAS AND THE POPPAS
From the minds behind Blackbird Ensemble comes a new show that explores our future selves through song. The Nannas and the Poppas is a band of geriatric rockers from the year 2067. When the group's mini-van accidentally circled the Panmure roundabout too many times, a rip in the space-time continuum was opened, and they were transported 50 years into the past. The musicians decided to relive their glory days for one last shot at being rock stars.
February 21 // Q Theatre Loft // $25
BIG GAY OUT
Big Gay Out is Auckland's biggest harbourside celebration of rainbow diversity. Soulful pop artist Parson James is making his way from New York to lead the lineup this year. He'll be joined by Auckland power-pop band Openside and a slew of local performers. The festival will also welcome back crowd favourites like the Bear Garden, a dance zone with more platforms, and more than 100 stalls featuring locally produced products and food.
February 12 // Coyle Park, Pt Chev // Free
Jason Chasland's one man show Impostar is a personal story of growing up fabulous on a farm in the Wairarapa. Performing as over 25 iconic singers— from Broadway divas to contemporary icons and rock legends— the versatile artist will take the audience on a journey of self discovery and learning what it is to just be yourself.