The Playmaker
Let's play
  • It's Saturday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Auckland
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?

Save the Date: Auckland Arts Festival Is Hosting 200 Eclectic Experiences This March

The 18 day festival will feature 200 performances from all over the world.
By Emma Clark-Dow
January 15, 2024
By Emma Clark-Dow
January 15, 2024

Auckland Arts Festival is taking over Tāmaki Makaurau in March 2024, with the massive event arriving for 18 days featuring more than 60 individual events and 200 unique experiences starring performers from all over the world.

Beginning Thursday, March 7 up until Sunday, March 24, New Zealand's biggest city will be overrun with talented performers hailing from Africa, Ireland, Australia and right here in Aotearoa. There is truly something for every kind of art fan, whether it be a traditional viewing of artwork, a rough sleeper's take on Shakespeare's King Lear, or a mass-drumming event — bucket required.

The festival kicks off with Waiata Mai, a free invitation for amateur and professional songbirds to gather in Aotea Square for a welcoming karakia and mihi given to the Auckland Arts Festival by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. The group will be joined by Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand to open the festival with exuberant song.

Keeping with the song theme, Auckland Arts Festival will be bringing funk group Pamyua to Aotearoa for the first time. This group of musicians use music to tell the story of Inuit culture, straight from the Arctic circle. Also visiting New Zealand from afar is Afrique en Cirque, a circus taken to a whole new level. This mesmerising show depicts a day in a life in the West African nation of Guinea, mixing in spectacular stunts, comedy, Afro jazz and the kora, an African string instrument hailing from West Africa.

There are a bunch of talented Kiwis set to perform at the festival, including the actors of Hobson Street Theatre Company. The group will be performing their own spin on King Lear, aptly named Not King Lear. While this version of the Shakesperean play still explores the theme of family drama, it is not told from a powerful king's point of view, rather by those who have a lived experience of homelessness.

Auckland Arts Festival artistic director Shona McCullagh said many of the performers have important messages to share: "Free Ukraine, disability awareness, women's rights, racial discrimination, and children's rights are among them," she said.

"Having a platform to deliver such impactful statements through the most exquisite, compelling, and uplifting performances is an opportunity we cherish." McCullagh hopes the Auckland community will embrace many of the free performances throughout the festival's run and to try their hand in the mass performances happening throughout the 18 days.

The Auckland Arts Festival runs from Tuesday, March 7–Sunday, March 24. To see the full lineup of performances and book tickets to individual performances, head to the festival's website.

Published on January 15, 2024 by Emma Clark-Dow
  •   shares
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x
Counter Pixel