The word 'iconic' is perhaps bandied around far too much nowadays, but it is a descriptor that befits Karangahape Road. Affectionately called K' Road, it has long been an epicenter of art in all its forms in Auckland. Creativity hangs in the air there and K' Road continues to attract some of the weirdest, most wonderfully diverse people in Aotearoa. So its befitting that First Thursdays returns on 6pm Thursday, 6 December to celebrate this truly unique part of Auckland.
With its roots in a mini-festival that first popped up down K' Road in 2009, First Thursdays has maintained its collaborative, community focused ethos while attracting more than 7000 people for this now biannual free event.
On the first Thursday of December, the street will be filled with bands, drag queens, poetry, markets and a celebration of K' Road's cultural and artistic history and impact. While many shops and outlets will extend their hours and tantilise your tastebuds, senses or wallets with their wares in the run-up to Christmas.
Highlights include Good Exposure, hosted by Blackboard cafe, which will showcase some of Auckland's hottest artists in an exhibition created especially for the event. Upu Mai Whetū will be bringing their critically acclaimed show of spoken word performances of work written by Maori and Pacific creatives to the streets of the West Terrace at 6.30pm, while the beloved Flying Out Record Store will host live music from 8pm. As Auckland central becomes increasingly commercialised, gentrified and oatmeal-bland chic, K' Road remains a hyperbolic bastion of individuality, community and creativity.