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Brilliant Things to Do in Wellington This July

Play with Lego under the guise of participating in interactive art, see the best local tour of the year, experience the unprofessional professional EDM artists and get your popcorn ready for the annual NZIFF.
By Stephen Heard
July 02, 2015
By Stephen Heard
July 02, 2015

in partnership with

For more features like this including articles, news and reviews suited for the modern man, head to the LYNX Black Gentleman's Guide to Wellington.

Despite being smack bang in the middle of winter, July has so much great stuff going on that there's no excuse not to leave the house. We're not just talking about a night out at the movies, though if that is your buzz, then there's a countless number of films playing out with the NZ International Film Festival rolling in to town.

July also welcomes a light-hearted exhibition studying the role of architecture, a union of people and printed paper, quite possibly the best local tour of the year, and the free screening of a mind-bending cult classic. Plus heaps of other stuff.


Demented Architecture

If you’ve always wondered what a Lego World on contemporary artistic steroids would look like, the time has come for you to experience Demented Architecture. Hosted by Wellington’s City Gallery, this light-hearted exhibition studies the role of architecture and the mythology of the architect from a contemporary satire-rich perspective.

Featuring local and international artists, there are a bunch of quirky installations to take note of including: the construction, modification, destruction and re-construction of a kazillion white Lego pieces; a darkly mesmerising video by Scotland’s Henry Coombes titled I Am the Architect, This is Not Happening, This is Unacceptable, and a series of sculptures that parody the utopian visions of modernist architecture by Wellingtonian Kirsty Lillico.

When: On now until November 8
Where: City Gallery
How much: Free


Blue Velvet

Blue Velvet is a union of people and printed paper, a concert featuring prolific bedroom producer Lontalius and serene instrumentalist Skymning - in what may be his last for a while, and the first solo exhibition by Auckland-based freelance artist Dirk Peterson in Wellington. For the event, Peterson has created a series of hand printed t-shirts for the two featured musicians, risograph prints, and will possibly showcase some zines.

When: Thursday, July 2
Where: In Good Company
How much: Free


Gin Wigmore

The husky-voiced songwriter is back with the release of her third studio album Blood to Bone, and to celebrate she’s playing gigs in across the country this July. Recorded in her new hometown of Los Angeles, the new release was written and produced by Gin herself, alongside a slew of industry heavyweights including Charlie Andrew of Alt-J fame and Swedish musician and producer Joakim Ahlund. As well as the new material, expect to hear all the raspy favourites from her previous two critically acclaimed albums.

When: Friday, July 3
Where: Bodega
How much: $40


Bic Runga & Tiny Ruins

If their brilliant Radio New Zealand live sessions are anything to go by, then the upcoming co-headline tour from Bic Runga and Tiny Ruins is set to be the best local outing of the year. The partnership was born out of a simple email; Runga reached out after seeing Tiny Ruins perform at the 2014 New Zealand Music Awards, where she won Best Alternative Album for Brightly Painted One.

The intimate seated shows will see each songwriter take the stage with their respective bands, before they come together to perform new songs and a selection along of covers. See our interview with Tiny Ruins here.

When: Saturday, July 4
Where: The Opera House
How much: $65


The Alpha Sessions: Ladi6

Ladi6 will bring her studio space into the public domain for an intimate residency at the Matterhorn this July. Every Saturday, Ladi will be joined by her band made up of Parks, Julien Dyne, and Brandon Haru, to deconstruct, recreate, and rework a selection of crowd favourites and lesser known tracks from her three top ten albums - Time Is Not Much, The Liberation Of… and Automatic.

Across every performance, Ladi will be joined by a range of special guests. In consecutive order they are: DJ Longboss, Mara TK, Toby Chang and Kerb.

When: Every Saturday in July
Where: Matterhorn
How much: $10


Outdoor Movie Night: Donnie Darko

The mind-bending cult classic Donnie Darko is playing as part of Southern Cross Bar and Restaurant's monthly movie night. The film is centered on troubled teenager (Jake Gyllenhaal) and the extreme events that occur after seeing visions of a freakish rabbit named Frank.

The screening will take place outdoors in the venue's garden bar, so dress accordingly. To keep extra you cosy and warm there will be blankets, hot water bottles and pillows available. Along with their usual dinner and drinks menu, Southern Cross will also have movie snacks and popcorn for sale. It’s also themed so hit up your local costume store to see if they have any demented bunny suits up for grabs.

When: Monday, July 6
Where: Southern Cross Bar and Restaurant
How much: Free


What So Not

The visit from Australian electronic act What So Not’s comes in support of their second EP Gemini, the final chapter in the group’s time as a duo. Founding member Flume announced his departure via a Facebook post earlier in the year leaving Chris Emerson the sole surviving member.

Still operating under the pseudonym, Emerson has spent the last three months seeing out a headline tour of the US and playing festivals including: Coachella, Ultra and SXSW. After returning to his homeland for a near-sell out tour last month, and the looming New Zealand date, he’ll rack up more flyer miles with another string of festival dates.

When: Wednesday, July 8
Where: Bodega
How much: $44.90 - 54.90


Now 2015

For 30 years Wellington's Footnote New Zealand Dance has attempted to push the envelope and reflect our distinct New Zealand identity through dance. The company’s latest touring programme will open up the floor to emerging and established choreographers to experiment and take risks, as well as asking the all important question: what does it mean to make contemporary dance today?

Tapping its way into Wellington on July 9 and 10, Now 2015 will present four new original works from four very different New Zealand choreographers. Natalia Maria Clark, Jared Hemopo, Anna Bate and Katharina Waldner will explore the deconstruction of hip-hop, the rigors of modern daily life, the impact of sound and the ever-shifting lens of history.

When: Thursday, July 9 - Friday, July 10
Where: Te Whaea Theatre
How much: $20 - 35



With a new album under their belt, Aussie electro-duo Hermitude will return to New Zealand for two shows. Multi-instrumentalists Luke Dubber and Angus Stuart have spent the best part of 12 years performing under the title Hermitude. The pair's latest, Dark Night Sweet Light, is a follow-up to their hugely successful Australian Music Prize-winning album, HyperParadise. In their true genre-bending style, the new release is pitched as a combination of latin rhythms weaved with pulsing beats and colourful synth lines.

As well as signing a new deal with US label Nettwerk Records, the duo has had a busy year with a run of festival appearances, including New York’s Governor’s Ball, Buku Festival and SXSW. They will bring their polished show to Wellington on July 10.

Support will be provided by rising rapper Young Tapz, who recently collaborated with the band on ‘Raise the Roof’.

When: Friday, July 10
Where: Bodega
How much: $45



Shaped in high school, Los Angeles electronic collective WeDidIt initially found a mutual love of driving around and screaming non-offensive statements at people, before putting their energy to a music sharing blog and DJing at house parties.

Now somewhat of an electronic music empire, the group have a deep footprint in the EDM scene and their very own tagline – “professionally unprofessional since 1990.” Four members of WeDidIt will wing their way down under for an epic night of EDM this month, including alleged group leader Shlohmo with a fully formed live band. He'll be joined by D33J, Purple and Nick Melons.

When: Friday, July 24
Where: Bodega
How much: $39.90


New Zealand International Film Festival

The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) rolls into town this month, bringing together a programme of 170 wonderful, award-winning and incredibly strange cinematic features.

This year’s event will screen in Wellington from July 24 to August 12, with a line-up including five Sundance winners, ten outstanding local films, 17 hauled all the way from Cannes, a live cinema experience for those in tune with both movies and music, and a whole lot more.

To help you cull it down to something more specific, the programme is divided into categories such as: Aotearoa, Big Nights, Champions, For All Ages, Framing Reality, Fresh, Incredibly Strange, Inside Stories, Live Events, Music, Portrait of an Artist, Retro, Sport, Vision, World, Shorts with Features.

See the festival’s website for all the need to know info. Tickets are on sale now.

When: Friday, July 24 - Wednesday, August 12
Where: Various cinemas around Wellington
How much: Various

Published on July 02, 2015 by Stephen Heard
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