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Splore Has Announced Its Full 2024 Program, Complete with Cabaret, Sword Swallowing and Mermaids

New Zealand's longest-running festival is not only about the music — it also celebrates all things weird and wonderful in the art community.
By Emma Clark-Dow
January 19, 2024
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By Emma Clark-Dow
January 19, 2024
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Splore Festival is back for 2024, with the 25th iteration of the eclectic weekend taking place at Auckland's Tāpapakanga Regional Park from Friday, February 23–Sunday, February 25. Every year, New Zealand's longest-running music festival chooses a theme, with the team choosing 'feasty' for its silver anniversary.'Feasty' is what it says on the box — Splore will be chock-a-block with music, art, food and drink. While the music program was released in 2023, the team has now revealed its performing arts lineup one month out from the epic weekend.

The art aspect of the program can be broken down into three different categories: performances — that differ from the musical performances — plus visual arts and wellness. While each of these aspects of the festival is jam-packed with talent, the main feature of the festival is on Saturday night, when Cabaret Devour takes place.

This visual display encompasses everything from ropes and a chainsaw to swords and rollerskates, taking inspiration from the festival's theme while enticing the audience to join in. The night will be closed out by House of Coven, who promise dance, acrobatics and nudity in their grand finale. As well as this night of mischievousness, punters can expect a circus featuring mermaids and more.

For art lovers looking for a little bit more serenity, take a moment to wander down the Splore Arts Trail, which will be set against a backdrop of the park's pōhutukawa trees. Spotted around the trail will be Māori artist Lisa Reihana's geckos, observational paintings of Margarita Vovna, and large geometric sculptures created by Serge Beaulieu and Yelena Filipchuk of HYBYCOZO studio, just to name a few.

If you're looking to slow down even more, head to Wendy's Wellness zone, where punters can re-centre themselves with a yoga class or guided meditation session. There's even a chance to get a massage if your legs are suffering from too much dancing.

The Listening Lounge is also back for 2024, where festivalgoers can have an educational chat with veteran journalists Russell Brown and Sarah Daniell, who will be talking politics, culture and science. This chat will follow the lounge's opening Saturday session with Know Your Stuff's Casey Searin, who will be talking all things drug use and keeping safe.

Although Splore is only a short drive from Auckland, there's a variety of accommodation options available to punters. Free camping passes are included in general-admission tickets, but festivalgoers can also purchase camping upgrades, which include reserved campsites, glamping, teepees and pre-set tent options.

Splore Festival will take place from Friday, February 23–Sunday, February 25, 2024 at at Auckland's Tāpapakanga Regional Park, 95 Deerys Road, Ōrere Point. For more information and tickets, head to the Splore Festival website.

Images: Ainsley DS / Glenn McLelland.

Published on January 19, 2024 by Emma Clark-Dow
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