Auckland is gearing up for a spring season of major events, a prelude to a stacked summer schedule as the region looks forward to 2021 – the region’s largest planned year of major events.

Two major arts and cultural festivals - Elemental AKL and Auckland Diwali Festival have been confirmed this week by organisers Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and join a schedule of exciting events for the region in the coming months.

ATEED General Manager Destination, Steve Armitage says the upcoming season of events will help encourage Auckland’s recovery post-COVID-19, creating an unmissable calendar of events – for both locals and domestic travellers.

“The fact that we are in a position to hold attended events is a reflection of the sacrifices that New Zealanders made to eliminate COVID-19.

“This exciting programme provides a great opportunity for us to come together and celebrate our achievement. Elemental AKL and Diwali will be the first major arts and culture events to be delivered this year and will assist in driving increased visitation to support Auckland’s economic recovery - in particular the accommodation, hospitality and performing arts sectors.   

“It's exciting to see these programmes come together to not only support local business but to get the events scene moving again,” says Armitage.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says: “After the long weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown it’s great to be reopening the city to major events, which will draw visitors from around the country and which will help revitalise the region.

“Auckland has a fantastic range of diverse festivals and events which will appeal to a wide cross-section of our people. They reflect and contribute to Auckland being a vibrant and exciting place to live.”

Elemental AKL, Auckland’s newest arts and culture festival, leads the way in October with a captivating programme of arts, eats and beats. From 1 – 31 October, more than 30 free and ticketed events will transform eateries and bars, theatres, public spaces and more across Tamaki Makaurau.

In its second year, the festival aims to showcase Auckland’s diverse and unique food and culture and create an exciting and innovative atmosphere for visitors.

One of New Zealand’s largest cultural festivals, Auckland Diwali Festival, is confirmed for the weekend of Saturday 31 October and Sunday 1 November. This unmissable event celebrates traditional and contemporary Indian culture and Auckland’s diverse Indian communities.

The Auckland city centre will be particularly busy on 1 November, with the Auckland Marathon also held that day. Last year more than 15,300 participants took part in the event.

Live sport is also back on the calendar with the Mitre 10 Cup season starting in September, Tuatara Baseball set to return to North Harbour Stadium in November, and Mt Smart Stadium poised to welcome back the Warriors.

Plans are also being prepared for the region’s New Year’s Eve celebrations, where Auckland will again be in the spotlight as the first major city in the world to welcome the new year. Celebrations confirmed at this stage include a Vector Lights show on the Auckland Harbour Bridge and the annual fireworks display from the Sky Tower.

The events will be delivered in line with Government guidelines and advice at the time of the event. ATEED is monitoring the Covid-19 situation and will respond to changing circumstances if required. 



See ATEED’s Destination AKL Recovery Plan here

Supporting statements:

Regional Facilities Auckland

“RFA is excited to welcome live experiences, patrons and visitors back into our iconic Auckland venues. We are developing programmes that support talented local artists; and we are delighted to be able to showcase the incredible talent we have across the arts spectrum, right here on our doorstep.” Chris Brooks, CEO RFA

Eden Park

“It’s fantastic to see Kiwis flock back to Eden Park following the challenging lockdown period and the efforts of our team of 5 million has allowed us to consider new and innovative events. New Zealand is one of the few countries that has the ability to safely host athletes in front of capacity crowds without restrictions as seen recently at Eden Park. 

The next 12 months at the Park are set to be action packed and will deliver more memorable moments for patrons and athletes alike. In early 2021 New Zealand’s national stadium looks forward to welcoming Te Matatini – the nation-wide Māori performing arts festival that will showcase our culture on the world stage.” Nick Sautner, Eden Park Chief Executive Officer.Te Matatini – the nation-wide Māori performing arts festival that will showcase our culture on the world stage.” Nick Sautner, Eden Park Chief Executive Officer.


Confirmed events for Auckland, Spring – Summer:

  • Now – 1 August Sal’s NBL Showdown presented by SKYCITY, Trusts Arena
  • 23 July - 9 August NZ International Film Festival (virtual and in-theatre)
  • 26 July / 16 August – Super Rugby Aotearoa games at Eden Park
  • September – November – Mitre 10 Cup Rugby season
  • 17-19 Sept RNZ Ballet – Venus Rising - Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre (RFA)
  • 1 – 31 October   Elemental AKL, Auckland Region
  • 2-17 October Mary Poppins, the Broadway Musical (RFA at The Civic for a limited season – the first musical to return)
  • 8 – 11 October Auckland On Water Boat Show, Viaduct Harbour
  • 16 October Shapeshifter, Auckland Town Hall (RFA)
  • 16-17 October Benee, Spark Arena (Two shows)
  • 23 – 26 October Armageddon Expo, ASB Showgrounds
  • 25-23 October NZSO, Town Hall (RFA)
  • 29-31 October Russian Ballet, Bruce Mason and Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre (RFA)
  • 30-31 October Winetopia, Queens Wharf (RFA)
  • 31 Oct - 1 Nov Auckland Diwali Festival, Queen St – Aotea Square
  • Nov - Feb Tuatara Baseball season resumes, North Harbour Stadium
  • 1 November ASB Auckland Marathon 
  • 12-15 Nov - Powerade G9 Golf Experience, Eden Park
  • 14 November Rally Auckland
  • 14 November Fly my Pretties, Auckland Town Hall (RFA)
  • 19-20 November Th’ Dudes, Auckland Town Hall (RFA)
  • 22 November Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer – Hella Mega Tour, Mt Smart Stadium (RFA)
  • 12 December Swim the Shore, Takapuna Beach
  • 17 – 20 December 36th America’s Cup World Series (Christmas Regatta)
  • 31 December New Year’s Eve celebrations


  • January ASB Classic
  • RNZYS 150th Anniversary, various events on and off the water (various - includes Youth America’s Cup)
  • Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival
  • 6 – 7 February 2021 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup games in Auckland
  • 15 Jan – 22 Feb 2021 The Prada Cup Challenger Series
  • 17-21 February  Auckland Art Fair, various venues
  • 20-23 February   SPLORE Music and Arts Festival
  • 23–27 February  Te Matatini, Eden Park
  • 25-28 February Auckland Lantern Festival
  • 6-7 March Pasifika Festival, Western Springs
  • 6 – 21 March 2021 The 36th America’s Cup Match

*Subject to International Border restrictions


For further information please contact

Felicity Rookes

Communications Advisor – Destination

M +64 27 961 0051