The wait is finally over, Auckland’s brand-new festival, Elemental AKL kicks off today. A month-long celebration of light, entertainment, culture and cuisine is taking place at locations throughout Tāmaki Makaurau.
Auckland’s galleries, theatres, eateries, and unique venues like marae will showcase some of the most captivating events from Auckland and further afield.
Taking place 1-31 July, the extensive programme of more than 60 individual events celebrates Auckland's unique culture and vibrancy, offering audiences a chance to escape the winter chill and join in the region-wide fun.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) General Manager Destination, Steve Armitage says Elemental AKL was developed to encourage visitation throughout the region during the quieter months, and is one of the key initiatives to fall out of the Destination AKL 2025 Strategy.
“It’s fantastic to see Auckland’s hospitality, accommodation and event sector working together to deliver a compelling and exciting programme of activity for Aucklanders and visitors to enjoy throughout the region,” he says.
Aotea Square will house the Elemental Hub - a festival base camp programmed with entertainment, food and unique interactive experiences. As part of the Hub, Auckland's magical winter playground, 'Aotea Square Ice Rink and Ice Slide', will light up the Square with icy adventures, themed parties, skating lessons, plus the hugely popular 35-metre, multi-level ice slide.
For an intimate winter catch-up, book a new private dining experience in the Snugs which resemble igloos from the outside and inside they are decked out with cosy furniture, blankets and heaters. People can book a Snug, and pre-order platters, tasting plates, desserts, beverages and even kids’ meals.
In 2019, the festival programme also falls into the Māori New Year - Matariki, which is reflected throughout the festival themes, as Elemental AKL proudly co-hosts several events. From an innovative giant-scale puppet show rich in Māori mythology, a magical all-wheels illuminated parade to a breath-taking contemporary storytelling experience at the Auckland Concert Chamber – Matariki Festival has an extraordinary line-up of events for audiences to enjoy.
Highlights for week one include:
Te Hono – The Gathering - 6-7 July, Auckland Town Hall
An immersive and informative storytelling experience with state-of-the-art digital projection mapping onto the Chamber’s ceiling and outside of the Auckland Town Hall.
Matariki on the Waterfront – 5-7 July, Silo Park
A three-day event on Auckland’s idyllic waterfront celebrating our unique Maori tikanga through performances, workshops and tasty kai.
The Travelling Fare – 2-30 July, Devonport
Travel down Devonport’s culinary corridor to indulge in 4 exquisite dishes from 4 different restaurants.
WarHorse – until 7 July, The Civic
An award-winning international production telling the story of a moving story of courage, loyalty and friendship.