While New Zealand might be best known for its scenery, including being the set-location for many pivotal Lord of the Rings scenes, it also has a dedicated music following. From secret festivals to 3 day camping retreats, here are 10 of the most popular bucket list worthy festivals.
Camp a Low Hum
When: 30th to 31st December
Where: Tatum Park, Ohau
Price: $120 + booking fees (per person)
Kicking off the list is the little gem ‘A Lo Hum’, a project developed and directed by photographer and impresario Iam Jorgensen, a.k.a Blink. Organising tours, releasing records and organising one-off events, the A Lo Hum festival has provided minor New Zealand acts to appear on the big stage of the festival. A BYO festival with no security, queues and VIP areas, and no line-up until you get there, it’s literally one big free for all.
When: February 2017: Date Unknown
Where: The Trusts Arena, Auckland
Price: Nobody Knows… yet
Australia’s premier reggae and roots festival, it features a line-up of unrivalled international and local artists. From UB40, to Cypress Hill, this eclectic range of reggae and soul music will keep you daggering (look it up) through the night. While the line-up and locations are yet to be released, the line-up last year was beyond anything else, with Eddy Grant and CeeLo Green blasting out hit after hit. If you’re a reggae fan and love good music, save the date (when it’s released).
Queenstown Winter Festival
When: 22-25th June 2017
Price: FREE, zilcho, nothing
Lover of all-things snow? This festival is most definitely for you. Combining the thrills of snowboarding and skiing, along with some of the best musicians, DJs and films in New Zealand, Queenstown Winter Festival is the best way to kick-off your winter. With hit artists Brendhan Lovegrow, Crooners and DJ Hay, lovers of all things music will have a wild weekend. If you’re not too good with the cold (it is a winter festival), you could just spend the whole weekend in the hot tubs available, and while you’re at it, catch some professional skiers busting some moves. And to top it all off, a majestic fireworks display. Honestly, for nothing at all, you can’t get much better.
Rhythm and Vines
When: 29th December 2016 – 1st January 2017
Where: Waiohika Estate, Gisborne
Price: $255 for 3 days camping. Day passes from $90
120 local and international artists, on five stages, Rhythm and Vines is where you need to be over New Years if you’re a lover of all things music. The first place in the world to experience sunrise, the Waiohika Estate in Gisborne is a truly special place. With the likes of Kimbra, Franz Ferninand, Chet Faker, Six60 and N.E.R.D rocking it out, whatever music you’re into, there’s plenty of choice for everyone. With around 25,000 hitting the festival each year, the winner of the NZ Tourism Award is popular with a lot of Kiwis, so why not head on over and check it out for yourself. What’s great is that you can also buy combined tickets which also allow access to the BW Festival, allowing you to take advantage of both Gisborne festivals.
When: 4th March 2017
Price: $99+ booking fee (for early birds)
One of the longest running music festivals in New Zealand, with 57 acts playing over 7 stages, Homegrown (as the title suggests) is one of the best festivals to catch local talent before they hit the mainstream. Sponsored by Jim Beam, 2016s line up included the likes of drum and bass outfit Shapeshifter, artist, actor and television personality Stan Walker and London post-grunge band I am Grant, there’s an eclectic range of bands on offer. Taking place in the capital, there are great transport links available, making access to Homegrown nice and simple. With no camping available, you’ll have to arrange accommodation in the city. Have no fear though, they’ve organised all of this for you.
When: 29 Dec – 31 December 2016
Where: Mangawhai (One hour north of Auckland)
One hour north of Auckland, Northern Bass (a bass festival, which you might have guessed) celebrates all things drum n bass, grime, boom bap, hip hip — whatever you’re into. Located on a Sandy Lagoon, there’s also the scope to play beach volleyball on their dedicated courts. Last year’s line-up featured Ladi 6, Andy C and again, Shapeshifter.
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
When: January 2017 (TBA)
Where: Auckland CBD
Kicking off 2017 with a bang, Laneway Festival, which also takes place in Australia, hosts some of the world’s most popular artists such as Aurora, Bob Moses and Car Seat Headrest. Moving into its tenth year, this festival has grown from a small time festival to one of the most popular festivals in New Zealand. A great way to kick off the new year!
So, there you have it! Some of the most popular festivals in New Zealand. Planning on going to any this year? Drop us a line below!