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.