Three weeks of free concerts in Wellington

31 December 2015

Meridian Gardens Magic kicks-off on Tuesday 5 January with a line-up including everything from brass bands to sea shanties to drag divas.

Gardens Magic at the Soundshell.

The three-week series of free concerts at the Wellington Botanic Garden is a highlight of the Council’s Summer City programme and showcases Wellington favourites, like bluesman Darren Watson, the Roseneath Centennial Ragtime Band and local legend Pollyfilla.

There will also be exciting up-and-comers like Bryce International Airways, singer-songwriter Keely T, and psychedelic-country musician  Finn Johansson. In fact, the range of performers in 2016 is more diverse than ever.

A Capella group WHIRI TŪ AKA perform exclusively in Te Reo, while Kirsten Te Rito and Grove Roots with their guest vocalist Sianne are both heavily influenced by Maori language and culture.

Meridian Gardens Magic openers, the Richter City Rebels, take their cues from the second-line brass bands of New Orleans, while the critically acclaimed original material of the Frank Burkitt Band falls somewhere between Scottish Folk and Americana. Traditional songs from the far flung corners of the globe make up the salty playlist of the Wellington Sea Shanty Society.

Also citing inspiration from their own distant roots, the Tofos Greek band will bring a little Mediterranean magic to the Soundshell, and Cumbia Bros will have the crowd on its feet with their unique Kiwi take on dance-worthy Latin beats.

Those who like their evenings experimental will enjoy the “ancient future funk” of popular band Orchestra of Spheres, or the 80s New-Wave inspired tunes of General Kala.

Couples looking for a romantic night under the stars should pack a blanket for Steve Carlin and his Hiptomatic Swing Orchestra. Steve is one of New Zealand’s finest crooners – don’t take our word for it, check it out for yourself.

And especially for Wellington’s classic rock aficionados, covers band Whole Lotta Led will take to the stage with their own authentic brand of Led Zepplin anthems.