There’s a massive turn of events this summer

27 January 2020

Summer is really heating up, and so is the capital’s calendar – with big events happening all over the city, the waterfront, and around our local communities.

A two-man bike ridden by circus performers dressed in colourful attire and captains hats, surrounded by a large crowd on the middle of Cuba Street.

Wellington will be a hub of vibrant, colourful, multi-cultural, diverse and creative events over the next two months – with most free to all, showcasing local talent, and cementing the city’s status as the coolest little capital in the world.

Mayor Andy Foster says the upcoming months will demonstrate how Wellington reaps the rewards of Council’s investment and support of the creative and cultural sector.

“We have teams of people who work tirelessly designing an exciting, interesting, and entertaining programme of events and activities throughout the year – ensuring there is something for everyone.

“We nurture, support and retain local talent through our grants, mentoring and promotional channels, maintaining a strong foundation for the capital being the cultural hub of the country.”

Arts, Culture and Events portfolio lead, Councillor Nicola Young, says the wide-ranging arts and culture scene in Wellington is reportedly one of the main reasons many people live in the capital.

“According to feedback, residents say they are proud of our distinct, collaborative, creative and accessible culture – and the variety and diversity across the events.

“The events coming up over the next couple of months really reflect that, highlighting what makes Wellington so attractive to locals and visitors alike.”

Here are just some of the highlights for the diary:

  • 25 Jan – 29 Feb | Free family fun from 4pm to 8pm every Saturday in February down at the Queens Wharf Summer Programme
  • 25 Jan – 29 Feb | Taranaki Street Wharf Summer Programme continues to bring fun for all ages along the waterfront.
  • Weds 5 Feb | Whanau Film Night – Enjoy a programme of short films from Māoriland Film Festival followed by New Zealand favourite, Hunt for the Wilderpeople at Waitangi Park as part of our Waitangi celebrations.
  • Thurs 6 Feb | Te Rā o Waitangi – Celebrate our national day with live music, kapa haka and kai at Waitangi Park.
  • Thurs 6 Feb | Kotahi is an annual, all ages music festival held in the natural amphitheatre at Kahurangi. Tiki Taane, Ria Hall and Laughton Kora are the amazing artists joining for Kotahi 2020.
  • 6-9 Feb | NZ Parkour activation event will see equipment pop-up in Wellington, with classes and showcases over the weekend.
  • 8-9 Feb | Island Bay Festival kicks-off the weekend with a parade on The Parade and the ultimate Garage Sale, the weekend also includes the Ribble Street Races, a variety show, carnival rides, entertainment, the Blessing of the Boats, and food and craft stalls.
  • 14-29 Feb | Summer Shakespeare presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Te Whaea.
  • Sat 15 Feb | Red Rock & Roll free music festival is back for its third year showcasing local talent at the Red Rocks Marine Reserve.
  • Sat 15 Feb | Pipes in the Park celebrates the traditional music and dance from our Celtic cousins.
  • 21 Feb – 15 March | The New Zealand Festival of the Arts will be showing, screening, performing and entertaining at various venues around the capital.
  • 20-23 Feb, 27 Feb-1 March | The Performance Arcade returns to Wellington waterfront with an entirely FREE programme of live art, music and performance. 
  • Sat 22 Feb | Out in the Park kicks-off the Wellington Pride Festival at Waitangi Park with the annual queer fair celebrating diversity and fabulousness in the capital.
  • 28 Feb – 22 March | Fringe will turn the capital into a stage for its 30th year with three weeks of artistic innovation and organised chaos!
  • Sat 29 Feb | Aro Valley Fair will be the destination of choice for many, as has been the case since its inception in 1978.
  • Fri 6 March | The annual international PARK(ing) Day event will see public car parks in Cuba Street transformed into temporary exhibition spaces.
  • 7-8 March | Dragon Boat Festival will see the harbour become a battle ground as competitors race against each other in this hugely popular annual event.
  • Sat 7 March | The Wellington Pride Parade will celebrate diversity and pride; bringing a lot of aroha to the streets of the capital from 6pm.
  • Sat 7 March | Bowlzilla will be the stage for some of our potential 2020 Olympic skateboarding participants as the title contenders switch it up this weekend.
  • Sun 8 March | Dogs ‘n’ Togs is happening again at Khandallah outdoor pool. After the pool has closed for the season and the chlorine has drained, we open the pool for one more day for the dogs.
  • Sun 8 March | Newtown Festival takes over the suburb’s heart for a street fair celebrating the diverse and vibrant communities of the capital – with 420 stalls of food and crafts, and 12 stages featuring local music.
  • 16–22 March | Seeds to Feeds is a local food festival with a week of community feasts that showcase local food.
  • Sat 21 March | Homegrown returns to the waterfront with 44 acts playing across 5 different stages for the ultimate Kiwi gig.
  • 27 March – 5 April | Neighbours Day Aotearoa will be connecting neighbours and communities with events and activities for everyone to get involved in.
  • 28-29 March | Cuba Dupa takes over the streets with food, fun, stages and events with entertainment for all.