News | 2 December 2019
Share on social

Time to make a song and dance about Gardens Magic

With summer speeding towards us, it’s time to announce the exciting line-up for 2020’s always popular iconic Gardens Magic concert series – and with 155 performers, there’s definitely something for everyone.

Image of Gardens Magic in the Soundshell with light display

Over 18 nights, international acts and the best and brightest local talent will perform on the Soundshell stage in the Wellington Botanic Garden, with music ranging from Māori grooves, traditional Irish, hot Latin American fusion, classical, ska, jazz, musical theatre, pop, and indie rock – plus a dazzling DRAGztravaganza of peace and love presented by crowd favourite Polly Filla.

Mayor Andy Foster says his family looks forward to Summer City’s flagship event Gardens Magic every year.

“Gardens Magic has been entertaining Wellingtonians since the late 1990s, while supporting and showcasing local talent and introducing international acts to the capital.

“The Wellington Botanic Garden is a very special location and we love the atmosphere created by the light show.

“Gardens Magic brings together people from all communities and cultures to share a rug, share some food, share a dance, and always share an entertaining experience – no matter who’s on stage.

“With such a wide range of talent on show and behind the scenes, the huge numbers attending every year, and the overall longevity of this event, it really is one of the Council’s proudest achievements.”

Local legends like French For Rabbits, New Zealand String Quartet, and Zoe Moon feature alongside a hothouse of emerging talent including indie artists Solomon Crook, Lake South and Same Name Confusion. Other acts like Grove Roots and WITCH Modern Music Theatre give young talent a chance to shine alongside experienced professionals.

Thanks to a partnership with the Embassy of Ireland New Zealand and the Wellington Irish Society this year also includes two internationally reknown acts, Irish-Kiwi band Gráda and the award-winning Pauline Scanlon band.

Peter Ryan, Ambassador, Embassy of Ireland New Zealand, says: “2019 was my first taste of Gardens Magic when I attended with my family. That evening we were inspired to do our best to propose a world-class group from Ireland as part of the 2020 Series. So we are delighted to be working with the Wellington Irish Society and Wellington City Council to help to bring Gráda back to Aotearoa, in a sensational double bill with the Pauline Scanlon Band.

“Huge thanks to the Council Events team for producing this concert and making the Gardens Magic free public events such a feature of the cultural and community scene in Te Whanganui-A-Tara.” 

MJF Lighting has been lighting up Gardens Magic since it began, and will be back again to create a magical display including bubble machines, mirror balls, moving coloured lights and UV glow zones.

This summer will also see the launch of a new year long  garden gallery in the Botanic Garden, showcasing three works for sale by some of Wellington’s best sculptors – with Jonathan Campbell and Campbell Maud the first artists on show.

We’ll also have the Wellington Libraries team giving away their pre-loved page turners free to the people before the events start.

For a full schedule of dates and performers, visit For daily updates, check the Council’s Facebook page.

Tue 8-Sun 27 Jan | Wellington Botanic Garden Soundshell

Free concerts: 8pm-9.30pm

Light display: 9pm-10.30pm