News | 13 February 2023
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Capital takes a shine to summer events

This week’s BOWLZILLA kicks-off another batch of exciting major events for the busy summer calendar – so get the diary out, and book them in now.

Cuba Dupa New Orleans band playing amongst crowd
New Orleans band at CubaDupa photo credit Oliver Crawford

For the eighth year in a row BOWLZILLA Wellington will be showcasing the best skating talent from home and away with a week of workshops, art and the New Zealand National Bowl Skating Championships at Waitangi Park on Saturday 18 February.

From 22-26 February, The Performance Arcade returns to the waterfront for its 13th consecutive year, with a free arts festival including events, performance, live music and karaoke.

The always popular Newtown Festival returns after a hiatus on Sunday 5 March, as Aotearoa’s biggest and best free music festival and street fair takes over the streets of Newtown.

Then CubaDupa caps off the major events on 25-26 March with art, music, theatre, dance, food and over 900 artists for one ultimate weekend of free whānau-friendly entertainment.

Mayor Tory Whanau says arts, culture and events are the beating heart and soul of the city, and contribute massively to the vibrancy, diversity and economy too.

“The Council has proudly supported and advocated for local talent, events, festivals and activities that everyone can enjoy through on-going funding, expert advice, and provision of sites and services, and the rewards are obvious with so many on the calendar all year round.

“It’s already been a busy summer of free, whānau-friendly festivals and events, and now there’s even more on the horizon – we’re almost spoilt for choice!”

A number of roads around the city will be closed for some of these events, and it’s going to be pretty busy, so please consider taking public transport, cycling, scooting or walking to events and allow for extra time on your journey. If you do drive, remember to Drive Safe, Drive Sober.

The main events

Summer Sampler

Sat 7 Jan–Sun 19 Feb weekends | Wellington Waterfront | Free

Join us on the waterfront as some of Pōneke's finest performers fill the area with vibrant delights, all to raise funds for the Wellington Free Ambulance.


5.30pm, Thurs 2, 9, 16, 23 Feb | Odlins Plaza, Wellington Waterfront

Learn how to Salsa in the setting sun on the waterfront with CUBA*FUSION.


Sat 18 Feb | Waitangi Park | Free

Bowlzilla will be the stage for some of the top skateboarders from here and around the world as they vie for top honours carving up the bowl. 

Black Sticks v China and United States

Six matches as part of the international field hockey competition, the FIH Pro League, being played at the Wellington National Hockey Stadium in Berhampore.

Wellington Round the Bays 2023

Sun 19 Feb | Waitangi Park

Wellington Round the Bays is the largest mass participation event in the lower North Island. It's open to everyone, with options for all the family. 

The Performance Arcade 2023

Weds 22 – Sun 26 Feb | Wellington Waterfront and City | Free

The Performance Arcade is an annual exhibition and festival programme of events located on Wellington Waterfront. 

Fringe Festival

17 February - 11 March

Dive into a kaleidoscope of awesome with the 2023 New Zealand Fringe Festival returning to the city this summer.

Be a part of the Birthplace of Brilliance as Fringe takes over Pōneke for 23 days of ground-breaking art this Summer. 

U R Here

Fri 24 Feb 4-6pm, Sat 25 & Sun 26 Feb 3-6pm

Martin Luckie Park, Lavaud Street, Berhampore

Barbarian Productions bring their radical theatre magic to the great outdoors, transforming a little-known park into an open-world adventure full of weirdness and wonder. Are you ready to play?

BLACKCAPS v England Test

Fri 24–Tues 28 Feb | Cello Basin Reserve

Following an away series in June, the BLACKCAPS will be looking to draw on home support to take the final match of the series.  

Neighbours Aotearoa

All of March

Neighbours Aotearoa is a national campaign that encourages everyone around Aotearoa New Zealand to do something to connect with their neighbours. The month of March is filled with activities and events to help connect and nourish these relationships, wherever you are in Aotearoa!

Local Food Week

1-7 March

Local Food Week is an annual fall festivity that celebrates Wellington's local food producers and our food system. Through the week we share ways we can all live more sustainably through less food waste in our homes. Local Food Week aims to bring people together through kai and the shared interest in sustainability. 

PRIDE Festival

4-18 March

Check out the Pride Festival programme to find out all that’s going on and how you can celebrate the rainbow community in the capital. 

Park(ing) Day

Sat 4 March

PARK(ing) Day is an annual global event where creatives take over central city car parks around Cuba Street to engage, entertain and ask how we can better use public spaces.

Newtown Festival

Sunday 5 March

Aotearoa’s biggest and best free music festival and street fair makes a triumphant return, presenting a line-up for its 29th Newtown Festival. 


Saturday 18 March

Spread across five stages on Wellington's stunning waterfront, Jim Beam Homegrown is the biggest celebration of music from Aotearoa. 

Dogs ‘n’ Togs

Sat 25 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 and it goes to the dogs.


Sat 25 – Sun 26 March | Cuba Street precinct

Experience Wellington’s most creative and diverse free arts festival for a weekend of whānau-friendly fun.