The ultimate summer isn’t complete without getting out under the sunshine with some mates for a welcome dose of live music.
Aotearoa is spoilt for choice when it comes to hosting a varied list of standout international and local artists while the weather is in fine form.
Here’s a round-up of some of the best chances to hear some of your favourite tunes live in the coming months.
Bay Dreams never fails to deliver an unforgettable day out. This festival offers revellers the chance to let loose to the sound of top-notch talent in the beautiful Bay of Plenty on January 3rd and breathtaking Nelson on January 5th.
For out-of-towners, jumping in the car or on a plane to spend time in these locations is all part of the fun. Mount Maunganui has a chilled, inviting vibe with the beach offering the perfect refresh the following day. Nelson is home to incredible views and the second date gives those who live outside the region the chance to explore the magic of the South Island.
But it’s this year’s line-up that really seals the deal. Boasting a selection of renowned international names, the day will have performances by Diplo, Denzel Curry, Freddie Gibbs, SG Lewis, Sticky Fingers, Etherwood and Yung Lean.
Known for championing electronic music acts, Hybrid Minds, Flux Pavilion, Koven are among the crew of British talent escaping the bitingly cold Blighty weather.
With a selection of different stages to fit all ranges of taste, other fascinating acts include Etherwood, 1991, S.P.Y, Tori Levett and A Little Sound.
Over three nights, Northern Bass is delivering a steady run of music stars to bring in the new year. In Mangawhai, just an hour north of Auckland, music fans can come together to bring in New Years Eve by camping on the grounds or going in with some mates on a house nearby.
There’s a lot of tremendous artists on the electronic music menu, including the likes of Alix Perez, Pendulum, Andy C, Kanine and Chase & Status venturing from abroad to keep the crowd moving.
A nod to the Kiwi talent is found in appearances from Tiki Taane with Salmonella Dub, Ladi6, Lee Mvtthews, Emwa, Aroha, Bobby Brazuka, Flowidus, Melodownz, Rubi Du, JessB and DJ Sirvere.
The event is what you make it, with the benefit of three nights to choose between going all in or moving at a slow and steady pace to come out the other side feeling fine.
If you’re looking for a day out where you can combine sweet beats with catching up with friends and not feel too heavy the next morning, Le Currents is the place to be.
As a buffer between Christmas and New Years, the scene is set on December 27th for indie and disco fans to let their hair down from inside Lake Taupō’s Riverside Park.
Sticky Fingers will round out the night after Shag Rock, Molly Payton and Flamingo Pier take the stage while Muroki, The Butlers, There’s A Tuesday, Marlin’s Dreaming and K2K have the job of getting the event off to a solid start.
Kicking off at 12:30pm and wrapping by 9:00pm means anyone wanting to take a casual approach to the day can be in bed by 10pm while the local bars of Taupō offer those looking for a bigger excursion the chance to kick on.
If you can’t get along to see Diplo and Hybrid Minds at Bay Dreams, there is a second opportunity in Auckland at Plane Sailing.
Taking place on January 6th at Victoria Park in Auckland, a great bunch of artists will be ready to entertain the masses hot on the tail of New Year’s Eve.
Outline will be in the mix as well as 1991. A.M.C featuring Phantom, Elderbrook, Fred V and Trrei. Other acts worthy of your time include Krafty Kuts, SG Lewis, Ponz and Ruebik.
Offering a fantastic viewpoint of the Sky Tower and just a stone’s throw from the city’s centre, this is a chance to get out and about with the festive season under your belt and only the year ahead to celebrate.
The iconic Trans-Tasman event will arrive in Auckland on January 30th, giving partied-out music fans enough time to recover after New Year’s Eve.
And with Laneway making its return for the first time since 2020, organisers are clearly eager to make up for lost time. The 2023 line-up includes acclaimed singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers, razor-sharp Irish post-punk band Fontaines D.C., producer of the moment Fred again…, powerhouse sibling trio Haim and Kiwi favourite Fazerdaze.
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Synonymous with being the place to be among the first in the world to see the sunrise on New Year’s Day, Rhythm and Vines is the place to go for anyone looking to party their way right into 2023. .
The sun-drenched vineyards surrounding the rolling hills of Gisborne’s Waiohika Estate create an ideal landscape to forget about the year past and dance the night away with mates.
The event’s last night on New Year’s Eve is undoubtedly its best offering, with sets from Alison Wonderland, Cosmo’s Midnight, Flava D, Gerd Janson and Friction sure to fire up some seriously high-energy performances.
Sir Dave Dobbyn always goes down a treat while Sly Chaos, Kaylee Bell, Sachi, Chores, Sin and Elipsa never fail to deliver.
Organisers have faced controversy over the festival’s commitment to host Dizzee Rascal, however, but are standing by their booking, with the British rapper set to take the stage on December 30th.
Known for boasting some of electronic music’s biggest names, Hidden Valley organisers have come through yet again with a spectacular showcase of some of the best in the business.
They’ve previously hosted drum and bass stars adored by Kiwi fans like Netsky, Wilkinson and Sub Focus, and have done it again this year by giving punters another reason to make the small hour-long mission to Matakana on December 27th.
In the wake of their sixth album, Chase & Status continue to seamlessly move from one year to the next, maintaining their drum and bass sound which possesses an unmatchable edge.
They’ll be in good company with Dom Dolla, Kanine, Skream, Prospa and Patrick Topping. Local support comes in the form of Lauren Gin, Ghee, Bavhu, Logan Baker and Waja.
Off the back of Christmas, Hidden Valley is a great day out with the weather often on its side to make for a sensational day with mates.
Over three days, Splore promises a bonanza of opportunities to make the most of every moment while learning something about yourself along the way. The festival is built on a foundation of good energy, inclusion and wanting others to feel safe.
Attendees are to dress up in costume while taking in culture, music and arts from the beachside setting of Tāpapakanga Regional Park over February 24th-26th.
Flight of the Conchords fans will be stoked to learn Bret McKenzie is on the program, alongside Drax Project, Kae Tempest, Future Islands and Theia.
Kora, known for their huge hits like “Drop Dead Killa” and “Politician”, will be jumping up to take the event to another level while a chance to see Don McGlashan provides an allure all of its own.
Hazy Days and Club Festivus are two different events but both are going ahead at the iconic Coroglen Tavern, and if you haven’t seen a live gig there over summer yet, it’s definitely something to think about.
The venue oozes the richness of that Kiwiana summer with its stage out the back of the rustic-style pub. You can grab a beer and nod your head or set off on a stronger drop to lose yourself to the night completely.
On December 27th, Hazy Days is set to host acclaimed Australians Spacey Jane and Stella Donnelly as well as local indie four-piece Daffodils.
In its second year running, Club Festivus is going ahead the next night on December 28th with a sweet selection of electronic acts. The evening boasts appearances from Bonobo, DJ Seinfeld, Barry Can’t Swim, Pretty Girl and Peach Milk.
If you’re in the area or considering a summer roadie to somewhere with a relaxed vibe by day and a louder energy at night, the Coromandel is the place to be.
The small town of Tirau is set to host another That Weekend and the line-up is more than enticing to make the trip.
Just two hours from Auckland, Tirau is known to many as the ‘corrugated iron capital of the world’ with the eye-catching dog and sheep an obvious landmark.
But the metal animals have some competition as music fans come to know the small town as the home of That Weekend.
From the Okoroire Hot Springs Hotel across January 28th and 29th, you can be immersed in sounds from some of the most popular domestic and international artists.
On the cards for its 2023 edition is the iconic The Veronicas, whose collection of tracks hits the spot for so many pop fans.
Luude will also be there, having made huge waves with his remix of Men At Work’s classic “Down Under”, which even featured Colin Hay’s re-recorded vocals.
Joining them throughout the two-day event is Jordan Rakei, The Black Seeds, Babe Rainbow, Frank Booker, Halfqueen, and there’s also a DJ set from Flamingo Pier.
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If a huge line-up isn’t your thing but you still want to see the best of what New Zealand has to offer, Shapeshifter will be performing at Beach Break on January 28th in Whangamata.
The Coromandel is one of the most beautiful backdrops Aotearoa has to offer and a night listening to the incredible vocals of P.Diggs is one well spent. Known for their energy-rich performances, Shapeshifter’s hits have the ability to mesmerise and launch a dance party at the same time.
To complete the epic night, Ocean Alley and My Baby will be performing, leading the charge of creating a space where audiences can make endless memories to the quintessential sound of summer.
Just scraping into the summer festival run is Homegrown on March 18th, just three days before the official end of the season.
From Wellington’s waterfront, our top acts are rewarded with the chance to get in front of a Kiwi crowd and claim their stake at impressing the capital’s music fans.
Much-loved Shapeshifter, Gin Wigmore, P Money, Kings will be worth catching while Wax Mustang, Mitch James and Kora are shoo-ins for a good time.
And there’s no doubting the abilities of Katchafire, Sons of Zion, The Black Seeds and Savage, while Tomorrow People, Kane Hawkins, Katayanagi Twins and SWIDT are set to make the day super special.