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NZ Music Month Guide: The Best Gigs, Events, Initiatives & Music

May is upon us, which means it’s time to celebrate Aotearoa’s incredible musicians

Tiny Ruins

Tiny Ruins

Frances Carter

May is upon us, which means it’s time to celebrate Aotearoa’s incredible musicians. 

The country is currently saturated with talented artists who pour themselves into being among the best in the world – and NZ Music Month is all about putting some time aside to show them our appreciation. 

The theme of this year’s Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa is ‘Community + Collaboration’, sending a message of the importance of working together to build a stronger collective across all the music industry. 

During the month of May, there’s a steady stream of gigs and events, ideas and initiatives set to shine a light on the amazing creative skills of our many wonderful music artists.

Here’s a list of some of the best if you want to take part. 

NZ Music T-Shirt Day – Nationwide, May 26th

On the 26th, you can support your favourite Kiwi artists by donning a piece of their finest merch. The day is dedicated to raising money for MusicHelps – a charity which supports projects that help the most vulnerable people in the community use music as a tool to heal.

Get your friends, family and colleagues to wear their favourite band t-shirt and spread the love by texting MUSIC to 2448 or visiting this link

Sin and Wise Fools Presents KINK – Auckland, May 13th

If you’re a fan of hitting the dancefloor until the early hours of a Sunday morning, this one’s for you. Gear up for a night of good times with Sin, Brook Gibson, Beccie, B., Mrs K and Buttermilk on the 13th. 

Taking place at the unmissable Las Vegas on Karangahape Road, this team of music-makers are going to be unlocking the recipe for a fun night on the town. 

Historical Music Venues Tour  – Auckland, Thursdays & Sundays May 8th – 26th

New Zealand is teeming with incredible venues – but some have a little more history than others. The Historical Music Venues Tour returns every Thursday and Sunday from May 8 – 26th. 

Join author Gareth Shute for free tours around some of Auckland’s most iconic event spaces to learn more about what makes them great. 

If you can’t get along to a hosted tour, you can take a stroll on your own while listening to the audio from the Auckland Stories app on Apple Store or Google Play

Kaylee Bell – Nationwide, May 12th – May 28th

She’s the Kiwi girl giving country music a new life in New Zealand and she’s heading on tour later this month.

The singer-songwriter made waves across Australasia when performing her hit original “Keith” on The Voice AU – now you can catch her in the flesh across a number of dates in May. 

The star shared her excitement about her first headline tour of New Zealand. “It’s always been a dream to tour through NZ playing my music to people and we can’t wait to get to play both islands and meet as many people as we can out on tour,” she said.

Bell will be performing in Wellington on May 12th, Hamilton on May 19th, Auckland on May 21st, Whangarei on May 27th, and Leigh on May 28th – with even more locations and dates tipping over into June. 

Tickets can be found here

Tiny Ruins – Nationwide, May 11th – 27th

To celebrate their new album Ceremony, Tiny Ruins are going to be performing a whopping eight shows around the country. 

They’ll be venturing to all corners of the country, with shows in Lyttelton, Dunedin, Queenstown, Wellington, Napier, Paekākāriki, Nelson and Auckland from May 11th to May 27th. 

Lead singer Hollie Fullbrook recently opened up to Rolling Stone AU/NZ about the personal pain she’s poured into her music over the last few years – and what it means to have a new offering. 

All the dates and information can be found here

Sounds of Aotearoa – Auckland, May 27th & 28th

For what is expected to be an unforgettable evening, watch a selection of premium local DJs take to the decks in front of the Auckland Town Hall for Sounds of Aotearoa. 

Curated by King Kapisi, over two nights he’ll be joined by DJ Mateo, DJ Solnate and DJ Styla to celebrate some of the best New Zealand music from across the decades. And as the beats flow, a visual showcase by Creature Post will be projected onto the Town Hall clock tower. 

More information can be found here

Devilskin – Nationwide, May 5th – 20th

Almost two years have passed since Devilskin have given fans a taste of their live performance magic – but they’re back and couldn’t be more amped to reconnect with fans. As the band’s bassist Paul Martin puts it, he thought it was time Devilskin “came up for air.”

The hardcore rockers are continuing their Let Me Breathe NZ tour with special guests East York this May. Ahead of the tour, Martin said: “It’s important to take a moment to breathe, enjoy the moment and celebrate with your friends when you can. For this band; writing, recording and most especially, playing live shows, that’s our air.

“So yeah, we are bursting to do this tour. There will be some big nights with some of our favourite people, towns and venues.”

Tickets are still available here

A Waiata in an Hour: Kings, Rory Noble – Auckland, May 20th

Hip hop extraordinaire Kings and producer Rory Noble are uniting to share what it takes to craft a song from scratch. This is an amazing opportunity to witness the creation of a song from some top Kiwi talent. 

To create a real challenge, they will take a genre and phrase as suggested by the audience and put together a melody, lyrics and structure of a new song from nothing. 

Find tickets and more information here

The Most Simple Tip of All – Listen to New Zealand Music, All Month 

The ultimate way to support our local artists is to put on some tunes from our favourite artists. Whether you’re in the car, out for a run or getting into a groove for a night out, this May is the time to let New Zealand music lead the charge. 

If you’re looking for something fresh EMWA’s latest track, “Click Clack”, is dropping on May 12th – which is tipped to be tapping into her trap side.

Chores are back, returning to their roots with dance music. They’ve teamed up with the equally dynamic duo Jupiter Project to release “How Does It Feel?” on May 19th. 

Lauren Gin is also back with a new banger, “Flight,” on May 12th. It will be the third release from her forthcoming EP Adrenaline.

And keep an eye out for new music from Alayna, Foley and Coast Arcade on May 19th.