Home Features Auckland Arts Festival 2021 – Five events to look forward too
Auckland Arts Festival 2021 – Five events to look forward too

Auckland Arts Festival 2021 – Five events to look forward too


It’s fun to be back at Level One and it’s great to see so many people out and about enjoying themselves right now, and one massive event that locals can get behind is this year’s Auckland Arts Festival.

Celebrating the best of the arts and performance right across Auckland, Auckland Arts Festival has been extended to run through until April 11, 2021.

There’s so much amazing content available at the Arts Festival and below is a list of our must-attend events:

Reb Fountain & The Black Quartet: The Boy Next Door

Beyond comparison. Beyond genre. Beyond dispute. Reb Fountain brings her acclaimed tribute to Nick Cave back to the stage.

Nick Cave pens love eulogies that’ll sink you to your knees, performs like a revivalist, croons like a drunk, weeps like a banshee, mocks like the devil.

His undisputed musical genius has been drip-fed to the world over decades. Originally devised to celebrate Cave’s 60th birthday in 2017, singer-songwriter Reb Fountain’s stunning tribute show returns by popular demand — and this time, she weaves her own Cave-esque songs into the mix.

Alongside her band – including collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Dave Khan — Reb is joined by New Zealand’s premier string quartet, The Black Quartet. Together, they channel the raucous, brazen wisdom and beauty of Cave’s musical legacy.

Amui ‘I Mu’A: Ancient Futures

Ancient Futures unites the heritage arts of Tonga with the New Zealand diasporic community.

Led by contemporary masters Dagmar Vaikalafi Dyck and Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi, this landmark exhibition includes new paintings, prints and sculpture displayed with historic artefacts in response to an engagement with Tongan collections overseas.

As senior Pacific artists, Dyck and Tohi were chosen to represent a unique Marsden Project in Europe in 2018. Alongside other Tongan art experts and academic colleagues in New Zealand, Europe and the United States, they engaged with little known 18th century Tongan items in world collections for three years.

The work made from these inspirational visits contextualises the art of Dyck and Tohi in Tongan art history but also within the broader spectrum of the New Zealand art world, while also reflecting on current issues of genealogy and identity.

A Very Different World

From renowned Māori curator Ngahiraka Mason, A Very Different World is a platform to focus on wellbeing and a much-needed glimmer of hope for the future.

Who is not seeking a breath of fresh air? Sparking this idea is a belief in a second chance for humanity. If creative ideas are the lifeblood of artists, Covid-19 is directing us to untold opportunities to express forbearance.

Experience changes-up everything. Offering this direction is a cadre of intergenerational artists from Aotearoa, Tonga, Canada and Hawai‘i, with striking photography and painting, never-before-seen sculpture, textiles, ceramic, film and an interactive installation.

The Haka Party Incident

The last New Zealand war took place in Auckland in 1979. It lasted three minutes.

The Haka Party Incident resurrects the eventful day a group of University of Auckland engineering students rehearsing their annual tradition of a mock haka were confronted by the activist group He Taua. Violence erupted that sent ripples through the nation and changed race relations in New Zealand forever.

Crafted by filmmaker and theatre director Katie Wolfe, this riveting play combines documentary and stagecraft to thrilling effect. Provocative, resonant and unforgettable – a not-to-be-missed theatre event.

The Thrum Of The Tide

The Thrum of the Tide delves into the 20th century story of Te Ana Ru cave, known as ‘the ballroom cave’.

It has been said that early settlers held Saturday night dances in Te Ana Ru cave – known as ‘the ballroom cave’ – until the 1920s, on a re-purposed, winchable kauri floor installed by local timber mill workers. The dances are well-known folklore in Huia and Whatipu and it is thought the floor is still in the cave, buried deep under the sand.

Presented in Te Uru will be a re-creation of the floor accompanied by a soundscape of subterranean seismic vibrations and taonga puoro captured in Te Ana Ru during the Auckland Regional Parks Artist Residency 2019.

To book your tickets for these and many more amazing shows at this year’s Auckland Arts Festival click here.

Image: AAF