Nothing says New Zealand summer like a good music festival. And not many can beat the beauty that is Splore Festival, tucked away in the Tapapakanga Regional Park.
In true kiwi style, people gather from far and wide to what many international artists proclaim is the “best festival location in the world”. Revellers pull up in their yachts to idyllic sandy beaches, hoist flags and sails of multi-coloured neon and frequent the beach bars with their land-dwelling counterparts for the dance-fest that ensues.
People stomp bare foot to earth shattering beats while the dust rises around them like misty halos. They sun worship from dawn to dusk on the shores of the mighty Pacific. They paint their faces with neon body paint and glitter, and adorn themselves with flower headdresses. And there’s no complaining at the overpriced beverages, because as long as there’s one in each hand and they’re icy cold, life is good!
The best part is: Everything about this humble kiwi festival embodies the spirit of Whanau.
It’s inspiring and moving to be home in an environment where the people are so welcoming and neighbourly. There’s no fighting, no aggression and no dominating subcultures. Anybody and everybody is welcome to partake in the festival vibe.
Families are BBQing and picnicking on the sea shore, sharing food, sharing beers, dancing with friends old and new, and engaging in a new world of performance art and installations. Bliss.
It’s not uncommon to emerge from the festival escapade with renewed optimism and enthusiasm for life.
I’m such an advocate for the festival experience as I feel they encourage you to be a more outgoing and worldly person. I may just be being cliché, but the openness they inspire is the same that comes with travelling the world. So why not do it in your own backyard?
Other arts and music festivals to catch in 2016:
2 February – 1 April, 2016
Held annually in Wellington, the New Zealand Fringe Festival is a community based open-access festival promoting some of the most creative people the creative capital has to offer.
For over 20-years the New Zealand Fringe Festival has been providing a platform for some of Wellington’s most diverse, thought-provoking and contemporary artists. The festival is known to be the launch pad for the likes of Flight of the Conchords and comedian Rhys Darby. Definitely not one to be missed.
New Plymouth. 18 – 20 March, 2016
Known as the ‘world’s festival’, WOMAD brings together a selection of some of the biggest artists from round the globe with the aim of celebrating different forms of music, art and dance. It’s held in the beautiful surroundings of New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park (a New Zealand ‘Garden of National Significance). Key music acts of 2016 include St Germain, Seun Kuri and the Egypt 80 and American hip-hop
Kawai Purapura, Auckland. 1-3 April, 2016
EarthBeat Aotearoa describes itself as a ‘conscious gathering’. The schedule is jam-packed with transformational workshops and seminars that help festival-goers reconnect with the beat of the Earth and take conscious steps towards appreciation and co-creation. Engage in the community spirit and leave your inhibitions at home.
Homegrown – New Zealand Music
Wellington Waterfront. 2 April, 2016
Showcasing the very best of New Zealand music – Homegrown is a festival exclusive to musicians who are born and bred kiwi. If you’re new to NZ or just need a hit of your all-time favourites, Wellington is the place to be. Headliners include the mighty Shapeshifter, Kora, Ladi6, The Black Seeds and Katchafire.