With February (yes, it’s February already) comes an abundance of new cultural inspiration and events to inspire your creativity. After all, we could all use a little entertainment to ease the heaviness of this last week. From sporting events to music festivals, and all of the Pride celebrations and gallery exhibitions in between, our February culture guide rounds up the most exciting of what’s on the horizon. Here is everything to add to your calendar now.
After recently taking out Triple J’s Hottest 100 for a second time (and being the second artist ever to do so), the Australian electronic darling brings his one-off headline show to Auckland this month. Celebrating the release of his third studio album, Palaces, expect a show-stopping experience that captures the essence of his latest music alongside renditions of the chart-toppers we all know and adore.
Thursday 23rd February, Spark Arena. Tickets available here.
The Heartbreak Choir
With live theatre now well and indeed returned, we’re advocates of this kind of entertainment. To kick off the season, Auckland Theatre Company presents The Heartbreak Choir — a story of challenges and unity in rural Australia. With a hilariously funny cast (and a musically talented one, too), this is a show for those seeking lighthearted joy.
Season begins Thursday 16th February. Tickets available here.
NZ Polo Open
February sees the return of one of our favourite sporting events of the season, the NZ Polo Open. On Sunday the 19th of February, celebrate the final of this legendary competition with an afternoon of horses and other convivial affairs. With two years of covid-related restrictions preventing the event from going ahead, this year’s Open is a cause genuinely worth celebrating.
Sunday 19th February, Auckland Polo Club, Clevedon. Tickets available here.
Summer in the Square
To soften the blow of a return to the office, Auckland Live has made the CBD a little more joyous with the launch of its annual series. Over the four weekends of February, discover Fiesta in the Square, Beats in the Square, Circus in the Square and Pride in the Square. These all offer an agenda of live music and performance, food trucks, outdoor films and DJs. More information about Summer In The Square can be found here.
While crowd-favourite Splore is always poised to sell out, and this year was no exception, many tickets are still available on the authorised ticket-reselling platform Tixel. This year’s line-up sees the likes of Future Islands and Drax Project take the stage for this family-friendly event. With tickets a hot commodity, we suggest nabbing any you can find before they disappear again.
25th — 26th February, Tapapakanga Regional Park. Resales available here.
Auckland Pride Celebrations
February marks Pride — an extravaganza celebrating our queer community and the history that endures. We thought this year’s line-up is as expansive as ever and, as such, deserving of its own article, in addition to our February culture guide. Here you’ll discover the best of this year’s Pride calendar.
Experience the rich, vivid tales of Kiwi bach culture in the changing landscape of New Zealand with Rangitoto, the latest theatrical production from multi-talented Geoffrey Clendon. This highly anticipated play transports audiences to the picturesque Rangitoto Island during the Great Depression, as two diverse families come together for a festive holiday. Following the island’s bach community, this comedy-drama explores the lives of its eclectic characters as they navigate the shifting societal norms of the era. With an all-star cast that includes Geoffrey Snell, Joseph Wycoff, and Elizabeth Tierney, Rangitoto promises to be a true tour de force.
Season begins Thursday 23rd February, The PumpHouse Theatre. Tickets available here.
Bringing his highly-anticipated The Mathematics Tour down under for his first return since 2018 (which ended up being the highest-selling tour in history), pop royalty Ed Sheeran is coming back this month, and we couldn’t be more excited. Set to perform songs from his latest album, alongside crowd-favourite hits from across his career (Thinking Out Loud, The A Team, Lego House), this tour promises to be Sheeran’s most ambitious and most spectacular yet.
Friday 10th February, Eden Park. Tickets available here.
Celebrating 25 years of this heartbreaking epic, Titanic will return to the larger-than-life screen this month in a remastered, 3D addition. Everyone knows the tragic tale, and most audiences are familiar with how this fictionalised story ends, but it will not stop us from embarrassingly sobbing at the cinema this season.
Premiering in cinemas Thursday 9th February.
Iliza Back In Action Tour
Rounding out the February culture guide, comedian Iliza Shlesinger is making her highly-anticipated return to the stage with Back in Action, set to grace New Zealand audiences with her humour and timeless wit for a one-night-only performance this month. A multi-talented powerhouse, Shlesinger has made a name for herself as an award-winning comedian, actor, writer, producer, and author. Her devoted fanbase and five highly-acclaimed Netflix stand-up specials add to her name.
Tuesday 7th February, Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre. Tickets available here.