New Elemental AKL festival to take over Auckland region in July
A captivating line-up of more than 40 events unveiled
The full programme for Elemental AKL, Auckland’s new winter festival, has been released, revealing a captivating line-up of dazzling light shows, delicious culinary events, spectacular cultural performances, and uplifting entertainment.
Throughout July, more than 40 free and ticketed events will transform eateries and bars, theatres, public spaces and more, across Tāmaki Makaurau.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) General Manager Destination, Steve Armitage says Elemental AKL has been developed to make Auckland a more vibrant and compelling place to spend time in during winter.
“We’ve worked with leading events, entertainment and hospitality experts to produce Elemental AKL, bringing together an exciting, diverse programme of events for locals and visitors to enjoy this July,” he says.
“Elemental AKL brings to life another key action from the Destination AKL 2025 strategy which was launched in May 2018 to support the sustainable growth of Auckland’s visitor economy.
“We’ve been looking at ways we can encourage visitation more evenly throughout the year and into the regions which is what this festival aims to do.”
The full programme is now live on the Elemental AKL website. The following provides a taster of some of the events taking place across the festival’s themes of light, food, entertainment, and culture.
Dazzling light shows and installations will light up Auckland’s parks, waterfronts, city streets, and other public spaces.
Great Barrier Island is hosting a series of fascinating astronomy-themed events, and the North Shore’s Smales Farm will see the return of Stellar, a three-day event featuring stunning innovative and interactive light installations, entertainment, food and music in celebration of Matariki, the Māori New Year.
In Manukau, Haiku-inspired projections and animations will light up the Civic Square, and an interactive, immersive light playground will illuminate the city centre’s Albert Park for the three-day event, Tūrama.
Vector Lights on Auckland Harbour Bridge will also be running shows as part of Matariki and the inaugural Elemental AKL.
Delicious dining and masterclasses, curated menus, local wine and craft beer festivities, and food shows are on the menu for food lovers. The Craft’d Wine + Spirits Festival will host more than 40 independent and boutique wine and spirits producers, offering masterclass sessions, food trucks, and light entertainment.
Eat Drink Love Ponsonby includes a series of special events, masterclasses, workshops, and progressive dinners. Several international guest chefs and mixologists will take over popular Ponsonby spaces throughout the month.
Fans of Frida Kahlo can participate in a culinary exploration weaving time, space, and place into an exclusive dining experience at one of Auckland’s Mexican restaurants.
Devonport's ‘dining corridor’ will offer up the ultimate progressive dinner experience with native ingredients, traditional cooking methods, and locally-sourced produce.
Elemental Feast will see Auckland’s fine dining restaurants, cafés, food trucks, bars and pubs plating up a unique festival dish or menu using locally sourced ingredients and inspired by the elements. The full programme of eateries will be revealed on 1 June.
An uplifting entertainment programme will include several productions from Auckland’s smash-hit sensation Pop-up Globe, with their first ever winter season in their unique, newly roofed, Shakespearean playhouse.
In Silo Park, there’ll be a magical all-wheels and accessible-friendly, illuminated parade in celebration of Matariki, with a mix of sensory installations, art installations and live performances.
War Horse, the unforgettable multi award-winning theatrical event from the National Theatre of Great Britain, will play exclusively at The Civic.
The month will also be a showcase of Māori culture, including performances, theatre, and interactive events.
Te Taumata Kapa Haka will share the dynamic art form of kapa haka with exhilarating live performances, and the Concert Chamber, at the Auckland Town Hall, will transform into a pre-colonial meeting house for an immersive storytelling event, Te Hono - The Gathering, with orators of Tāmaki Makaurau sharing local stories from their iwi.
Elemental AKL will delight, inspire and show you why Tāmaki Makaurau is a place unlike any other. The full programme is available here.