New Zealand really has carved out a name for itself as the place to be. Besides involving yourself in some heart-pumping adventures, taking in exceptional sights, and chatting with the super-friendly locals – be sure to make some time to immerse yourself in New Zealand’s music festival scene.
While there is no shortage of music festivals in New Zealand to visit while you are on the North or South Island, you will find that most events are held over the summer months (when the weather is mild and sunny). And if you are in Kiwi-land over the New Year period, the list of epic festivals at your fingertips are endless.
You may even take in the first sunrise the world sees of the new year!
Take a read through what I think are the best music festivals in New Zealand, watch some of the incredible festival after-movies, and start planning your trip to one of the most beautiful countries in the world!
The 15 Best New Zealand Festivals in 2019
1) Rhythm & Alps
When: December 29-31 annually
Where: Cardrona Valley, near Wanaka and Queenstown
“Rhythm & Alps is the premier festival of the South Island, catering to 10,000 partygoers. Over 50 international and local acts will be performing across 4 stages with the best sound and lighting production in the country.”
Easily one of the best festivals in New Zealand, Rhythm and Alps is guaranteed to be one of the best way to end the year. The location is purely stunning, the line-up is always large and diverse, and you really can’t find a better festival atmosphere. Grab your festival squad & camping equipment, and get ready for an amazing three-day party!
When: April 2020
Where: Wellington Waterfront
“One of New Zealand’s longest running and popular music festivals with 7 stages and 57 Acts rocking the stages year after year.”
3) St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
When: January 2020 (Dates TBA)
“St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival is about leading new and revered seminal music. The festival has always been interested in finding what’s fresh and bringing it to unique settings and surrounds to be appreciated by music lovers.
The size of the festivals, the locations and the way we encourage community all form part of the way in which the Laneway team strive to present a live music experience like no other.”
4) Electric Avenue
When: February 22, 2020
Where: Hagley Park, Christchurch
“Christchurch’s biggest day out is back and bigger than ever – with more than 25 acts, three stages and 12 hours of festival fun, Electric Avenue Music Festival promises to deliver another huge celebration of music and arts right in the heart of Christchurch’s Hagley Park.
5) Rhythm and Vines
When: 28-31 December annually
Where: Gisborne, NZ
“RHYTHM AND VINES IS NEW ZEALAND’S PREMIER MUSIC AND CAMPING FESTIVAL, LOCATED AT THE BEAUTIFUL WAIOHIKA ESTATE, ON THE EAST COAST OF NEW ZEALAND.
GLOBALLY RECOGNISED AS ONE OF THE WORLD’S TOP NEW YEAR’S DESTINATIONS, RHYTHM AND VINES IS THE FIRST PLACE TO WELCOME IN THE FIRST SUNRISE OF THE NEW YEAR.”
6) WOMAD Festival New Zealand
When: March 13-15, 2020
Where: New Plymouth, NZ
“WOMAD – World of Music, Arts and Dance the internationally established festival, which brings together artists from all over the globe. The central aim of the WOMAD festival is to celebrate the world’s many forms of music, arts and dance.”
New Zealand’s award-winning three-day music and dance festival!
WOMAD is a feast for all of the senses. Hear music from throughout the globe, join in with workshops led by talented international musicians, taste delicious and exotic food cooked by the artists, listen to talks, experience the art, dance your heart out and generally soak up the atmosphere and the joy of discovery!”
7) Splore Festival
When: February 21-23, 2020
Where: Tapapakanga Regional Park, Auckland
“A three day entertainment extravaganza & New Zealand’s greatest dress up party. We invite you to embrace the theme and join our mindful tribe of party animals!”
8) Northern Bass
When: December 29, 2019 – January 1, 2020
“Northern Bass is three days and nights of New Year celebrations! Situated just over an hour north of Auckland in the summer hotspot of Mangawhai, Northern Bass brings together a world class selection of musicians, DJs and producers to provide the perfect soundtrack for bringing in the New Year.
You can immerse yourself in Northern Bass by staying onsite at our campground, but you can also stay at one of the many baches and or campsites in the Manhawhai/Kaiwaka area.
If you are camping onsite, you will need to purchase a Camping pass. If you are not staying onsite you can get to and from Northern Bass using our dedicated bus service provided by Leabournes.”
9) Shipwrecked Festival
When: February 2020
Where: Te Arai (90 Minutes North from Auckland)
“Shipwrecked Festival is a boutique music and arts festival brought to you with love by The Greatest Show on Earth. Nestled between three lakes in an idyllic landscape not far from the hum of Auckland, the Shipwrecked Festival site at Te Arai has been lovingly curated over the years to transform into a spectacular playground. Taking inspiration from the European festival scene, with uniquely Kiwi vibes, Shipwrecked festival is a place to come together to celebrate and immerse ourselves into a weekend of underground electronic music, nature, visual and interactive art, and life itself.”
Shipwrecked got some weird press this year, as apparently it was forced to be a “dry-festival”. It looks like a blast though, and will definitely be trying to make it in the future.
10) Queenstown Winter Festival
When: June annually
Last, but certainly not least…the Queenstown Winter Festival isn’t strictly a music event, but has tons to offer! I fell in love with Queenstown when I visited, and it’s truly one of the most picturesque cities in the world.
“Come celebrate the arrival of New Zealand’s winter in true Queenstown style! The celebrations kick off Thursday 21st of June, and are followed by four days of fireworks, street parties, music, comedy, family fun and madness up the mountain, nightlife and SO MUCH MORE!”
11) Hidden Valley NZ Festival
When: December 27, 2019
Where: Matakana Country Park (50 Minutes North from Auckland)
After a successful inaugural festival back in 2018, bringing in FIsher to New Zealand’s shores, Hidden Valley is back for another epic boutique festival experience. Good vibes and great music for one wild day just a bit north from Auckland! This is just another Christmas gift to electronic music fans in New Zealand!
12) Listen In Auckland 2019
When: October 4, 2019
Where: Mt. Smart Stadium, Auckland
“Listen In is a concentrated version of Listen Out, Australia’s primary national dance festival, which has sold out in all cities since 2016! Listen In will feature a hand-picked selection of the Listen Out tour to beautiful Auckland.”
With the 2019 line-up including names like FLUME, Diplo, and SchoolboyQ – I’m sure the promoters will have no problem selling out this wild party as well!
13) Deep Hard N Funky 2019
When: July 13, 2019
Where: Ellerslie Event Center, Auckland
“The birthday party everybody’s been waiting for is HERE! 20 years of the biggest acts in NZ is being celebrated at our OG Home, Ellerslie Events Centre. Taking over 6 stages, with over 32 acts, Deep Hard N Funky is the night of winter you’ll be frothing for.”
We're you at DEEP HARD N FUNKY 2018? ❄️We're going bigger and better with a NEW ZONE and limited extra tickets for some lucky people, grab yours QUICK ? https://dhf2019.eventbrite.co.nz ❄️ FINAL RELEASE VIP ON SALE NOW #DHF2019
Posted by Our:House presents on Tuesday, June 11, 2019
14) FREQS out EAST Halloween
When: October 27, 2019
Where: Fisher House
East Auckland’s premier outdoor event
“A small outdoor festival featuring some of NZ’s best DJ’s and live acts based in idyllic surroundings at Fisher House.”
15) Pasifika Festival
When: March 14-15, 2020
Where: Western Springs Park, Auckland
“Pasifika Festival is set to return to Western Springs in March 2020. Pasifika Festival is an annual celebration that unites Pacific cultures through incredible performances, delicious food and drink, workshops and more.”
16) CubaDupa Music Festival
When: March 28-29, 2020
“Celebrate New Zealand’s most vibrant and creative festival, CubaDupa, as we come back to the streets with a beautiful disruption over last weekend of summer – 28th and 29th March 2020!. With the streets closed to traffic in the Cuba Quarter, join over 100 000 people of all ages celebrating the sights & sounds of Aotearoa and beyond, in this massive two day festival of the streets.
Revel in the creative heart of our capital with an abundance of live music spanning the genres across twelve stages. Interrupt your regular weekends programming and immerse yourself within site activation’s and creative installations; dance the day away in the Upper Cuba Sonic Circle; electrify your soul at our most ambitious project yet, CubaSonic composed by John Psasthis; join the beat of the batucada parades; experience the intergalactic in Hannah’s Courtyard or sit curbside for a spot of street theatre. We’ll bring the party and you bring your wildside to the countries most colourful, free celebration of the arts.”
17) VOICES OF SACRED EARTH FESTIVAL
When: February 6-9, 2020
Where: Albany (North Shore Auckland)
“This world class-event is a conscious gathering that provides a safe space for the sharing of knowledge, learning, and community connections and offers transformational experiences through teaching, healing, music, and sharing that help us reconnect to ourselves and our community. Our purpose is to provide a platform of learning, growth, and transformation that will inspire new ways of co-creating and living.
Kawai Purapura, located in the North Shore Auckland suburb of Albany, is one of New Zealand’s most popular destinations for retreats, conferences, and seminars in natural health, environmental awareness, and personal development.”
18) NEW ZEALAND’S INTERNATIONAL YOGA FESTIVAL
When: March 5-8, 2020
Where: Albany (North Shore Auckland)
NZ International Yoga Festival is a transformational conscious yoga gathering. Explore the depths of the ancient yoga science of transformation that serves our evolutionary journey. Together, we will create a connection to a deep flow state, to our personal and planetary evolution, through immersion in the full spectrum of yoga traditions, asana practice, ecstatic dance, kirtan, breathwork, sacred ritual, kriya, chanting, meditation, vedic and tantric talks.
Our theme this year for NZ International Yoga Festival is “Find Your Flow“, which is all about our connection with universal intelligence as it moves through us to even greater levels of evolution. Flow is defined as the state of being completely engrossed in the execution of a performance to the exclusion of everything else. This is achieved when body, mind, and spirit are at one, when the present moment is so compelling that everything else disappears.
19) Earth Beat Festival 2020
When: March 20-22, 2020
Where: Atiu Creek Regional Park, Port Albert, New Zealand
Fiercely independent, pioneering, and proudly deep and meaningful—Earth Beat Music + Arts Festival is the place where you play, revitalize, make new connections and return to the world grounded and inspired!
Boutique, intimate and innovative, Earth Beat Festival is full of experiences that help us release and reconnect to ourselves, the land and our community.
As well as being known as a “legendary party”, it is also a haven for cutting edge creativity and life-changing experiences. As one of the only truly zero-waste events in Aotearoa New Zealand, Earth Beat aspires to be a think-tank of ideas and new ways of living.
We warmly invite you to join us to celebrate the 2020 Equinox and the season of Poutūterangi.
NEW | Festival X Rising New Zealand
When: November 28, 2019
Where: The Outer Fields at Western Springs, Auckland
New Zealand are you ready? FESTIVAL X RISING launches this November at Western Springs as the newest event on the summer music calendar, featuring some of music’s biggest superstars. The inaugural line-up features multiple Grammy, Billboard and Brit Award winner CALVIN HARRIS announced today as the headline act.
Formed as a collaboration between industry leaders and teams behind some of Australasia’s leading festivals, concerts and events, Hardware (Piknic Electronik, Babylon, Onelove (Stereosonic) and Live Nation (Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival and Download) have partnered to launch FESTIVAL X RISING. In its first year, the event will take place at The Outer Fields at Western Springs on Thursday 28th November 2019.
Founder of Hardware Corp, Richie McNeill said: “It’s fantastic to be coming to New Zealand! It’s a great time of year and we have some amazing things planned for New Zealand and X from here on in. Watch this space!”
Am I Missing Any Epic Festivals in New Zealand?
I’m always looking for new events and music festivals to attend, and I actually am planning on moving to New Zealand at the end of 2019, so I would love to hear of any other New Zealand music festivals you’ve been to! Whether they are big city-wide NZ festivals or small raves with the hobbits in the Shire, I’d love to go!
Planning a trip to New Zealand…?
I spent the entire month of September 2017 exploring this beautiful country, and I fell completely in love! I’m pretty sure it’s humanly impossible to step foot on New Zealand, and not have the idea of moving there. Take a read through my articles below to help with some fun trip ideas!
- The North Island of New Zealand | Top 10 Travel Highlights
- The South Island of New Zealand | Top 10 Travel Highlights
- Top 6 Adventures in New Zealand
Looking for more music festivals around the world?
I’ve written HEAPS about the best international festivals around the world, and you can go lost for hours reading about all of them! Check out a few of my favorite articles below:
- 30 Music Festivals in Australia To Experience Before You Die
- Top 14 Music Festivals in Sydney, Australia
- The Top 10 Music Festivals in Melbourne, Australia
- 12 Amazing Music Festivals in South-East Asia To Experience Before You Die
- The Best 7 Music Festivals in Central America
- Top 20 Brisbane Music Festivals To Experience Before You Die
- The 20 Best Music Festivals in Adelaide to Experience Before You Die
- The 25 Best Music Festivals in Asia To Experience Before You Die
- 44 Festival Accessories, Festival Gear & Must Haves | The Best Festival Packing List
- The Ultimate Music Festival Camping Packing List