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Huge schedule of events for Wellington this summer

From now until the end of April, Wellington will experience one of its largest-ever events schedules, with four big musical gigs and cultural experiences alone estimated to pump $51 million into the economy.

The massive events list (detailed chronologically below) features four big attractions: the Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality exhibition (above) which opens next week, the world cup of kapa haka Te Matatini in February, and NZ music festival Homegrown and the visit of rap star Eminem in March. Together they are expected to attract more than 150,000 visitors to the region.

The same night that Eminem plays the biggest concert Westpac Stadium has ever seen (2 March), the legendary John Prine is at TSB Arena, the Hollies are at the MFC, rising Australian singer/songwriter artist Julia Jacklin is at Sam Fran and the Royal NZ Ballet have the second performance of their New Choreographic Series at the Opera House.

There are many other musical highlights, including the big outdoor gig by Fat Freddy’s Drop at Day’s Bay, Trinity Roots and other locals at Kāpiti’s Coastella festival, Jimmy Barnes and The Living End at the Hutt Rec, and the tw0-day CubaDupa festival in the Cuba Quarter.

Other visiting artists include music acts Nick Cave, Bryan Ferry, Bryan Adams, Norah Jones, Snarky Puppy, Calexico, Fatboy Slim, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Engelbert Humperdinck, Elaine Page, Kurt Vile, Living Colour, Rufus Wainwright, John Farnham, as well as superstar chef Nigella Lawson, comedians Eddie Izzard, Tim Minchin and Danny Bhoy, and many more.

Sporting fans can enjoy matches featuring the Black Caps, White Ferns and Breakers, home games for the Hurricanes and Phoenix teams, and the return of Nitro Circus to the Westpac Stadium, which will also host the Armageddon expo.

The Wellington City Council celebrates 40 years of Summer City, with its Gardens Magic series of free concerts at the Botanic Garden Soundshell from 8 to 27 January.

A large but far from comprehensive list follows. There are more free and Christmassy events on our “Counting down December” daily updates, and you can check our What’s On section for more listings, and details.

DECEMBER
6 December, Straitjacket Fits / Dimmer, Meow (sold out)
6 December, French for Rabbits, Te Auaha
7 December, Straitjacket Fits / Dimmer, Meow (sold out)
7 December, Saba, Caroline
7 December, Hex, Miles Calder and The Rumours, Finn Johansson with band, San Fran
7 December, Chris Buckland Quintet, Pyramid Club
7 December, NZSO: Christmas Brass, Cathedral of St Paul
8 December, NZSO: Messiah, Michael Fowler Centre
8 December, Oddisee, San Fran
8 December, The Mean Bones, Meow
8 December, Ziggy Alberts, Moon
8 December, Scottish Night of Miles 2018 with Lifestyle Sports, Basin Reserve
9 December, Douglas Wright tribute screening, City Gallery
9 December, Peter Peryer tribute screening, City Gallery
9 December, Wellington Chamber Orchestra Sunday Concert, St Andrews on the Terrace
9 December, The Sleeping Beauty, Opera House
13 December, Living Colour, San Fran
14 December, A Very Beths Xmas Party, Meow
14 December, The ABBA Show, Opera House
14 December, Anthonie Tonnon presents Rail Land, St Peter’s Hall, Paekakariki
14 December, You Should Be Dancing End of Year Party, San Fran
15 December, NZSO: Christmas Pops, Michael Fowler Centre
15 December (to 22 April), Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality, Te Papa
15 December, Nanogirl Live! In Out Of This World, Opera House
15 December, 2018 Home Alone Xmas Mini-Festival, secret location
15 December, Joanne Robertson w/ Kool Music (both UK), Pyramid Club
15 December, The Polar Express – Christmas Movie Night Fundraising, Old St Paul’s
15 December, Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners, Westpac Stadium
15 to 19 December, Blackcaps v Sri Lanka, Basin Reserve
16 December, Noel – the Story of the First Christmas, Michael Fowler Centre
19 December, 7 Days, Michael Fowler Centre
19 December, Find Your Fierce, QT Hotel
20 December, Mr Traumatik, San Fran
21 December, The All-Seeing Hand and Special Guests, Meow
22 December, Phoenix v Brisbane Roar FC, Westpac Stadium
23 December, Frozen Sing-a-long screening, Roxy Cinema
24 December, Home Alonescreening, Roxy Cinema
24 December, Die Hard screening, Roxy Cinema

Fat Freddy’s Drop play Day’s Bay on 21 January. Photo by Harry A’Court

JANUARY
1 January, Weber Bros Circus, Avalon Park
6 January, Paul Ubana Jones, Cossie Club, Upper Hutt
8 January, Gardens Magic: ULTRASOUNZ, Botanic Garden Soundshell
9 January, Gardens Magic: Mundi, Botanic Garden Soundshell
10 January, Gardens Magic: Anxiety Club, Botanic Garden Soundshell
11 January, Gardens Magic: Hans Pucket, Botanic Garden Soundshell
12 January, Gardens Magic: Jane Siberry and Anthonie Tonnon, Botanic Garden Soundshell
12 January, Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners, Westpac Stadium
13 January, Gardens Magic: Summer Showcase 1, Botanic Garden Soundshell
15 January, Gardens Magic: Newtown Rocksteady, Botanic Garden Soundshell
15 January, Conversations with Nick Cave, Michael Fowler Centre
16 January, Gardens Magic: We Are Home, Botanic Garden Soundshell
17 January, Gardens Magic: Reb Fountain, Botanic Garden Soundshell
18 January, Waterfront Clean-Up, Wellington Waterfront
18 January, Gardens Magic: RNZAF Jazz Orchestra, Botanic Garden Soundshell
18 January, Summer Concert Series: Beat Girls, Aotea Lagoon, Porirua
18 January, After Hours: Paul Ubana Jones, Wellington Museum
19 January, Wellington Cup Day, Trentham Racecourse
19 January, Wellington Pasifika Festival, Odlins Plaza
19 January, Elaine Page, Michael Fowler Centre
19 January, Summer Concert Series: Mojo Band, Aotea Lagoon, Porirua
19 January, Gardens Magic: “Lucky Dip”, Botanic Garden Soundshell
19 and 20 January, Paul Ubana Jones, Raumati Social Club
20 January, Summer Concert Series: The Shenanigans, Aotea Lagoon, Porirua
20 January, Gardens Magic: Awerangi: Mana Wāhine, Botanic Garden Soundshell
20 January, Opal Ocean, San Fran
21 January, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Day’s Bay Pavilion
21 January, Summer Concert Series: Shaun Preston, Aotea Lagoon, Porirua
22 January, Gardens Magic: Aotearoa All Stars, Botanic Garden Soundshell
23 January, Nigella Lawson, Michael Fowler Centre
24 January, Drab Majesty, Valhalla
23 January, Phoenix v Sydney FC, Westpac Stadium
23 January, Gardens Magic: Summer Showcase 2, Botanic Garden Soundshell
24 January, Gardens Magic: The Mean Bones, Botanic Garden Soundshell
25 January, Gardens Magic: Orchestra Wellington Star Ensemble, Botanic Garden Soundshell
26 January, Phoenix v Melbourne City FC, Westpac Stadium
26 January, Kids’ Magic in the Dell, Botanic Garden
26 January, Gardens Magic: Summer Showcase 3, Botanic Garden Soundshell
27 January, Interislander Capital Classic, Oriental Bay
27 January, Gardens Magic: Miho’s Jazz Orchestra, Botanic Garden Soundshell
28 January, Sarah Millican: Control Enthusiast, Opera House
29 January, Fatboy Slim, Hunter Lounge
30 January, Calexico, Opera House
30 January, Denzel Curry (Laneway), San Fran

The Captain Cook Thinks Again Walking Tour is on the Waterfront from 4 February to 29 March

FEBRUARY
2 February, Welly Bomb Comp, Taranaki Wharf jump platform
2 February, Wellington Collegians Cricket Club Hall of Fame Dinner, St Johns Bar & Restaurant
2 February, Wellington Wine & Food + Craft Beer Festival 2019, Waitangi Park
3 February, Blackcaps v India 5th ODI, Westpac Stadium
3 February, Victorian Picnic, Botanic Garden Soundshell
4 February to 29 March, Captain Cook Thinks Again Walking Tour, Waterfront
5 to 24 February, Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors exhibition, Te Papa forecourt
5 February, Jimmy Barnes and The Living End Hutt Recreation Ground in February
6 February, Te Rā O Waitangi: a celebration of Waitangi Day, Waitangi Park
6 February, Kotahi, Kahurangi School, Strathmore Park
6 February, Blackcaps and White Ferns v India 1st T-20, Westpac Stadium
7 February, Tuatara Open Late, City Gallery
7 to 10 February, Madiba the Musical, Opera House
8 and 9 February, Jonathan and Terry Crayford – Two Pianos in Concert, Prefab Hall
9 February, Pipes in the Park, Waitangi Park
9 and 10 February, Chinese New Year Festival, TSB Arena and Shed 6
10 February, Island Bay Festival, Shorland Park
13 February, The Smyths Perform The Queen Is Dead In Full, San Fran
14 February, After Hours: Orchestra of Spheres, Wellington Museum
14 February, Breakers v Illawarra Hawks, TSB Arena
15 February to 2 March, Summer Shakespeare: Hamlet, The Dell, Botanic Garden
16 February, Julien Baker, Meow
16 February, From Scratch: Visitors, City Gallery
16 February, Trixie Mattel: Skinny Legend, Opera House
17 February, Round the Bays, Frank Kitts Park to Kilbirnie Park
22 February, Cate le Bon, Meow
23 February, Coastella Festival, Southwards Ampitheater, Paraparaumu
20 to 24 February, Te Matatini ki te Ao, Westpac Stadium
21 February, Annabel Alpers: Remote, Space Place
21 to 24 February and 28 February to 3 March, Performance Arcade, Waitangi Promenade
24 February HUHA Paws in the Park, Tawatawa Reserve, Island Bay
26 February, Eddie Izzard, Michael Fowler Centre
26 February, Watain (Sweden) Southern Hell Siege Tour, Valhalla
27 February, NZSO: Classical Journey, Michael Fowler Centre

Eminem is at the Westpac Stadium on 2 March

MARCH
1 March, Cockney Rejects, San Fran
1 and 2 March, RNZB New Choreographic Series, Opera House
1 to 23 March, NZ Fringe Festival, various venues
2 March, Eminem, Westpac Stadium
2 March, John Prine, TSB Arena
2 March, Hollies, Michael Fowler Centre
2 March, Julia Jacklin, San Fran
3 March, Newtown Festival Street Fair, streets of Newtown
3 March, Instrument Making From Scratch, City Gallery
3 March, Rufus Wainwright, Opera House
4 March, Engelbert Humperdinck – The Man I Want To Be Tour, Opera House
5 March, Bryan Ferry, TSB Arena
5 March, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Opera House
5 March, Lydia Cole, Meow
7 March, Tuatara Open Late, City Gallery
7 March, John Farnham, Michael Fowler Centre
8 March, Hurricanes v Highlanders, Westpac Stadium
8 to 12 March, Blackcaps v Bangladesh 2nd Test, Basin Reserve
9 March, Heart Heart Heart: Visitors, City Gallery
9 March, Waterbourne Beach Party, Rona Bay
9 March, Bowlzilla, Waitangi Skate Park
9 and 10 March, NZCT Wellington Dragon Boat Festival, Waterfront
14 March, Bryan Adams, TSB Arena
14 March, Snail Mail, Caroline
15 March, Nitro Circus, Westpac Stadium
16 March, Out in the Park, Te Ngākau Civic Square
16 March, Wellington International Pride Parade, Courtenay Place to Odlins Plaza
16 March, Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus, Opera House
16 March, Alejandro Escovedo, Caroline
17 March, Phoenix v Western Sydney Wanderers, Westpac Stadium
22 March, Jim Beam Homegrown Pre-Party, TSB Arena
23 March, Jim Beam Homegrown, Waterfront
23 March, Wallis Bird, San Fran
23 March, Hurricanes v Stormers, Westpac Stadium
27 March, Gang of Four, San Fran
27 to 30 March, Shortland Street – The Musical, Opera House
29 March, Hurricanes v Crusaders, Westpac Stadium
30 March, Alien Weaponry, secret location
30 March, NZSO: The Planets, Michael Fowler Centre
30 March, Phoenix v Newcastle Jets, Westpac Stadium
30 and 31 March, CubaDupa Street Festival, Cuba Quarter

Norah Jones plays the TSB Arena on 24 April

APRIL
2 April, The Manfreds, Opera House,
4 April, Rob Brydon – I Am Standing Up, Michael Fowler Centre
4 April, Tuatara Open Late, City Gallery
5 to 14 April, Night Noodle Markets, Basin Reserve
8 April, Nashville Live, Opera House
11 April, Tuatara Open Late, City Gallery
13 April, Kurt Vile & the Violaters, Hunter Lounge
13 April, Armageddon Expo, Westpac Stadium
16 April, Snarky Puppy, Opera House
18 April, Tim Minchin, Michael Fowler Centre
20 April, Matt Corby, Michael Fowler Centre
21 April, Phoenix v Melbourne City FC, Westpac Stadium
23 April, Katya Zamolodchikova – Help Me I’m Dying, Opera House
24 April, Norah Jones, TSB Arena
27 April, Danny Bhoy, Michael Fowler Centre
27 April, Hurricanes v Chiefs, Westpac Stadium