The Hottest New Zealand Music Festivals For Summer 2019

Whether you're staying in town or keen to escape the city, these festivals belong on your summer hit list

Splore festival at Tapapakanga Regional Park. Photo / Supplied

WONDERGARDEN
December 31 – January 1
Stuck in Auckland for New Year’s Eve? Silo Park’s festival can cure those “staycation” feels. The hugely influential Leeds DJ Nightmares on Wax is headlining, with acts including indie band Cut Off Your Hands, R&B duo Fortunes, JessB, Ladi6, Katchafire, and Avantdale Bowling Club. Eat from gourmet food trucks and watch a grand fireworks display at midnight. 

NORTHERN BASS
December 29 – December 31
Northern Bass in Mangawhai will satisfy hip-hop fans with the massive headline act of New York rapper and chef of F*ck, That’s Delicious, Action Bronson, and US rapper Joey Bada$$. They’re joined by local hip-hop and R&B acts, including rappers Melodownz and JessB, and drum and bass favourites Shapeshifter. 

Cardi B fans best book tickets to Bay Dreams in Mt Maunganui or Nelson. Photo / George Novak

BAY DREAMS
January 2
For her first New Zealand show, hip-hop superstar Cardi B will hit Tauranga next year as the much-hyped headline act for Bay Dreams, as well as perform at Bay Dreams’ new sister festival in Nelson. Also on the line-up is US hip-hop trio Migos, Tash Sultana, Shapeshifter, Sticky Fingers, Peking Duk, $uicideboy$, Macky Gee, Pnau, Katchafire, Ladi6 and more. 

SOUNDSPLASH FESTIVAL
January 18 – January 20
Aussie favourites Sticky Fingers and British DJ Macky Gee will headline Raglan’s Soundsplash when it returns next year. The three-day boutique and environmentally friendly (plastic bag-free even) festival will also feature Kiwi acts Sachi, Theia, Louis Baker and Marlin’s Dreaming. Set on Wainui Reserve, the location is just 500m from the beach, a short drive from Raglan township and surfing spots.

ONE LOVE
January 26 – January 27
Now in its fifth year, this two-day festival in Tauranga Domain has nestled into the hearts of reggae, roots, soul and R&B fans around the country. Hawaiian group Rebel Souljahz, US reggae band Tribal Seeds and English reggae band UB40 will get things grooving, alongside Kiwi acts The Black Seeds, Stan Walker and DJ Jayrasik.

Laneway Festival is the perfect Auckland Anniversary weekend excursion. Photo / Supplied

LANEWAY FESTIVAL
January 28 
British superstar Florence and The Machine will headline next year’s Laneway, which returns to the spacious and (thankfully) shade-filled Albert Park. Other international acts include Courtney Barnett, Parquet Courts, Jorja Smith and Billie Eilish, alongside locals Miss June, High Beams, and Dunedin’s The Dead C.

NORTH WEST WINE, BEER AND FOOD FESTIVAL
February 9
A trio of the country’s top talent, Gin Wigmore, Tami Neilson and Jed Parsons, will croon at The Hunting Lodge Winery in Waimauku next year. This one-day boutique festival is also a showcase for local vineyards, breweries and restaurants. 

SPLORE FESTIVAL
February 21 – February 24
The sun always scorches over Splore’s three days of music, art and good vibes by the sea, and for its 20th Birthday celebrations electronica music fans will be pumped with Orbital and Rudimental as the headline acts. Local talents including Princess Chelsea and The Beths will also perform. Tapapakanga Park, Auckland.

New Plymouth's iconic WOMAD festival is celebrating a milestone birthday. Photo / Supplied

WOMAD
March 15 – March 17
The three-day festival of music, arts and dance in New Plymouth’s Brooklands Park is celebrating its 15th birthday with one of the strongest line-ups yet. Kiwi soul star Teeks will headline alongside international Grammy-winning artists, including Silkroad Ensemble and Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo aka Africa’s premier diva. 

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