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10 of New Zealand’s Finest Music Festivals

While we Australians are pretty smug about our live music scene, we can’t imagine many things better than having a boogie at a music festival set against a picturesque New Zealand backdrop.

That’s why in celebration of our second annual NZ Week, we are looking at New Zealand’s best music festivals. Holiday anyone?

Hidden Valley Festival

hidden valley new zealand music festivals

Hidden Valley Festival, hosted at the beautiful 50-acre estate Matakana Country Park, is a one day festival which celebrates all things drum, bass and house.

With one mega stage and an ever-eclectic lineup, punters haven’t been able to resist dancing all day to the likes of legends such as What So Not, Fisher and Wilkinson. At Hidden Valley you don’t leave without breaking a sweat, so get ready to boogie.

Rhythm & Vines

rhythm and vines music festivals

Rhythm and Vines is a three-day international music festival held in Gisborne, New Zealand from December 29th through to the 31st every year. What makes this one even sweeter is that it’s the first festival in the world to welcome in the first sunrise of each new year.

While the festival was originally designed to showcase up-and-coming and established New Zealand musicians, it eventually transformed into one of globe’s biggest touring forces, welcoming 20,000 party goers each year. And did we mention the stunning coastal backdrop?

Bay Dreams

music festivals
Photo: Logan West

Bay Dreams is hosted at The Mount on the North Island and Nelson on the South. It’s a one-day event which always blesses fans with a stellar summer lineup, jam-packed with international talents.

On top of that, they boast only the tastiest food and beverages, carnival rides and activities, art installations, VIP experiences, and first-class camping facilities. This event has hosted massive names including Cardi B and DJ Snake, plus they’re set to host Tyler, the Creator and Halsey in the new year.

Northern Bass

music festivals

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 dance soundtrack for bringing in the New Year.

Need a break from the tunes? Attendees can explore the beautiful and picturesque beaches which surround the area, enjoy fresh bevs from multiple bars, and a selection of first-class food outlets. If you are one for the bass scene, Northern Bass should be one of your bucket list music festivals.

Rhythm & Alps

music festivals

Okay, but have you ever laid eyes on New Zealand’s the Southern Alps? ​Rhythm & Alps is one of the South Island’s premier music festivals, with up to 10,000 party-goers travelling from all over the world to witness over 50 incredible local and international acts.

Rhythm & Alps runs across three nights over New Year’s Eve and is situated amidst the stunning Cardrona Valley in the mighty Southern Alps of New Zealand, just a 40-minute drive from Queenstown. This festival has hosted the likes of Freddy’s Fat Drop, Tash Sultana, and The Cat Empire to date, with no doubt many incredible lineups to come.

Soundsplash

Soundsplash is a boutique, multi-genre music festival with a family-friendly New Zealand summer vibe, held in both Raglan and Timaru in January each year. What makes this festival so killer is their passion for curating such diverse lineups which cater to every possible taste.

At the same time, Soundsplash aims to book international acts as well as up-and-comers or underground artists. To top it off, they’re passionate about the environment and strive to be mindful of their eco-footprint in every aspect of the festival. Combined with the beautiful beachy vibes, how could you not get down to this one?

St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival

laneway nz music festivals
Photo: Jess Gleeson

Laneway is also hosted in Australia; however New Zealanders can enjoy this incredible one-day event in the city of Auckland. St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival has become an international signifier of the essential music zeitgeist, and has boasted some of the best one-day lineups we’ve ever seen.

Iconic artists such as Rex Orange County, Anderson. Paak, Billie Eilish, and Tame Impala have graced the Laneway Stage, plus the festival also incorporates art and community vibes for an eclectic experience.

Electric Avenue Festival

electric avenue music festivals

Electric Avenue Festival is Christchurch’s biggest outdoor summer music festival, held every year in the North Hagley Park events triangle. Punters are blessed each season with over 25 incredible acts, multiple stages and over 12 hours of festival fun.

The festival’s name, however, does not mean that all that you’ll be hearing is electronic music. Electric Avenue stages have been graced by artists like Dizzee Rascal and SAFIA and are set to be treated by the likes of Ben Harper and Lime Cordiale in 2020.

Homegrown

homegrown nz music festivals

Set on the stunning Wellington Waterfront, Homegrown is Kiwi music’s biggest party! Every March, more than 20,000 fans and over 40 bands and DJs come together to celebrate the music of Aoteora.

With five stages representing Dub and Roots, Reggae, EDM, Rock, Pop, and Hip Hop, the festival caters to every personality and individual taste. It’s clear that they take pride in the delivering a distinctly Homegrown experience, curating a festival which is authentically NZ in every way.

Splore Festival

Location, location, location. Splore is incredibly unique, both for its pristine beachside locale and the willingness of its attendees to get a little weird. Each year the three-day event is themed, bringing out some famously wacky outfits and encouraging an all-round jubilant mood.

The lineups aren’t something to shake a fist at, either. Previously Splore has hosted Orbital, Dizzee Rascal, and plenty more. In 2020 they’re welcoming Kate Tempest, The Parov Stelar Band, and Alice Ivy to name but a few.

Happy Mag’s NZ Week is a new initiative spotlighting New Zealand as one of the world’s most exciting cultural hubs.
Special thanks to Dangerfield for supporting Happy Mag’s NZ Week.