New Zealand has a ton of music festivals that you have to experience at least once in your life. Across the country, you’ll find festivals that bring in the biggest names in music, celebrate traditional culture, and are located in and around the best NZ cities.
Make sure you check your calendar to see if your visit coincides with any of NZ’s most famous music festivals. Bachcare have a range of holiday homes to stay in while traveling to a festival.
Rhythm and Vines
This multi-day music festival closes out the year with tens of thousands of fans attending. In 2022 they will hold it on Dec. 28. Rhythm and Vines is globally known as the first festival in the world to welcome the first sunrise of the new year. It is located on the North Island, in and around Gisborne, home to some of the most beautiful vineyards and wine country.
The area is already worth the visit, but if you plan to be in town at the end of December, you can get tickets to one of the hottest festivals in the world. Rhythm and Vines bring in professional audio equipment, international superstars, and homegrown talent to make for an unforgettable experience. Past lineups have included Tame Impala, N.E.R.D, Bastille, and more.
Splore is a three-day boutique art and music festival going strong since 1998. There are a few things that make Splore special. In addition to the eclectic musical acts from around the world, it also features performing arts acts and an art trail with immersive visual arts installations. All of this takes place amongst the stunning backdrop of the waterfront Tāpapakanga Regional Park.
Splore is a fully immersive experience. The remote location means you’ll be camping out and surrounded by the festival and the park wilderness for your entire stay. They also have vegan food vendors and a myriad of drinking options (alcoholic and not) throughout the park. Make sure to pack at least one outfit to match the annual theme!
Whether you’re from New Zealand, or a tourist looking for a good time, the Homegrown music festival is not to be missed. A celebration of New Zealand’s culture and identity, Homegrown has showcased artists who are from New Zealand since 2008.
This five-stage festival covers every genre of music, so there is something for everyone. The one-day event is held on the Wellington waterfront. It’s a highly energetic party and a carnival-like atmosphere, so make sure you go ready to dance!
Ohakune Mardis Gras
Ohakune Mardis Gras is New Zealand’s most fun winter festival held in the heart of Ruapehu. It always has an incredible lineup! Usually, you’ll find a mix of local and eclectic foreign groups. No matter the lineup, it’s always a massive party with great options for food and drinks.
This three-day event is located just outside the North Island’s highest mountain. You can pair your festival trip with a visit to the Turoa ski slopes and national park. Tickets and hotels sell out every year, so make sure you start looking for accommodation now.
Electric Avenue Festival
One of the South Island’s biggest festivals, Electric Avenue is a festive one-day event. Christchurch plays host to this bold and colorful twelve-hour nonstop music festival. There’s something to please everybody. There are many different kinds of music and endless food and drink options.
This festival has everything from reggae, pop, and dance music and attracts huge names and up-and-coming talent. You can celebrate the end of summer with a bang and discover your new music obsession while cheering on your old favorites.
Earth Beat is a music festival with a mission – inspiring new ways of living. This spiritual event is days of camping and activities designed to encourage a deeper connection to the earth. Earth Beat prides itself on being a regenerative experience. The aim is to have attendees enjoy themselves with the fun and high energy of a festival, so they can then go forth and positively impact the world.
Earth Beat is held every year around the time of the autumn equinox in Aotearoa. Earth Beat features both local and international musicians in addition to presentations, workshops, wellness guides, and more. Earth Beat is a celebration of art and life.
One Love is primarily a reggae and roots festival that takes place in Tauranga. In the past, it has attracted crowds of over 20,000 attendees. The already popular beach town of Tauranga becomes overloaded with revelers – it’s a fantastic experience if you love to be in the thick of the action.
One Love is set to start up again in 2023. It features reggae and roots artists from all over. The upcoming lineup will include Sean Kingston, Sons of Zion, Fiji, Steel Pulse, Tomorrow People, and House of Shem. Local musicians include Tauranga locals L.A.B. and a host of fellow Aotearoa legends such as Stan Walker, Kora, and Katchafire.
Snow Machine is a music festival that takes place in the adventure capital of the world. Visit Queenstown for the ski trip and music festival combo of your dreams. Snow Machine Festival is four days of nonstop action, music, and snow.
By day you’ll be able to ski the Remarkables and Coronet Peak, then change into your party clothes for an epic night out at any of the music events across the city. There are festival locations on the peaks- providing an epic backdrop to your dance party and the main arena in Queenstown.
For four days, the city and resort towns are playgrounds of big musical acts and adrenaline-laced activities like bungy jumping, heli-skiing, and skydiving. This event attracts huge crowds, and Queenstown ski accommodations book out fast, so plan your Snow Machine trip now.
There are so many fantastic music festivals across New Zealand. No matter what time of year you visit, you’re sure to find a festival that matches your taste. Any event here is worth a trip, so make sure you pick your favorite and book tickets and lodging immediately.