What's On

We'll be covering the Big Day Out this Friday with regular updates, blogs and photos throughout the day at nzherald.co.nz/bigdayout.
Send in your photos of the event and be in to win a PDA worth $750!

Cinema

With long summer nights enticing people outdoors, you can now watch the latest movies al fresco. Spend a balmy evening at the Open Air Cinema, which began its season in the Coromandel and is now operating in Paihia before a stint in Matakana, and then settling in Auckland from February to summer's end. Films on offer include The Darjeeling Limited, Eagle vs Shark, and a documentary called Steep, about extreme skiing.
* Open Air Cinema - Paihia, to Saturday; Matakana, Tues to Jan 27; for Auckland screenings check www.openair.co.nz

Festival

It's a Big Day Out for thousands tomorrow. Perhaps you're salivating at the prospect of the newly reunited Rage Against the Machine dropping Killing in the Name Of, or maybe LCD Soundsystem's epic All My Friends will be your big moment. Whatever the case, there's plenty on offer to satisfy any musical appetite.

If it all gets too much, try the Lilypad, an area famed for its quirkiness, this year headlined by the amusingly named the Cynical Brothers.
* Big Day Out - Mount Smart Stadium, Penrose, Friday from 10am, tickets $122 from Ticketek

Sport

Taupo revs up this weekend with the arrival of the high-octane A1GP World Cup of Motorsport from Friday to Sunday. New Zealand driver Jonny Reid will attempt to better his two third placings at the inaugural A1GP Taupo in January last year. That nation v nation series features equalised technology to create a level playing field for the 21 countries, giving everyone a shot at glory. Even if you aren't a petrolhead the town will be buzzing this weekend - a good excuse to get to Taupo and get social.
* For more event information on tickets and hospitality go to www.A1GPtaupo.com

Cultural

As New Year's Eve becomes an increasingly fuzzy memory for most, some are still looking forward to Chinese New Year this week. To welcome the Year of the Rat, the Auckland Chinese Community Centre is holding its Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day this Saturday at the ASB Showgrounds. Celebrations include an extensive indoor cultural concert, tai chi, a lion dance, and market stalls selling arts, crafts, food and drink.
* Chinese New Year Festival - Halls 1 and 2, ASB Showgrounds, Saturday, 9.30am-3.30pm, free, all welcome

Theatre

Tim Bray's production of a classic story will keep the children busy for an hour or so this January. The Wind in the Willows sees you following the adventures of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad. To make it just that extra bit suited to summer this charming production of the Kenneth Grahame classic will be performed outdoors. Shows occur twice daily, at 10.30am and 12.30pm.
* The Wind in the Willows - The PumpHouse, Takapuna, to Jan 26, tickets $17.90, ph 489 8360

Rock

The tradition of pre-Big Day Out shows continues, with a couple of local gigs taking a lot of our attention. The Kings Arms hosts the Shocking Pinks, who recently signed to hot New York record label DFA. As if that wasn't enough, SJD gets involved, as does legendary band the Clean. Says Chris Knox of the Clean: "At their best - and this gig could be their best - they are head and shoulders above any other band in the world." A big call, but you know something special is going on to inspire that sort of comment.
* The Clean, SJD and the Shocking Pinks - Kings Arms, tonight, tickets $40 at Real Groovy

Family

Motat presents a fresh holiday programme this month which features film-making, video games and more. The Special FX Holiday programme lets kids make their own special-effects movie, create a soundtrack at the Sound FX Workshop, design a poster, and create a take-home animated feature flipbook. Then on January 24, those who like their video games battle in out in the ASB Gamers Classic, where someone will win a Nintendo Wii for their skills at virtual tennis.
* Special FX programme; ASB Gamers Classic - Motat, Western Springs, see www.motat.org.nz for more info

Rock/Pop

The wildly successful Zoo Music series at the Auckland Zoo is back, starting this Sunday with one of New Zealand's most successful bands. The brothers from Feilding, known to the world as Evermore, bring their epic brand of pop rock to the band rotunda this Sunday evening. In the coming weeks zoo visitors can enjoy Katchafire, the Phoenix Foundation, the Auckland Symphony Orchestra, Hollie Smith and Liam Finn.
* Zoo Music - Auckland Zoo, regular events through Jan/Feb, www.aucklandzoo.co.nz for details

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