It's only August but if you're looking to dance the New Year away, it's time to decide where you're heading and book a campsite.
Coromandel Gold, one of the festive season's biggest music events, has announced its line-up and branches out with a number of international acts including veteran New York hip-hop legends De La Soul (who were last here with Gorillaz in 2010) who headline alongside local heroes Shapeshifter.
Joining them for the festival in Whitianga on December 30 and 31 are Australian electronic band Cut Copy and Dutch drum 'n' bass trio Black Sun Empire, along with big-name local acts Kora, Shihad, Fat Freddy's Drop, skanking reggae stalwarts Katchafire, psychedelic funk jam band AHoriBuzz and Sola Rosa, with more acts to be announced.
To register for pre-sales, which go on sale on Tuesday, go to coromandelgold.co.nz. It might be a good idea because this festival sells-out quick-smart. General tickets are on sale Monday, August 20, if not sold out before.
Meanwhile, up north the annual dance party Northern Bass is back again at a new venue - and a little closer to Auckland - in Mangawhai at Worsfold Farm.
This year the bass music festival has all bases covered, with renowned British drum 'n' bass DJ Andy C leading the contingent, which also includes his protege Wilkinson, Manchester producer Dub Phizix and locals Concord Dawn, State of Mind and The Upbeats.
Representing dubstep are heavyweight south London duo Mala and Coki, who perform as Digital Mystikz; fellow Londoner Distance; with Jason Howson and Duddy Ranks flying the Kiwi dubstep flag.
And the hip-hop ranks will be led by New York crew The Beatnuts and prolific British remixers The Nextmen.
For the full line-up and more info go to northernbass.co.nz. Earlybird tickets are on sale now from iticket.co.nz, Real Groovy, Conch, Rebel Surf Whangarei and Mega Surf Whangarei. Any ticket bought before the end of August gets a free camping pass.
And down south, Gisborne's Rhythm and Vines sister festival Rhythm & Alps at Terrace Downs (that's an hour west of Christchurch) on December 28 and 29 features masked electronic warrior SBTRKT (last here for Laneway at the beginning of the year), Welsh producer High Contrast (whose music played a major role in the Olympics opening ceremony) and local rowdies Die!Die!Die! and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, sure to rark things up.
For the full lineup and ticket details go to rhythmandalps.co.nz.
Wizard Wakeman happy to get on with it
Cape-wearing musical wizard Rick Wakeman is heading to New Zealand for three unique one-man shows in October.
Wakeman was last here 37 years ago when he performed Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, his 1974 solo album and musical version of Jules Verne's classic tale, with the Auckland Symphonia at Western Springs.
Most famous for being the keyboardist in Yes, who played here for the first time earlier this year, Wakeman has also had a prolific solo career and has collaborated with everyone from Elton John to Cat Stevens (he played piano on Morning Has Broken).
His show, An Intimate Evening With Rick Wakeman, sees him performing material from his vast career on a grand piano as well as sharing his thoughts and some funny anecdotes about his life and times.
"I have been really rather fortunate to have reached an age where people stop trying to tell you what you should be doing.
"I think they have now come to the conclusion that I'm not going away, so they might as well let me get on with what I want to do," he says.
Wakeman plays the Wellington Town Hall on October 6, Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland, October 7, and Aurora Centre, Christchurch, October 8. Auckland tickets on sale 9am, Monday, August 13 at Ticketmaster. Wellington and Christchurch shows on sale through Ticketek. For more info go to rickwakeman.co.nz.
Meanwhile, Danish-American psychobilly horror exponents Nekromantix visit New Zealand for the first time in October.
Led by rock 'n' roll misfit Kim Nekroman, the trio also include guitarist Franc and drummer, Lux, the band's first female sticksperson since they started out in 1989.
They play Wellington's Bodega on October 9 and the Kings Arms on October 10. Tickets $35 on sale from nztix.co.nz and Real Groovy (Auckland) and RPM Records (Wellington).
Also, Kiwi singer songwriter Don McGlashan heads out on a six-date solo tour - "accompanied by various loop pedals" - in September and October, including shows at Hamilton's Meteor Theatre on October 5 and the Leigh Sawmill, October 6.
In other tour news ...
* American R&B singer Musiq Soulchild (real name Taalib Johnson) plays Auckland's Civic, September 12.
* Political singer songwriter Billy Bragg returns to New Zealand on his Ain't Nobody That Can Sing Like Me Tour, a show in which the first half celebrates the legacy of Woody Guthrie and the second takes in songs from Bragg's 14-album career. He plays the Auckland Town Hall on October 12, Wellington Opera House, October 13, Otago Girls Auditorium, Dunedin (as part of the Otago Festival of the Arts), and a Christchurch earthquake benefit concert tbc.