Rugby World Cup semifinals weekend kicks off with music and laughter

The Cloud. Photo / Supplied
The Cloud. Photo / Supplied

Fan zones around Auckland will be bumping up the entertainment factor in time for the big matches this weekend.

Regional fan zones in Mangere, Albany and Henderson are all offering exciting programmes, including live performances from some of the country's top musicians.

The Southern Seas fan zone at Mangere Town Centre boasts a line-up of New Zealand music royalty. Today's highlights include performances by reggae band Katchafire.

Tomorrow's line-up is a showcase by Dawn Raid, featuring hip-hop stars Scribe, David Dallas, Savage, Anonymouz, Pieter T and reggae band Sweet & Irie.

Songstress Ria - who wowed the world when she sang at the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony - will also grace the stage tomorrow.

If you plan to head out to the Southern Seas fan zone, take note that it is an alcohol-free space and any liquor you are carrying will be confiscated on entry.

With a capacity of 10,000 people, Albany's Northern Lights fan zone is also expected to be a great party spot.

London-based rock group I Am Giant will perform today before the Welsh take on the French.

The band includes two Kiwi rockers: bass player Paul Matthews from Tadpole and drummer Shelton Woolright from Blindspott.

A huge crowd is expected to turn out there tomorrow night to see the All Blacks go head-to-head with Australia.

Katchafire will again be the headline act in the lead-up to the match.

Out West, funnyman Ewen Gilmour is expected to liven up the crowd at Trusts Stadium as he acts as master of ceremonies for both days.

Covers band Union will perform for the masses today at 6pm, and Hands Off take to the stage tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the main fan zones on the waterfront - at Queens Wharf's Party Central and at Wynyard Quarter - will also be offering hot Kiwi acts with Opshop, the Jordan Luck Band, Dragon and Ardijah among tonight's entertainment.

South Auckland reggae band Three Houses Down will perform at Wynyard Quarter tomorrow, and The Feelers, Zed and the Patea Maori Club take to the Queens Wharf stage.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development general manager Rachael Dacy said this weekend was a must for people who had yet to go to a fan zone.

"This has been a great opportunity to showcase some of New Zealand's established and emerging talent to our international visitors and locals alike," she said.

"If going to a fan zone is on your Rugby World Cup bucket list, then make sure you tick it off this weekend."

- NZ Herald

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