A three-day festival kicking off north of Auckland today will be dry after organisers failed to get a liquor licence.

Music and arts festival Shipwrecked started today in Te Arai with camping, multiple music zones, art installations and inter actives - but no alcohol.

Auckland Council's manager of liquor licensing Peter Knight said an application for a liquor licence for the event was withdrawn.

"This means there can be no alcohol at the event."

An event organiser, who did not want to be named, confirmed they were not selling alcohol at the event. He said they had a non-alcohol bar.

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There was no mention of the event being alcohol free on the Shipwrecked website. However it does state a year-round liquor ban was in place in surrounding forest areas, at nearby Lake Tomarata and Te Arai beach.

According to Fairfax a special licence application was made to Auckland Council in December however was opposed by locals for reasons including safety concerns.

A hearing with the Auckland District Licensing committee was subsequently set for February 2, according to Fairfax, however a 10-working-day appeal period meant organisers would not have been able to get a liquor license in time for the event.

A statement from police said they were aware that the festival did not have a liquor licence and that officers had been tasked to pay visits to the site.

Police Alcohol Harm Prevention Officers have also spoken to the occupier.

"Specialised advice has been supplied by the Police Alcohol Harm Reduction Officers in relation to liability should the occupiers sell or expose alcohol on the site or allow alcohol to be brought onto the site [BYO] under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012," the statement said.

The event organisers could not be reached for comment.

Acts set to perform at Shipwrecked included house music artist Clive Henry from the UK, Norwegian DJ Djuma Soundsystem and a number of other musicians from countries including Australia, France and New Zealand.