Splore Festival, which will be held from 19-21 February at Tapapakanga Regional Park, Auckland, is an annual event embodying a balance between community and sustainability, in which everyone can take part for the better of the planet and for each other. Here are 11 quick points that show you what a special gathering it is, and why you should make your way along there.

1. Dress as creatively as you like
Splore's theme 'A summer Odyssey' influences the design and content of the festival. A Summer Odyssey inspires Saturday night's 'The Traveller's Ball' where the audience is encouraged to dress to impress fellow travellers. Get along in formal attire, put your best spacesuit forward or dress for the golden days of travel. Captain, chief, cosmonaut, sailor, migrating bird. All travelers are welcome to come to the ball in The Living Lounge. http://splore.net/about/theme/
2. Suitable for all ages
Splore is a family friendly festival. The kid's vibe reigns supreme during the day and they are the festival's biggest fans, encouraging their parents to return each year. They have their very own Charlie's Rumpus Room with programmed entertainment until the sun goes down and the adult party begins.

3. Get in character
Choose your alter ego when you enter Splore's gate, leaving your boring drab self behind. You get to choose who you belong to - a Blastonaut! An Odd-yssian! An Exsplorer! Upon arrival you will become your traveller of choice and get to journey with fellow travellers of the same name. Find out more under Splore.net/about/theme and click on 'Becoming Travellers'

4. Activities for the kids
Nice Block's Summer Camp is the place for interactive theme camps and the games arena. It's like going back to the old school YMCA camps where there will be games and fun for kids of all ages. Find it in the upper camping field, along with the Red Bull bar and food trucks.


5. Enrich your mind
Splore's 'Listening Lounge' is back, it's essentially a talk fest curated by Russell Brown in the Living Lounge. Key note speaker is Sanho Tree Director of The Drug Policy Project, Institute of Policy Studies, Washington DC. This is the guy advising governments on how to deal with drugs as a nation.

6. Exclusive bar
Find your way to The Forgotten Odyssey by Rogue Society - a secret destination for the people of the forgotten journey. It's Splore's top secret cocktail bar, by appointment only.

7. Music, music, music!
There's so much of it over five zones. Plan your musical odyssey well from Leftfield, Nightmares on Wax and a raft of local acts and DJs.

8. Art in the park
Splore's not just about the music, it's crammed with loads of creative content like interactive performances and art installations that are dotted throughout the festival site.

9. Sustainability is at the heart of at Splore
From providng beautiful composting loos, to serving up vendors' kai on compostable plates, to the introduction of reusable "Globelet" cups (saving 55,000 single-use, plastic cups from landfill), and working closely with Tapapakanga's iwi (tribes), Ngati Paoa and Ngati Whanaunga. Splore is a member of the Sustainable Business Network and is proud to be the first New Zealand festival to win the international 'A Greener Festival Award' for our sustainability initiatives. Splore is aiming for 85% reduction in waste to landfill, and can get there by everyone in the audience participating. Splore is leading in the way with major festivals, being the first to get rid of 100% disposable cups, cutlery and plates, encouraging car pooling, installing compostable toilets and ensuring recycling is done properly. It's so rubbish free, you could eat off the grass.

Check out Element's article on Sustainability and community at Splore, for which we spoke to Fred Kublikowski and Sophie Barclay on the Splore team.

10. People love Splore
So much, in fact, that some decide to get married there. Splore is up to its' 10th wedding in 2016 where the festival will play host to the biggest wedding so far with 150 guests.

11. A world benchmark
Splore is hailed from international artists that play there as one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful festival sites in the world. Where else can you watch your favourite act while dancing in the warm ocean?


Splore Festival - 19-21 February 2016 - Tapapakanga Regional Park, Auckland. You can find more information and tickets here.