Auckland's summer of fun is set to pump a whopping $53 million into the economy of the City of Sails.
Sold-out gigs from the likes of global superstars U2 and Elton John, and Kiwi hit-makers Six60, stage shows including The Book of Mormon, Mary Poppins and Snow White, family-friendly Auckland Zoo Open Lates, and sports events including the Monster Energy SX Open and the Auckland Tuatara in the Australian Baseball League are set to entertain all-comers over the summer months.
Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) revealed concerts and major events at its venues including Mt Smart Stadium, Western Springs Stadium and The Civic would attract more than 394,000 punters between now and the end of March.
Of that number, more than 168,000 will travel from outside, pumping millions into a "gig economy"; including tickets, hospitality, accommodation, travel and merchandise.
The total worth to gigs at RFA venues was estimated to pass the $50m mark.
RFA chief executive Chris Brooks says Auckland has now entrenched itself as New Zealand's entertainment capital.
"Over the past eight years, we have successfully positioned Auckland as a vibrant summer entertainment destination where you can attend major international touring concerts, blockbuster musicals, exhibitions and festivals," Brooks says.
"This has a significant flow-on effect for Auckland's economy, including the accommodation, hospitality and tourism sectors.
"It is extremely rewarding to see the huge economic and cultural benefits our activities bring to the city - and this summer will be our biggest yet."
RFA says the two U2 concerts at Mt Smart Stadium, the Green Day musical American Idiot which has been held at The Civic and the upcoming Les Miserables production at the same venue would have combined ticket sales topping 100,000.
U2 will bring their Joshua Tree Tour to New Zealand; playing the entirety of the 1987 Joshua Tree album, plus all their other greatest hits, on November 8 and 9. And along with the music, fans have been promised a multimedia show like no other.
"We decided to give the visual element back to Anton [photographer and film-maker Anton Corbijn] because it's his aesthetic," Willie Williams, the band's creative director and the man responsible for every U2 show over the past 37 years, recently told the Herald.
"The whole vibe of that album, the way it looks, is Anton's aesthetic. We realised that we had to give him the best canvas that we possibly could.
"So the screen we have fills the end of the stadium and it actually looks 3D sometimes, because the quality of his films is so astonishing, and the playback is absolutely unprecedented. The pictures are jaw-droppingly beautiful."
Another must-have summer gig experience will be Six60's gig at Western Springs Stadium on February 22.
The show is already a sell-out. This year the band rewrote New Zealand music history when their first headline show at the legendary Auckland venue sold out.
"It's incredible to be able to play Western Springs again, selling it out is really a tribute to our bond with our fans," the band said in statement earlier this month.
Seven major events last summer at three Auckland Council venues – Mt Smart Stadium, Western Springs and The Civic – pumped in at least $21m into the Auckland economy.
Those events – which attracted more than 200,000 people to them – included concerts by Taylor Swift, Mumford & Sons, Fat Freddy's Drop and Six60, plus Disney's Aladdin, and the Auckland round of the Monster Energy S-X Open.
About 40 per cent of those who attended the various events had travelled from outside Auckland.
Brooks said at the time one of the highlights had been Six60's historic gig at Western Springs, where they became the first Kiwi band to sell-out the venue.
"That's a really great outcome."
Even more was injected into the Auckland economy over the summer of 2017, with gigs by Justin Bieber, Guns N' Rosers, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay and Adele leading to a staggering $37.7m cash windfall.
Adele's concerts in Auckland attracted an estimated 130,000 gig-goers.
Ateed chief Nick Hill said Auckland had established itself as a global destination for major events.
His organisation worked with the events industry and RFA to support and create events that delivered social, economic and environmental benefits to Auckland.
"While we support events that contribute to Auckland's visitor economy, it's also essential that our events align with key deliverables as outlined in the Destination AKL 2025 Strategy to make our region the best place to live, work, study, do business and invest in.
"Auckland is a great place to be and the summer events programme is just a snapshot of what's to come as we build towards a mega year of events in 2021, including the 36th America's Cup, APEC Leaders' Week, Rugby World Cup 2021, the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup and Te Matatini."
Auckland's summer of fun
• Taste of Auckland: October 31-November 2, Queens Wharf
. Rugby League Triple Header – GBRL Lions Tour and Oceania Cup: November 2, Eden Park
• Les Miserables: November 7-30, The Civic
• U2's Joshua Tree Tour: November 8-9, Mt Smart Stadium
. FIBA Womens Olympic Qualifying Tournament: November 12-17, Trusts Arena
• Monster Energy SX Open: November 16, Mt Smart Stadium
• Friday Jams Live: November 17, Western Springs Stadium
• Auckland Tuatara baseball season: November 21-January 26, North Harbour Stadium
. Equitana: November 21-24, ASB Showgrounds
. 49er, 49er FX & NACRA 17 World Sailing Champs: November 29-December 8, – Akoranga Yacht Club
• Christmas in the Park: December 14, Auckland Domain
. ASB Classic Tennis: January 6-18, Stanley St
• Auckland Zoo Open Lates: mid-January-March, Auckland Zoo
• Fat Freddy's Drop, January 18: Western Springs Stadium outer fields
• St Jerome's Laneway: January 27, Albert Park
. Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival: January 31, Auckland Waterfront
• Queen & Adam Lambert: February 7, Mt Smart Stadium
. Castrol Toyota Racing Series: February 8-9, Pukekohe Park Raceway
• Gladys Knight: February 13, The Civic
. Auckland Lantern Festival, February 13-16, Auckland Domain
• Elton John's Farewell Tour: February 16, 18 & 20, Mt Smart Stadium
. Splore: February 20-23, Tapapakanga Regional Park
• Six60: February 22, Western Springs Stadium
• The Book of Mormon: March 22-6, The Civic
• Snow White: March 11-15, Aotea Centre
• Auckland Arts Festival: March 11-29, various venues
. Pasifika Festival: March 14-15, Western Springs Park
. World Surf league (Piha Pro): March 17-22, West Coast
• Mary Poppins: April 1-18, Bruce Mason Centre
. Supercars (20th Anniversary): April 24-26, Pukekohe Park Raceway
(Includes events that are not included in Regional Facilities Auckland's $53 million Summer of Fun)