Whatever your groove, there's a free concert in a park for you this summer. Unless you happen to be into Bolivian Progressive Death Metal. Then you're on your own.
But for those with more, shall we say, accessible tastes, Auckland Council has you covered with the upcoming series of Music in Parks concerts.
With a whopping 25 events rocking the city every weekend from January to April, you're bound to want to go to more than a few. The best part is they're all free with no tickets required, meaning you can just rock up and rock on. All good!
The series kicks off with up-and-comers Gretel, Geoff Ong and Tijay performing at Pop by the Rotunda, at the Auckland Domain on Sunday, January 12. A week later, Sunday, January 19, the Rotunda welcomes the world, with Ijebu Pleasure Club and Banda Latina spearheading the A World Music Celebration concert.
Onehunga Jellicoe Park has NZ Music Award-nominated Rei headlining Our Voices - Our Language, a celebration of Te Reo Māori, on Monday, January 27, while blues legend Midge Marsden tops the bill at Blues at Blockhouse Bay on Friday, February 7 at the Reserve.
You'll need dance stamina when the reformed, revitalised, Pluto play Newton's Basque Park on Saturday, February 15 and you'll need your jandals and sunblock for Groove at the Beach, with Alae and Kong Fooey grooving at the Manly Beach Reserve on Saturday, March 7.
You can catch rising stars and huge voices at Opera in the Park at St Heliers' Glover Park on Saturday, January 25, and get irie when Three Houses Down and General Fiyah take the stage at the Party in the Park at Glen Innes' Maybury Reserve on Saturday, April 11.
And that's just a handful of the musical delights on offer in this buffet of beats, this smorgasbord of song. For the full line-up, point your favourite websurfing device to musicinparks.co.nz and start pencilling in dates.
And for a taster, head to central Auckland's Aotea Square at 5pm tomorrow for a pop-up preview. A handful of headliners will perform and there will be trailers for the sister Movies in Parks series (moviesinparks.co.nz).
• Herald publisher NZME is media partner for both Music in Parks and Movies in Parks.
Let there be rock!
The amps will be turned up to 11 at Henderson Park when Radio Hauraki's Rock Royale rattles the West on Saturday, February 29. The Bleeders, who have triumphantly returned after a 12-year hiatus with their cracking new EP Delusions, are headlining. They're joined by the swaggering vintage rockers Racing, modern hard rockers City of Souls and all-girl alt-rockers She Loves You. Rock on? Most definitely.
We don't like hip-hop
Oh, no. We love it. If you do too, then Manukau's Hayman Park on Saturday, March 14 is the place to be. That's because Flava Urban Beats is rolling in with all the big names. We're talking David Dallas, who we've been assured will bring more than 64 bars. We're talking P-Money - how many DJs you know roll like him? Not many, if any. We're talking Kings, and you absolutely will worry 'bout it if you miss him. So don't.
Up and anthem
The Hits Kiwi Anthems concert at Pakuranga's Lloyd Elsmore Park on Sunday, February 23 could be the singalong show of the summer. It's packed with chart-topping acts singing their chart-topping hits and, as the evening rolls on, we're fairly certain a large portion of the audience will be compelled to join in. So no pressure for the original pressure men The Feelers, who headline. They're joined by Opshop's Jason Kerrison, no stranger to the pop charts in the noughties, and effervescent wild card Anika Moa. Should be a good 'un.
You say Tomato and I say Suzy Cato
To be honest, we don't even know who's playing at this one yet. All we know is that beloved children's entertainer Suzy Cato is hosting this Kids Music in the Park event and that's enough for us. Cato may have been robbed in Dancing with the Stars last year but she's still numero uno in the family-friendly world of kids' music. If you have kids or want to scoop the title of Number One Aunt/Uncle, pack them in the car and tootle off to Birkenhead's Harvey Wright Park on Saturday, February 1. As parents will tell you, New Zealand has some truly great musicians making kids' music so we guarantee this won't be as painful as you might imagine.