Thousands of people from all walks of life have filled Auckland's Coyle Park to celebrate the 22nd Big Gay Out, despite earlier news of new Covid-19 cases in the city.
Earlier this afternoon, it was reported there are three new community Covid-19 cases in South Auckland.
Despite this announcement, Big Gay Out organisers received a call personally from Dr Ashley Bloomfield giving them the green light to continue the festivities.
A Big Gay Out spokesperson said they were prepared for the situation.
Festival organisers say 12,000 people registered using the new ticketing system, however, they are expecting 15,000.
A ticketing system was set up by festival organisers which meant anyone who wished to attend the Auckland event must register before or at the event.
Check-in stations are located at the entrance so those wishing to attend the festival must scan using the Covid tracer app.
Big Day Out first-timers Kirsty and her three friends were aware of the Covid announcement and didn't plan on letting it dampen their afternoon.
"I am here because I feel like I belong," Kirsty said.
The group said they felt "safe" at the event and individually scanned in using the Covid tracer app.
Speaking with the Herald, New Zealand Aids Foundation chief executive Dr Jason Myers said the Big Gay Out is possibly the "biggest rainbow event happening around the world".
"It's a really special day, it's not lost on us this year what a privilege it is to be able to do it."
Coyle Park, in Auckland's Pt Chevalier, was packed with everyone from drag queens, couples, families and four-legged friends.
Visible were many rainbow and transgender pride flags.
With flags of all sizes on display to clothing and even the rainbow beard.
Many attendees found themselves a spot near the stage up for the day with a "gayzebo" with a range of food and drinks.
"Its about creating that safe space, [where] people can come be themselves and celebrate who they are," Myers told the Herald.
Myers says there is "always a serious message behind the fun".
"Hiv is still very much amongst us and STIs are still increasing epidemic rates unfortunately among gay men in particular."
This year politicians were not given the option to speak to crowds at the Big Gay Out like they have in past years.
Myers calls it a "strategic decision".
"We wanted to make it a bit more difficult for them this year and sit down with them at a more Q&A format and put the hard questions to them."
He says Covid-19 has shined he light on public heath issues which Hiv and STIs come under.
For most Kiwis who live with Hiv the hardest thing is the stigma which is associated with the disease.
The Big Gay is New Zealand's largest rainbow community event, held yearly and organised by the New Zealand Aids Foundation.