Covid-19 has turned off Auckland's tap of international tourists but doesn't mean the fun has to stop for locals this summer.
Stage shows, sporting fixtures, beach parties, cultural festivals, food and wine festivals and exhibitions - city authorities are promising "something for everyone" and are urging Aucklanders to get out and about, and enticing those from out of town to visit.
Sir Elton John isn't coming, but there's Dave Dobbyn at Spark Arena, and a series of other shows including Fat Freddy's Drop, Tami Neilson, Th' Dudes, Sing-a-long Sound of Music, the Abba tribute show and Back to the Future in Concert to keep you entertained.
There's no international tennis, but it's going to be a sizzling summer of cricket, with the Black Caps hosting the West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh. Pack a picnic, slap on the sunscreen and enjoy the satisfying sound of leather on willow at grounds all over NZ.
Described as a milestone act for the international sporting world, the 36th America's Cup is scheduled to get underway in December.
Following a string of cultural celebrations being cancelled - such as the Lantern Festival, Pasifika and Moon Festival - these events too are making a return with Diwali starting next week and the Korean Festival next month.
Figures released by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development show Auckland took a $21.99 million financial hit from cancelled events in 2020. The city's hotel and motels also lost out on 116,710 visitor nights
It was forecast in April that events would bring $37.1m and 267,741 visitor nights to the city, and the hope now is to recoup some of that in the summer.
"Auckland has a stellar line-up of events from now right through summer with something on for everyone, whether you're after live music, sports, arts, family activations or festivals," Ateed general manager destination Steve Armitage said.
Summernova, a new events programme with more than 10 events to wrap around the America's Cup series, will be held for the first time this year.
The events will range from live music, sports, art and family activities.
"We hope that this line-up will provide compelling reasons for Kiwis to travel here, and for Aucklanders to spend some of their summer locally and invite their friends and family up to join them," Armitage said.
"This summer events programme is critical to the gradual recovery of our visitor economy, providing much-needed support to businesses in some of our harder hit sectors – particularly accommodation, retail and hospitality."
A brand new event, Waterbourne, the country's biggest beach festival, will take place at the Takapuna Beach Reserve between February 27 and March 21.
Some of New Zealand's best-known talent including Hollie Smith and Dave Dobbyn will be part of Waterbourne alongside sailing events, cultural experiences and food and wine.
Waterbourne organiser Laurence Carey said the festival aimed to celebrate New Zealand's passion for water sports, music and beach culture.
"There is no event of its kind in New Zealand which enables people to participate in sports and activities or simply watch from the shoreline," Carey said.
"Our special rooftop bar, which will be set up on the reserve, will provide arguably the best seat in the house to watch some of the sailing and iconic kiwi musicians like Dave Dobbyn or Sachi setting the beach vibe."
The Auckland Diwali Festival will be the first major cultural event being held this year and will be celebrated through more than 100 activities taking place at seven main venues and a further 20 community venues between October 27 and November 14.
There's also plenty on offer for sports-mad Kiwis with the ASB Marathon, NZ Rugby League Festival, City of Auckland Rally, Black Ferns November series, the National Women's Basketball competition and the New Zealand Breakers Celebrity All Star game.
Then, of course, there is what is arguably the biggest heavyweight boxing event in New Zealand history being held here, with Joseph Parker taking on Junior Fa in NZ Heavyweight Boxing.
The America's Cup World Series Auckland gets underway in December with the first regatta of the racing cycle seeing all three challengers take on defender Emirates Team New Zealand in the Christmas Cup.
All three challengers then face off in the Prada Cup and the event will culminate with an epic battle between the best of the challengers and Team New Zealand for the 36th America's Cup title in March.
For art lovers, the Auckland Art Fair will run on Queen's Wharf between February 24 and 28, and the satellite show of Toi Tū Toi Ora at Britomart from December 5 till the end of March.
The Britomart show will be the largest exhibition of contemporary Māori art in almost two decades featuring 300 works by more than 120 artists.
A new mural by Shane Cotton will cover the entire five-storey western wall of Britomart's Excelsior House, and Lonnie Hutchinson is creating a new addition of perforated stainless steel panels.
But for many, summer is about being in the sun - and Sunsetter Food, Wine and Music Festival organiser Adam Bennett said he was excited to be part of the season's calendar of events.
"We have an incredible line up of fantastic live music, amazing local food and beverages on offer that you won't find at other festivals," Bennett said.
"Auckland is going to be the place to be this summer and we are looking forward to bringing this event back to the North Shore."
The festival, at Smales Farm, will be part of the Summernova package, featuring acts like Stellar, RVMES, Grant Marshall and Tim Phin with offerings from NZ wineries and craft breweries and popular eateries.
• Elemental AKL: now until Nov 20, across Auckland
•Auckland Diwali Festival: Oct 27 - Nov 14, across Auckland
•Winetopia: Oct 30-31, Shed 10
•Symphony, Best of: Oct 30, Spark Arena
•Te Ahi Komau - Fire Food Festival: Oct 30-31, Papatuanuku Marae, Mangere
•Dave Dobbyn: Nov 1, Spark Arena
•ASB Marathon: Nov 1
•Rock 2000 Live: Nov 6, Spark Arena
•Best Foods Christmas Comedy Gala: Nov 7, the Civic
•Fat Freddy's Drop: Nov 7, Spark Arena
•NZ Rugby League Festival: 7-8 Nov, Mt Smart
• K-Festival: Nov 14, Eventfinda Stadium
• Discover Auckland Travel Expo: Nov 14, Shed 10
• Tami Neilson - Brass, Strings, Sing: Nov 14, the Civic
• City of Auckland Rally: Nov 14-15, Jack's Ridge Whitford
• Black Ferns Nov Series + Triple Header: Nov 14, Trusts Arena
• The Chocolate and Coffee Show: Nov 14-15, The Cloud
• Dumplings on Dominion: Nov 15, Dominion Rd
• The Abba Show: Nov 16 - Dec 16, Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre
• Th' Dudes - Th' Bliss Tour: Nov 19, 20 and 26, Auckland Town Hall
• National Women's Basketball Competition: Nov 19 - Dec 6, Bruce Pulman Park
• Back to the Future in Concert: Nov 21, Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre
• Sing-a-long-A Sound of Music: Nov 21, The Civic
• NZ Breakers Celebrity All Star game: Nov 26, Spark Arena
• Black Caps vs West Indies: Nov 27, Eden Park
• The 36th America's Cup: Dec 17 - Mar 21, Hauraki Gulf
• Satellite show of Toi tu Toi ora: Dec 5 - Mar 31, Britomart
• Summer Fun at the Village: Dec - Mar 31, Howick Historical Village
• Sunsetter Food and Wine Festival: Feb 13, Smales Farm
• The 119th Helensville Show: Feb 27, Helensville
• Auckland Art Fair: Feb 24-28, Queen's Wharf
• Waterbourne Festival: Feb 27 - Mar 21, Takapuna Beach Reserve
• L.A.B: Mar 27, Mt Smart
• Summer in the Bays: Feb - Mar 21, Tamaki Dr and beyond