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Embracing the Elements

Metro's picks of the Elemental festival

Embracing the Elements

Jul 12, 2021 What's On

Good news — Elemental AKL is back for another year! Off the back of a successful post-lockdown festival delayed by Covid-19, Elemental is gearing up for another eventful pro-gramme which celebrates the beating heart of Auckland.

From 14 July to 1 August, you can expect a curated showcase of culture, cuisine and creativity that makes our city an ideal winter destination for having a good time.Though the weather may get a little chilly, a packed line-up of surprising, eclectic and interesting events are tailor-made to get people out the door and into an experience they might never have otherwise come across. There’s a lot to do, whether you’re a visitor or just an Aucklander wanting to insert some joy into a sparse wintertime social calendar.

Elemental AKL is loosely split up into arts, beats and eats, and ranges from high-end ticketed to free events allover Auckland. It’s super-easy to curate your own festival. One-off special nights and offbeat affairs will sell out quickly, though, so it pays to get in early.

Here are our picks…

TE WAI O HOROTIU ART HĪKOI
14 July–1 August, The Hotel Britomart

Many of us walk by public artworks every day, rarely stopping long enough to give them the attention they deserve. This guided tour takes in the streets of downtown Tāmaki Makaurau, from Britomart to Rangipuke/Albert Park. After working up an appetite, walkers will head to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki to enjoy a spread of contemporary Māori kai by hāngī master Rewi Spraggon and Masterchef winners Kārena and Kasey Bird, designed to weave with the themes of the hīkoi. We’re particularly excited by the Kai Kōhua Boil-up by Kārena and Kasey — hāngī pork belly, kūmara, fondant, watercress and bacon broth — and Rewi’s Hāngī Pie — hāngī pork, chicken, potato, kūmara, pumpkin, cabbage in delicious pastry.

Te Wai o Horotiu Art Hīkoi

ELEMENTAL NIGHTS FLYING NUN*
24 July, Town Hall

Having lived through a fair number of Flying Nun birthdays, we’re a little over the (admittedly well-deserved) eternal nostalgia machine. But a mini-festival at the Town Hall featuring Aldous Harding (solo!), this year’s Taite Prize winner Reb Fountain and Wellington’s Mermaidens sounds like more than enough of a reason to leave your duvet-strewn couch. And if you’re after a more historic Flying Nun vibe, there’s also The Batts, Straitjacket Fits, Subliminals, Superette and more.

*We’re told this has sold out but there’s still some tickets available for Mara TK, The Chats, Courtney Barnett & the Thursday show for Connan Mockasin.

BALLET NOIR
23–24 July, Bruce Mason Theatre

How high on your list of things-you-never-knew-existed-but-make-total-sense-when-you-hear-about-them is a ballet inspired by Raymond Chandler? Well, Mary Jane O’Reilly, one of Aotearoa’s most intriguing choreographers, has created just that — a danced meditation on Chandler-esque darkness and mystery, femmes fatales and rival love interests. A hard-boiled ballet? Sure! Why not?

WINTER FORAGE
31 July, New Zealand School of Food and Wine

Take a walk through the city with guide Riki Bennett, foraging for edible plants, leaves and berries, before taking your bounty back to the New Zealand School of Food and Wine on Customs St West. There, Bennett will teach you about native fl ora, Māori food-gathering traditions and culture, and how food traditions are coming full circle. Afterwards, you’ll be served a lunch prepared by students of the school, made with traditional ingredients prepared in a Kai Cooker and accompanied by local Auckland wines. Deliciously educational!

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