A weekly round-up of what's on in Auckland so you can plan your weekend and the week ahead.
Years Gone by, Auckland Tom Scott’s record label Years Gone By and Redbull presents a “unique generational musical showcase like no other in Auckland”. Relevance is relative, Scott says. The night will see Troy Kingi and nephew Rawiri Webb take the stage, along with Soraya LaPread and her father Ronald LaPread, Julien Dyne and his father and a cameo by Scott and his pops.
17 May | Hopetoun Alpha
Auckland Writers Festival A quick reminder that the Writer’s Festival continues through the weekend, with so, so many intelligent, interesting people to see. Here are some personal panel recommendations: Young and Bold to hear readings from literary’s emerging voices, which includes recent Ockham Book Awards’ Jessie MacKay Prize winner Tayi Tibble (pictured above), Isa Pearl Ritchie, Sugar Magnolia Wilson and Elaine Castillo, whose novel America is Not The Heart reached directly into my guts; The Good Immigrant with Alexander Chee and Rosabel Tan; The Unwritten Rule with John Boyne, Andrew Sean Greer, Carla Guelfenben and Anne Kennedy; and Entrees, a discussion surrounding my favourite topic – food – with Asian-food expert Tony Tan, Kasey and Karena Bird (below) and Ima’s Yael Shochat (on this morning!). Go and see ‘em.
Til 19 May | Various venues
READ MORE: Less moping, more humour: Andrew Sean Greer on figuring out how to write a gay love story
READ MORE: US novelist Alexander Chee on the high-wire act of writing non-fiction
Rotuma Day Pasifika Festival 2019 For the first time, Auckland is celebrating Rotuma Day with entertainment, food stalls, music, dance and more. (Rotuma, consisting of an island and nearby islets, is a Fijian dependency.) As the poster declares, it’s going to be FUN!
18 May | Western Springs Garden Community Hall
#RealTalk by Indigo Art and No Six A host of local artists of diverse ages and backgrounds discuss mental health and drug abuse through art, culminating in a free exhibition which features forms like dance, live body panting, photography, illustration and poetry. The goal? Provoke, challenge, engage, and, ultimately, prompt change on the individual and macro levels.
18 May | Panmure Community Centre, 7-13 Pilkington Rd
Meme-A-Zine: POC meme-making workshop Part of the NZ International Comedy Festival’s season of Alice Canton: MEME LORD, Migrant Zine Collective and White_mess come together in this workshop with a talk on the radical history behind zine-making and a chance to create your own personalised zine around conversations of racism in Aotearoa. P.S. you can get vending-machine zines from the Auckland Central Library, plus access to a whole wall of them to read.
18 May | Samoa House, 283 Karangahape Rd
Miz Cracker – American Woman If you’ve met me, you probably already know I can’t shut up about RuPaul’s Drag Race (DM me about Season 11), so I’ll gladly rep any production a Drag Race queen brings to our shores. Miz Cracker – “thin and salty” – came in fifth place on Season 10, emerging through the season as a fan favourite who also appears in her own YouTube show, “Review with a Jew”. There’s comedy, performance, and an open discussion about feminism in drag culture.
21 May | Auckland Town Hall
Blockwith Definitely a good one for the kids and anyone besides – create an avatar on your smartphone and watch as it steps into the digital playground of Blockwith, interacting with an ever-changing landscape and other avatars on a digital stage in Aotea Square. Could make a cool lunchbreak activity. It launches Tuesday 21 May and runs every day till late June.
21 May | Aotea Square
Planet Earth II – Live in Concert Planet Earth is made even grander with a sweeping score by Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea and Jasha Klebe performed by Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Bringing it back down to earth is the narration by New Zealand’s Clarke Gayford (why didn’t you fly Attenborough in, you cowards), live on stage. Can’t wait to hear about some “acrobatic primate cousins”, “dancing grizzly bears” and “the bravery of a mother snow leopard” in the Kiwi accent.
22 & 23 May | ASB Theatre
School Strike 4 Climate NZ Join the teens for a march down Queen Street in protest of the inaction on climate change, and the unambitious Zero Carbon Bill – the second protest this year. If you’re interested in getting involved, or getting your school involved, give the organisers a message on the Facebook event page.
24 May | Aotea Square
Photos: Jenny Nicholls