What’s on this NZ Music month | Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa: Five fun and free things to do

It’s May, and that means it’s NZ Music Month | Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa.

The festivities involve a stacked lineup of local tours, releases, and exhibitions to celebrate the local music scene and 21 years of NZ Music Month.

There is something to please every music fan, including gigs from acts like Nadia Reid, Theia x Vayne, Harper Finn and LA Women across the country.

As well as getting out to support the local music scene with your wallet, there are stacks of free events to check out throughout the month too.

Here are five free events Aotearoa music fans should check out throughout the month.

Six60 free movie screening

If you need your Six60 fix after the band’s historic Eden Park concert last month, head along to Aotea Square for a free movie screening to learn more about the band.

Hear the band’s untold story during the band’s documentary film SIX60: Till The Lights Go Out, directed by Julia Parnell.

Other music videos and short documentaries will also screen in the square.

When: May 6, 6pm

Where: Aotea Square

Art of the Record

There are countless iconic albums from NZ musicians, but how much do you know about the artists behind the covers?

Twenty-one artists’ albums feature in the exhibition presented by the NZ Music Commission, marking 21 years of NZ Music Month. To be eligible, the albums have to be by an NZ band or musician and the cover art had to be created by an NZ artist.

The Art of the Record exhibition is touring the country throughout May, and is open now at Auckland’s Monster Valley gallery.


May 1-8 in Auckland, May 10-15 in Wellington, May 17-23 in Christchurch, May 25-31 in Dunedin.


Auckland at Monster Valley on Karangahape Rd, Te Auaha Gallery on Wellington’s Dixon St, Christchurch’s Art Centre and 19 George St In Dunedin.

Auckland City of Music x NZMM Space

As part of the music month festivities, Britomart will be transformed into a pop-up music hub, featuring live gigs at DJs from 95bFM.

Performers from the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s Aspiring Musicians Programme will brighten the mornings of commuters on Tuesdays and Waiata Wednesdays.

Midweek, SUSO (Stand Up Stand Out) Emerging Artists will also perform.


Thursday evenings 5-6pm – DJ (95 bFM)

APO Young Achievers – Tuesday mornings

Auckland Live and SUSO presents – Wednesday 5.15–5.45pm (weekly)

Wednesday Waiata 8–8.30am on May 5 and 12.



Historical walking music venue tours

The live music scene in Auckland has had a vast and colourful history, and gig-goers can take a walk down memory lane with music author and historian Gareth Shute for a special tour of where iconic venues once stood from Queen St through to Aotea Square.

The tour is also available as a self-guided option on the Akl City Tours app.

When: Saturdays between May 8 and 29, 12.30-1.30pm

Where: The tour begins at the See.Do.Auckland popup at Britomart station.

Piano stairs

For the entire month, bring some tunes to your steps at the Aotea Centre.

The installation made famous by Tom Hanks in the movie Big returns to the city centre and promises a lot of fun for the public.

The piano stairs were originally created by Remo Saraceni and were a big hit when they were last installed in Auckland in 2016.


All of May


Aotea Centre steps

Bonus: NZ music T-shirt day & pop-up record store

Wear your favourite NZ music T-shirt and show your support for the MusicHelps Live charity appeal, which provides vital support to Kiwi musicians impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. New Zealanders can text MUSIC to 2448 to donate $3.

On the day, Auckland Live has partnered with fan-favourite record store Flying Out for a pop-up vinyl and merch store at Auckland Unlimited’s See.Do.Auckland shop at Britomart station.


May 28


Pop-up Flying Out store at Britomart station

• For a full list of events, gigs, and exhibitions head to aucklandlive.co.nz and nzmusicmonth.co.nz.

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