Auckland City Limits – The Main Event

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Auckland City Limits Review
Ladyhawke – new material on point. Killer live set

The first Auckland City Limits Festival has been and gone and dealt an undisputed smackdown to the New Zealand festival scene.

Organiser Campbell Smith successfully pulled off an event that was everything Big Day Out could only dream about.  The Western Springs location was central and easily accessible, parking was non-existent but those I spoke to who had been using the festival transport reported it being easy, quick and totally do-able.  Dave and I have friends living within walking distance of the stadium so we used and abused them for their marvellous parking on the day (taking Nixon to Auckland Kiddie Limits earlier in the day would have been much more difficult without this little perk truth be told).

This was a very Grown-Up, well behaved festival.  

There was plenty of;

  • Green space
  • Amazing acts
  • Seating
  • Bras with too many straps
  • Open air
  • Curious corners to explore and enjoy.
  • Top notch eateries
  • Ass cheeks hanging out of short shorts
  • Lines for dinner
  • Lines for drinks
  • Lines to make cash upon returning festival Globelets
  • Boring people in the VIP area

There was a distinct lack of;

  • Wasted teens (YUS!)
  • Wasted old people – I tried but the lines were too long
  • Rubbish, there were people cleaning up all day, plus I think the punters were generally tidy kiwis

There was such a friendly, mellow feeling that the queues for beer and food were totally forgiven.  We were somewhat lucky in that if things got desperate we were able to moonlight in the VIP area where the drinks were full strength and you didn’t have to wait to be served.  But this area was so far removed from the action it was positively painful.  Set beautifully in the grounds of MOTAT it was picturesque but when we were there we just wanted to finish our drinks quick-smart so we could get back to the action.  Being able to see at least one stage or any  part of the festival would be a vast improvement for the special people with cash to burn.

Obviously it wasn’t humanly possible to catch all of the acts but as soon as the lineup was announced, Dave and I had a pretty decent idea of what was non-negotiable for us. 

Who we saw and what we honestly thought of them;

  • Ladyhawke – Obviously a crowd fave and rightfully so.  She killed it with a pumping set, no BS and zero pretentiousness.  Loved it.
  • Broods –  Yawn yawn yawn.  I love their music (I have 2 songs on my running playlist even) but gawd they are boring live.  Totally misplaced on the large Spark 2 stage.  Bad scheduling here.
  • Action Bronson – Holy shit.  Wasn’t expecting to LOVE this set!  He finished 10 minutes early (maybe he needed a nap after smoking that huge blunt?) but all is forgiven as he totally brought rap back to me in spades.  Seriously brilliant performance.
  • The Naked & Famous – Cute and kiwi.  That’s all I have to say really.  Should have been on the smaller V Energy stage.
  • The Phoenix Foundation – Brilliant.  Profesh but totally unassuming and endearing.  Perfect sound, stayed and enjoyed the whole set.  Rocked it, should have been in the big arena instead of boring Broods or NAF.
  • Cold War Kids – Holy Shit #2.  So much energy, amazing, rocked-out set and catalogue.  These guys have been around forever (we were listening to them when I was preggo with E 11 years ago) and it shows.  Total professionals but still indie enough to be cool.  Big mistake to not stay for the whole set.
  • Girl Talk – We caught the end of this set, drawn in by the WTF nature of the mash-ups we were hearing.  The most nutty stage set of the day with huge inflatable props, a massive on-stage crew and seriously good jams.  We were most intrigued!
  • The National – Another band I really love but just felt they were soooo staid and low-key on stage.  Couldn’t get into it at all, but should have stayed longer to avoid the cacophony of Shapeshifter.
  • Shapeshifter – Can we be done with these guys yet?  Too loud, every song sounds the same and lasts for 10 minutes.  Couldn’t wait for it to be over.
  • Modest Mouse – This was who we came to see tbh.  It was our third time seeing them play in concert but we were no less stoked then if it was our first.  I may even have blinked back tears of joy at being in the pit, able to take photos of the band that has played such a massive role in our lives over the years.  The sound was pretty bad, there were obv some issues but I blame that entirely on everyone being deafened by Shapeshifter who played right before.  It was a surprising set with the full band (or the fullest I’ve ever seen) playing and a great mix of their newer material and old stunners.  No Kendrick Lamar for us, I’m sure there are 1709 other reviews you can read about his performance.

10/10 day.  Loved it. Will be back at Auckland City Limits next year no question.  The systems in place such as the cashless wristbands worked perfectly, the recyclable Globelets are a stroke of eco-friendly genius, however the returns tent needed to be placed far away from main thoroughfares to avoid congestion.  Such a coup for Aucks, Smith has curated a world class festival with rock solid experience and some thinking out of the box.  Everything was geared towards maximum punter comfort and experience.

Bravo Auckland City Limits, we love you!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Auckland City Limits Review
Georgia from Broods……..zzzzzzzzzzzz
New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Auckland City Limits Review
Action Bronson – fucking genius
New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Auckland City Limits Review
Phoenix Foundation – 1st time seeing them live, loved them
New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Auckland City Limits Review
Cold War Kids – One of the stand-outs
New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Auckland City Limits Review
Modest Mouse. The End.

5 reasons to bring the kids to Auckland Kiddie Limits (+ Giveaway!)

New Zealand's Top Mummy Mommy Blogger Blog Kids Auckland City Limits

Lord have mercy!  Someone’s doing something super amazing and COOL for the kids this summer – and parents, totally, super cool for parents.  Trust me on that one because Dave and I are freeeakkkking about this festival inside a festival yo!

Auckland Kiddie Limits is doing what no event has done before; providing a world class kids festival in the centre of Auckland City and providing entertainment for the oldies if they need a little time out from the amazing-ness to be found inside the coolest kids mini-festival there ever was!

On Saturday, March 19th there’s this wee event happening at Western Springs called Auckland City Limits. Thinking outside the square, some very cool people decided that enough is enough!  Kids everywhere are sick of missing out on all the best bands and performers simply because of some niggly age limit.  The genius idea to allow kids under 10 FREE entry (with a ticketed adult) to Auckland City Limits was born, and let me tell you, the Kindy Grapevine is buzzing with anticipation!

Dave and I had previously decided that 2016 would be the year of Ethan’s first concert, so what better way to introduce him to the unforgettable, life-changing magic of live music than with his whole family – including Hurricane Nixon!  Festival/parental bliss I tell you!

“We want to see the next generation of music lovers getting a free taste of what an amazing festival this is” says promoter Campbell Smith.  “We’re catering to that with free entry and Auckland Kiddie Limits – their very own mini-festival within a festival.”

Bfm Kids Show legend Finn is handling the nitty-gritty, curating a fab lineup of events, performers, activities and spaces just for under 10’s and their adults to enjoy together – all within the confines of Auckland Kiddie Limits (AKL).  No-one’s going to get lost (aside from Dad trying to remember where he parked the car lol), all of the little peeps will be registered upon entering the AKL, situated in the Village Green in MOTAT but only accessible from the Auckland City Limits festival.

Sounding good so far?  I think so – I can’t actually wait!  I’ve nailed down my favourite reasons for bringing the kids to Auckland Kiddie Limits, check ’em!

Bring the kids to Auckland City Limits because;

  1. The kids lineup features musicians Kath Bee, APRA 2015 Children’s Music prize winner Levity Beet, Mr Roberelli and a session of mad live storytelling of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes by Flaxworks. Plus a performance by up and coming band Sparrow from Auckland’s School of Rock.
  2. Kiddie Limits activities include music instrument making, hip-hop workshops with Serato, kids karaoke, punk rock hairdos, temporary tattoos by Inkalittle, a giant art wall and much, much more.
  3. It opens with the main gates at 11am and runs until 5pm – at which time rock’n’roll mums and dads can use pass-outs to get the kids home to grandma before coming back for the festival headliners, who play through to 11pm (THIS IS ME!!!  Can’t wait, much excite!  Modest Mouse, The National, Houndmouth I’M COMING!)
  4. Kiddie Limits will have its own specialized food vendors, including coffee for the parents, and a quiet space and changing facility for the smallest punters.
  5. Auckland Libraries are setting up a beanie bros reading area and a kid’s tech maker zone for some sound exploration fun.

If you’re keen to join Dave, Ethan, Nixon and I at Auckland Kiddie Limits then you’re in luck as I have a double pass (don’t forget kids under 10 are free!) to Auckland City Limits to giveaway valued at $359!!!  Enter via the widget below.





Ed Sheeran is a tricksy little hobbit

I have detested Ed Sheeran and his music for the entire length of his short ginger career.  He and his Lego house were the musical equivalent of standing on Lego City.  In bare feet.  In the dark, with no way of knowing which way the clear carpet lay.  Torturous I have found him.

But then came this song, and god damn it if I don’t LOVE it.

If lyrics of burning hobbits and dwarves is your thing, do you love this song as much as me?  It’s so dark.  Ethan’s advent gift yesterday was  a movie night with Dave and I to go and see The Hobbit II.  I was hanging out for the credits so I could listen to this song in loud, beautiful theatre sound.  The movie was frickin ace as well which helped pass the time until the credits rolled.

Watch | Partying in Rio: A Tilt-Shift Carnival Film

Take 5 minutes and 47 seconds and watch this beautiful film composed entirely of stills.  Over 160,000 of them in fact.  Some people must just ooze so much talent that they leave a slimy trail behind them don’t you think?

Partying in Rio: A Tilt-Shift Carnival Film by Film director and musician Jarbas Agnelli and photographer and filmmaker, Keith Loutit

The City of Samba from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo.


Monday | Musical Thank Yous

There are so many wonderful things going on at the moment which I will share with you soon {one of which is a SUPER exciting blog project right HERE!}, so I just wanted to take a little moment or 11 and be thankful that this year is not last year, that my Dad is not suffering and that all of those I love are happy and healthy.  We have had our share of hard times but things seem to be on the upswing this year.  A wise lady {whom I still work with} once told me to watch out for little signs that show you are on the right track.  I wholeheartedly believe this.  The universe, somehow??, finds ways to provide affirmations that you are doing something right.  If you can’t see the signs, it may be time to shake it up a bit and try something new.

The Verve | Lucky Man

Nas and Damian Marley | Count Your Blessings

Alanis Morissette | Thank You