Wondergarden—Auckland’s newest addition to the summer festival calendar—has announced its lineup this morning, featuring an eclectic, all-local medley of artists.
Mockasin Arabia Finn the collaborative band of Connan Mockasin, Lawrence Arabia and Liam Finn; Wellington’s psychedelic six-piece The Phoenix Foundation; dream pop breakout group Yumi Zouma; and NZ’s favourite singer-songwriter Anika Moa lead the charge with support from Orchestra Of Spheres, Estère, Dictaphone Blues, Miloux, Jesse Sheehan and Paul Ubana Jones.
Located at Auckland’s Silo Park, the New Year’s Eve festival will be a small-scale musical celebration with strictly limited tickets available. Wondergarden was conceived to provide Aucklanders with something a little bit special and a little bit different from what is currently on offer in the city. 2016 is the first iteration of an event that organisers aim to grow into one of the city’s essential summer dates of the future.
‘Wondergarden is a place for people who want to stay in Auckland for New Year’s Eve and still have something special to do,’ says event manager Reuben Bonner, ‘We’re extremely proud of this lineup, and excited to offer something for friends, families, and party people of all ages who are sticking around the city.’
As well as a full afternoon and evening of New Zealand’s most exciting musicians playing the main stage, Wondergarden also features roaming performers and a dedicated family zone with children’s performers and entertainment. In addition there is site theming and lighting installations from Angus Muir, along with sumptuous street food from the Food Space food trucks, all taking place on site at Silo Park, one of the city’s best loved places.
Earlybird tickets go on sale at 9am, September 9th from iTicket and adult, children, and family passes are available.
Under the moniker Mockasin Arabia Finn, Connan Mockasin, Lawrence Arabia, Liam Finn and friends reunite to perform a collaborative show together to headline the inaugural Wondergarden and ring in 2017. After the success of their sellout show at The Crystal Palace Theatre earlier this year (sharing a stage with the likes of of Mick Fleetwood, Neil Finn, Bic Runga and Kirin J Callinan), the three friends decided another musical jaunt together felt fitting. Connan, Lawrence and Liam celebrate their decade-long musical friendship this year, by experimenting with new re-imaginings of each other’s songs, as well as a collection of their favourite party hits to close out 2016.
Wellington’s favourite psychedelic six-piece The Phoenix Foundation return to play their first New Year’s Eve show in Auckland for over a decade. As one of New Zealand’s most accomplished acts, they have either won or been nominated for every music industry award NZ has to offer. The band have now made six albums of intelligent, inventive and richly-detailed pop music, with a range of diverse influences. Their recent releases Give Up Your Dreams, Fandangoand Buffalo have seen them receive high acclaim from publications such as Mojo, Q, Uncut, NME and The Guardian. The band also count BBC Radio Personalities such as Lauren Laverne and Jarvis Cocker as fans.
Since the release of their debut EP in 2014, Yumi Zouma’s evolution has been brisk and organic. The band sold out their first EP twice over before its release and before having ever played live, but each member’s disparate living arrangements eant that live shows or even further releases were unexpected. Defying geography and the odds stacked against them, the band thrived and careened from strength to strength toward the creation of their debut LP Yoncalla, which was released earlier in 2016 to a rapturous applause across the globe. Yumi Zouma’s effortless waves of harmony have been redefined and the creative process laid bare to expose an act more unguarded and interconnected than ever before.
Anika Moa is arguably one of the country’s most adorable yet feisty icons. Clever, charismatic and funny as all hell, the singer-songwriter began writing pop songs at the tender age of 13 and is now an established singer, writer, television talk host and mother of three. Her children gave her inspiration to reach into the world of children's music and she's had her hands full, selling thousands upon thousands of Songs For Bubbas records in the past few years. Now Anika Moa and her band return to the Wondergarden of grown-ups for a greatest hits set of Coldplay-sized proportions….(or someone else with lots of hits).
Since 2009, New Zealand’s Orchestra of Spheres have developed an international, cult-like following. Playing opera houses, house parties, dance parties, DIY shows and festivals around the world, they have built a reputation for musically and visually ecstatic live shows. Like celestial sponges, they draw on influences far and wide: the hypnotic beats of Angolan kuduro, the chimes of gamelan music, free jazz and dance music. Their psychedelic disco and ancient future funk has drawn comparisons to artists as diverse as Fela Kuti, Sun Ra, Can and Drexciya. Orchestra of Spheres use homemade instruments such as the biscuit tin guitar, electric bass carillon and sexomouse marimba to create their cosmic dancing sound.
Estère is a girl with an MPC she calls Lola. With Lola, Estère samples and records a mixture of bass, synth, drums, guitar, vocal harmonies, kazoo, cutlery drawers and anything else that tickles her fancy then layers the production with pulsating rhythms and evocative melodies that adhere to her own genre dubbed - Electric Blue Witch-Hop. Drawing inspiration from the evolution of reptiles, imaginary boyfriends and cultural identity amongst many other things, Estère delivers her songs with a voice that has been described as rich toned and elastic and acclaimed as being a one-of-a-kind performer.
With widescreen production Phil Spector might admire, hooks big enough to land swordfish, half-familiar melodies, and cannoning drums behind stacked-up jangle guitars and sweeping synth-strings, Dictaphone Blues is a sheer delight and only the hardest heart won’t be amused, seduced and delighted. A stalwart of the thriving Auckland musical landscape and a charismatic performer, Edward Castelow and band sling catching grooves and indie pop diamonds out like bullets, with poetic tongue in cheek lyrical mysticism, commenting on and poking fun at life, love and the universe.
Whether it’s with a full band in tow or a solo intimate set, Miloux has been constantly lauded for her vocal virtuosity, layered synthesiser instrumentation, and her passion for experimentation within the live and recorded music sphere. A truly incredible vocal talent, Miloux has spent the past three years honing her unique spin on beats-driven ambient electronica. Between days teaching pre-teens to find their own voice and nights wowing crowds around Auckland, Miloux is a rare artist that wows every person she performs to.
In 2014 Jesse Sheehan was asked to join Neil Finn as his guitarist on his global Dizzy Heights tour and upon returning to New Zealand, Neil not only offered his world-class studio to record Sheehan’s debut album Drinking With The Birds, but also his vast knowledge and expertise as producer. Sheehan since headed off to the UK armed with his new recordings, a bag of clothes and his guitars. He has performed at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton and Liverpool Sound City, along with a string of London venues where he continues to steadily build a growing and loyal audience.
Born in London to a Yorkshire mother and a Nigerian father, Paul Ubana Jones was playing guitar by the age of 11. This was the beginning of a three-decade career that would see him crossing continents and recording eight albums. After graduating from music college, where he studied guitar, cello and composition, Paul began to forge his own contemporary style, influenced by blues, rock, folk and jazz. Settling in New Zealand with family, Paul has continued a magnificent musical career having shared the stage with the likes of Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Norah Jones, Bob Dylan, Tuck and Patti, Crowded House and many others.
Earlybird tickets on sale at 9am, September 9th from iTicket.