New Zealand is set to get a new annual music festival with the organisers behind the now defunct Big Day Out confirming they will be expanding huge US festival Austin City Limits to Auckland, aptly naming it Auckland City Limits.
C3 Presents and Live Nation Entertainment, who both have part ownership of the Big Day Out, are teaming with Auckland promoter CRS Presents to bring the event to life on Saturday March 19th at Western Springs stadium.
Promoter Campbell Smith’s company CRS was the promoter of the New Zealand leg of the Big Day Out once before but the festival has been on break since 2014 with no plans of a return announced yet.
Auckland City Limits is promising a lineup of 40 artists including “major international artists,” according to a press release. At least half the acts on the bill will be international.
“We want to produce a live music and festival experience that is memorable and spectacular, that expands the format into what we know people want from a music festival nowadays and that is created and curated solely and specifically for Auckland,” said Campbell Smith.
Smith further told the New Zealand Herald that the NZ leg of the Big Day Out “was the most successful” of the whole tour.
“Mainly because of the venue. It was one of those moments where I thought ‘I should have done that 10 years ago’. I don’t know why I didn’t do that. It’s just such a great place to put a festival – inner city, grass, lake.”
The organisers thought about how they could utilise the Auckland venue should Big Day Out not return and came up with the idea of expanding Austin City Limits. He further added that because it’s a festival separate of the Big Day Out, organisers will have more choices.
“The Big Day out was an Australian tour and we were just the sixth show,” he said.
“We didn’t have a lot of choice in what was coming here and there were a lot more Australian bands than I thought I would ever need because I had to take them one and it often doesn’t translate.”
Smith seemed to stress that ACL is not the BDO 2.0, especially seeing as it’ll take place in March, two months later in the year than the BDO’s previous dates. As the NZ Herald points out, the festival coincides with the annual Auckland Arts Festival. Smith also stressed the lineup will be curated specifically for Auckland.
Austin City Limits currently runs over two weekends hosting around 75,000 punters per year. This year’s lineup features the likes of Drake, Foo Fighters, The Strokes and Florence + The Machine and will kick-off at the beginning of next month. If Auckland City Limits gan gather together even half that lineup we’ll have one hell of a festival on our hands.
Tickets are expected to set you back around $200 but you can register for $99 early-bird tickets right now here.
Watch: Auckland City Limits Teaser
Auckland City Limits
Saturday, 19th March 2016
Western Springs, Auckland
Tickets: Auckland City Limits