Auckland Pride Festival returns in 2019, celebrating the diversity of the rainbow experience in Tāmaki Makaurau and reconnecting with grassroots communities across the region, from February 1-17.
The theme for Auckland Pride 2019 is #ourpride – a nod to returning pride to the people of this magnificent city, and ensuring celebrations reach all corners of the region. Speaking to this theme, the 2019 festival programme is bursting with over 80 registered events, showcasing music, theatre, visual arts, drag, comedy, literature, community open days, parties, and more across the festival window.
Local heroes grace the stage in Auckland Pride, with celebrated director and Adam Award winning writer Shane Bosher presenting Homos, or Everyone In America as a provocative and beautiful examination of gay love. Playing in Q Theatre’s Loft for a season running January 30th – February 16th, Harry McNaughton leads a four-strong cast to navigate attitudes, emotions and prejudices. Some of our finest queer comedians including the 2018 Fred Award winner Chris Parker and current Billy T nominees James Mustapic and Ray Shipley are spicing up Valentines date night with a special Pride edition of No Homo at The Classic on Thursday 14th and Friday 15th. Snapchat legend Tom Sainsbury takes the helm as director on two projects at Q Theatre, with Zak Enayat starring in the gender-bending THERE SHE IS from January 30th – February 2nd, before Tom’s Karaoke Boiz musical comedy extravaganza takes over from Thursday 7th – Saturday 16th.
A powerful line-up of rainbow Māori and Pasifika voices lend their talent to the 2019 programme. South Auckland collective COVEN open their 2019 programme as Basement Theatre’ Artists in Residence with their new work ETHERA which asks audiences to ‘join the secret circle’. Jason Te Mete (Ngāti Ranginui) directs Over My Dead Body: UNINVITED, a play set on the eve of World Aids Day, running at Basement Theatre from Wednesday 13th – Saturday 16th. Returning to the Pride Festival programme and Academy Cinemas, the Takatāpui Film Showcase is a celebration of LGBTQ+ cinema and creativity from Māori, Pasifika and global indigenous POC, with five films and two panel discussions across the weekend of Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd. Samoan Queer Lives, a collection of autobiographical pieces by fa`afafine, transgender, and queer people of Sāmoa, launches as part of Pride with the new book by Yuki Kihara and Dan Taulapapa McMullin.
An impressive series of international events come under the Auckland Pride banner, with drag superstar Trixie Mattel visiting Auckland for the first time. Closing out Pride festivities on Sunday 17th, the two-time RuPaul’s Drag Race loser and All Stars season 3 winner brings her brand-new full-length music-comedy spectacular Skinny Legend to the Auckland Town Hall. The ultimate throwback experience So Pop! is also proud to join the Auckland Pride Festival programme, with legendary acts from the glory days of nineties and naughties pop taking over Spark Arena on Tuesday 5th. Making their way to New Zealand for one night only, the stacked line-up includes Aqua, Vengaboys, Blue, and B*witched, promising a huge night of epic pop hits. And internationally-acclaimed indie darling Julien Baker makes her first visit to our shores, with the Memphis native bringing her celebrated live show to The Tuning Fork on Friday 15th.
Returning to the Auckland Pride Festival programme are some beloved favourites, excited to share their stories and push the dialogue further in 2019. The Ending HIV Big Gay Out celebrates their 20th anniversary with a new layout in Coyle Park on Sunday 10th; the only LGBTQ+ writers festival in Aotearoa Same same but different expands with a full programme at AUT bolstered by satellite events at Basement Theatre and the Auckland Art Gallery from Monday 4th – Saturday 9th; and Night of the Queer comes to TAPAC from Thursday 7th – Friday 15th with a powerful queer love story revolving around an ensemble of characters inspired by Greek deities. A strong youth contingent also return to Pride, with Legacy Project, Rainbow Youth and Breaking Boundaries facilitating performances, social nights, art exhibitions, creative crafting, and more, fostering a sense of community for young queer people.
Pride expands across the region in 2019, venturing out into the suburbs with tailored events that reflect the unique spirit of our local communities. Auckland Council’s Pride Initiative Proud Centres will provide bases across the Pride Festival window at the Ellen Melville Centre, Wesley Community Centre, Nathan Homestead, New Lynn Community Centre and Te Puke o Tara Community with a programme of free activations, performances, workshops, exhibitions, sports tournaments, and bingo nights. The Proud Centres will also play host to an expanded programme of the free LGBTQ+ movie nights Queer Scenes with a showcase of five films, the pop-up nail salon Glory Nails, and the Hard Talk/Talk Hard series, providing a platform for intersectional conversations about the rainbow communities’ most pressing issues.
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