Ki Te Whai-Ao - To The Glimmer of Dawn: Auckland Pride Releases First Wave of Events for 2022 Festival

The first release of events in the Auckland Pride Festival 2022 programme is now live, celebrating inclusivity, community, and a rich history as Pride marks a landmark 50 years in Tāmaki Makaurau. With a line-up of bold and dynamic contributions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy throughout the month of February.

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Inspired by the dawn of Pride in Aotearoa: the 1972 Gay Liberation protest at Albert Park Ranigpuke led by Ngahuia Te Awekotuku 50 years ago, Auckland Pride Festival’s theme for 2022 is ki te whai ao (to the glimmer of dawn), with offerings of street style dance, theatre, live art, spoken word, public art activations, talanoa series, workshops, literary events, community shared spaces and more.

2022 sees the triumphant return of annual festival favourites and exciting new initiatives. The Auckland Pride Gala returns to take over the Auckland Town Hall for the first time on 3 February under the direction of Creative Director Elyssia Wilson-Heti, for a journey of reflection and celebration of whakapapa over the past 50 years and beyond of Pride in Tāmaki Makaurau. On 26 February, the Pride March and Pride Party return to unite the community in a celebration of queer identities and joy. Albert Park Rangipuke will come to life with queer-owned markets, chant practice, and speeches before the Pride March takes to the streets down to Aotea Square, where the festivities continue at the Pride Party, which will be headlined by Afro Pasifika DJ Lady Shaka and award winning RnB artist Disciple Pati

The brand new month-long public arts & cultural takatāpui festival Te Tīmatanga looks to celebrate the talents of Aotearoa’s takatāpui community. The festival will include public art installations throughout the central city commissioned from over 16 takatāpui artists, and throughout Pride, whānau will have the opportunity to join weekly hīkoi lead by Kaiwhakahaere Takatāpui, Hāmiora Bailey (Ngāti Porou Ki Harataunga, Ngāti Huarere). 

Albert Park’s Caretaker’s Cottage will host a further ten takatāpui artists in a more traditional gallery setting, with for-sale works, short-film screenings and evenings hosted by different kaikōrero programmed throughout the month. 

The Ending HIV Big Gay Out, billed as the gayest one-day festival in Aotearoa, takes over Coyle Park in Pt. Chevalier on 13 February for a day of markets, performances, and The Thirst Trap Vogue Ball hosted by House of Aitu. Samesame but Different LGBTQI+ Writers and Readers Festival returns to the Ellen Melville Centre from 16-20 February for a celebration of the diverse and talented voices working in Aotearoa’s literary scene. 

At Basement Theatre is the inaugural Festival of Live Art (F.O.L.A.), Black Creatives Aotearoa are presenting a new original theatre work Po’ Boys and Oysters and Dirty Passports has an all-BIPOC line up of spoken word artists. Comedian Janaye Henry brings her solo show Literally Obsessed, and solo comedy Them Fatale from James Hilary Penwarden hits Tāmaki Makaurau.

Q Theatre brings an exuberant line-up this Pride, including the colourful showcase of unstoppable queer excellence Don’t Touch the Queers, starring RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under contestant Elektra Shock. Speed sewing and circus combine in a raucous cabaret Haus of YOLO, No Homo: Queer Comedy is back with another showcase of Auckland’s favourite queer comedians, and the Aotearoa premiere of The Creeps, presents a dark, semi-improvised solo show, rooted in elements of physical clown theatre that has toured internationally to great acclaim. 

Auckland Live hosts fabulously camp cabaret drag sensation Les Femmes with the premiere of their brand-new show Sirens of the Silver Screen, and international musical megastar Hayden Tee (Ngāti Kahungunu) as he graces the stage with Bad Guy both at The Civic’s Wintergarden. Meanwhile at the Auckland Town Hall, Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra presents Bayley’s Great Classics Slavonic Dances for a special Pride presentation.

Across Tāmaki Makaurau, queer entertainment and nightlife hotspots come to life with special events, parties and performances. Up on K’Rd, Phoenix Cabaret hosts Vivacious Va Va Voom Vaudeville, a spectacular smorgasbord of burlesque, drag and comedy, while G.A.Y. are throwing one of the most inclusive dance parties ever: RISE Dance Party. In Penrose, The Dust Palace invite you to Carnies & Queers 2022, with a spectacular lineup of carnival and cirque performers, and back in town Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki have partnered with GALS Auckland Rainbow Choir for GALS - A Celebration of 30 Years, and will debut the phenomenal new documentary Fiona Clark: Unafraid by filmmaker Lula Cucchiara, followed by an invigorating conversation between Fiona Clark and Ron Brownson.

Auckland Pride have also been working in close collaboration with Proud Centres to support their vision for 2022 to deliver a series of free, fun events taking place across Tāmaki Makaurau in their facilities and libraries. While the full Proud Centres programme of talks, workshops, parties and more is not released until early 2022, festival-goers will be delighted to know that the F.I.N.E. Festival is back for 2022 at Māngere Arts Centre - Ngā Tohu o Uenuku to celebrate the colourful creativity of Aotearoa’s queer Pasifika communities.

Don’t forget that this is just a taste of the extensive 2022 programme. With an incredible line up of parties, drag, and ballroom taking over the city in February, as well as many more events to be announced in January, there’s something for everyone - make sure you visit or follow Auckland Pride on social media to stay up-to-date with the latest festival announcements.

The fabulous first release programme is available now on the brand new Auckland Pride website. Pride have worked with their Digital Partner NV Interactive to completely rebuild the website, adding functionality that will make it easier for you to browse the Festival programme, search and find the exact event you want, and save your favourites to keep a diary or share with your friends. The website is an embodiment of the progressive brand and campaign for Pride 2022 and beyond and is designed to be both more functional and accessible. Auckland Pride is also grateful for the support of Electric Kiwi to make the redesign possible.

The 2022 Auckland Pride Festival is possible thanks to our Core Funders Foundation North & Creative New Zealand. Thanks to our Major Pride Partners Spark NZ & Rocketwerkz, along with our Strategic Partners Auckland Council & Auckland Unlimited.

The 2022 Auckland Pride Festival will run 1-27 February 2022.