NAU MAI, HAERE MAI, Welcome to your Festival – express checks out AAF’s programme designed to unify, uplift, and inspire through an annual world-class collection of events and performances.

Despite a Covid curve-ball, organisers of AAF 2022 have put together a massive 24 shows/events taking place both outdoors and online. The theme and curatorial lens of “Truth” weaving throughout the Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki / Auckland Arts Festival (AAF) 2022 programme visually explores this concept through design – balancing the layers and tensions of light moving to darkness.



“Wherever we work, no matter what we do, we must not resist that sudden urge to break into interpretative dance.”

That’s the statement that has inspired Ross McCormack (New Zealand Arts Laureate) to draw inspiration from the people who work at the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, creating this new work which will premiere digitally at the Auckland Arts Festival in 2022.

From the visitor hosts to the security team, the iconic Tāmaki Makaurau building offers rabbit holes of possibility. You never know who might be leading you on a journey of whimsy and where they may take you.

The majestic nature of the Museum’s architecture, the artefacts that are housed within and the tireless work of those that run it open up beguiling portholes of imagination to the inner lives of the Museum’s people with McCormack using elements of physical theatre and comedy interwoven with his core methodology and style of movement.

Featuring New Zealand Dance Company performers Carl Tolentino, Chrissy Kokiri, Katie Rudd, Ngaere Jenkins, Kosta Bogoievski, and Katrina Bastian.


A young black man lost his life. Six years ago. In Scotland. In police custody.

Soon after 7.00am, on a Sunday morning, 3 May 2015, Sheku Bayoh, a 31-year-old gas engineer, husband, and father of two, died in Police custody on the streets of his hometown – Kirkcaldy, Fife.

Bayoh’s family launched a campaign seeking justice and in 2019 a judge-led inquiry was announced to determine the manner of his death, and whether ‘actual or perceived race’ had played a part in it. An artistic response to tragedy, an expression of grief for the loss of the human behind the headlines, and a non-apologetic reflection on identity and racism in Scotland today, Lament for Sheku Bayoh asks the urgent question: is Scotland really a safe place?


What’s it like to be disabled in 2022?

Find out in this hilarious, heart-warming and delightfully honest multimedia show, presented online, for all ages. Embracing the digital era, Rob and Sal are testing out a new, high-tech version of their roadshow, which teaches audiences what it’s like for disabled people in today’s world. All seems to be going well for the two hosts… until the younger crew sets them straight!

Drawing on stories and experiences of disabled children and adults, this rousing musical show explores what it means to be disabled and how different generations of disabled people feel about their identities. A smart, energising and nuanced experience – perfect for anyone eager to grow their understanding and explore how we talk about disability.


The outrageously entertaining Live Live Cinema hit comes to your screen

Get set for the audacious, unpredictable and side-splitting classic by Roger Corman, The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), brought to you in a whole new frame.

A heart-racing collision of theatre, music and cinema, this Live Live Cinema adventure stretches the limits of what four performers can do: working at break-neck speed across multiple countries to re-voice a range of characters in perfect lip-synch whilst creating live sound effects and playing an original score composed by Leon Radojkovic (Live Live Cinema’s Little Shop of HorrorsDementia 13 and Carnival of Souls).

Adapted from the acclaimed 2015 live production, watch from home as this reimagined camp comedy-horror cult hit is screened alongside the celebrated talents of Byron Coll (Mr Burns. A Post-Electric Play, Wellington Paranormal), Barnie Duncan (Nothing Trivial, Outrageous Fortune), Laughton Kora (Amadeus, Jesus Christ Superstar) and Hayley Sproull (TVNZ’s Have You Been Paying Attention?, Golden Boy), led by renowned director Oliver Driver.

Live Live Cinema: The Little Shop of Horrors – Lockdown Edition is set to be a riotous and hilarious night on the couch, snap up your tickets now. It’s a wild (socially distant) ride.


A sold-out highlight from the 2021 Festival, the social dance event of the year returns – in the comfort of your own lounge or backyard!

A unique online dance event, providing foot-stomping live music and dance instruction in the security of your own tiny dance hall. Roll up the mat, slip on your dancing shoes and invite a friend to dance for 90 minutes of pure Terpsichorean delight. Timeless partner dances such a waltz, mazurka, Scottish, and even a Cajun-two-step played by the crème de la crème of Kiwi folk musicians to get you over the COVID blues. No experience necessary!

Invite the neighbours over for a bunch of simple, but supremely satisfying folk quartets from the old world and the new, arranged and eloquently introduced by New Zealand dance legend Michael Parmenter. Even if you’re alone, the irresistible music will give you the opportunity to dance like nobody’s watching.

If you’re not up to cutting the rug, then tune it to witness Parmenter and his trio of fellow dance enthusiasts bring vibrant world dance tunes to life on the Full Moon Online Folk Ball dance floor.

Listen, look, or boogie, either way, you’ll l be swept away by the spirit of dance. A recognition and a promise of what we will be able to experience together, in-person again once we have emerged from this challenging time.




Enjoy a thrilling close encounter with giant, otherworldly figures popping up in Auckland’s CBD, Wynyard Quarter, Manukau and Henderson throughout Auckland Arts Festival.

Created by famed Australian artist Amanda Parer, these beings from another universe leave an awe-inspiring impression wherever they land on earth. Arriving in Tāmaki Makaurau this summer, their titan-sized appearance may intimidate at first. But step a little closer, and you’ll realise they’re curious visitors to our corner of the world.

We encourage you to play and photograph with them, and welcome them to our wonderful city with open arms for a short time before they make their way home.

These monumental installations were inspired by René Laloux’s famous 1973 animated film of the same name. Pointing to science-fictional futures and imaginary alien races, but also the vastness of the cosmos and our own humanity as residents of a lonely planet, they’ll be visiting the Festival’s two main arts precincts in 2022, Aotea Square and Silo Park.

Fantastic Planet


United for Truth is a large-scale momentary public art installation which will take place at beaches on the East Coast along with a home-based project you can participate in that uses natural material found on beaches, forests or your neighbourhood to create a sculpture with an environmental message.

Leading the project, Gisborne-based artist Adel Salmanzadeh and his whānau invite the community to make something beautiful and impactful as a collective. Adel’s family will create installations in Te Tairāwhiti using sculpture to focus on the word ‘Truth’ while investigating what it means to us as a community.

You are invited to make a sustainable sculpture at home using this online resource created by artist Adel Salmanzadeh that talks about Truth and what it means to you. Share your creation on Instagram using #united_aklfest to be featured on our website!

The great ocean will eventually wipe out the words of the public installation, showing the true force of nature. Our presence on this planet is temporary and we have the power to do immense damage to our world’s destiny. The grace of the ocean wiping the slate clean is a symbol of the second chance we have to correct the balance.


Witness the youth of Tāmaki Makaurau paint the streets with poetry and shine a light on the voices of our rangatahi, ngā rangatira mō āpōpō, the chiefs of tomorrow.

A festival is a portal for speaking, listening, questioning, and reflecting about who we are as individuals, as a city, and as a nation. There is no one truth and we all bring our personal story to every dialogue and experience we encounter.

A public platform for young people to amplify their truth and hopes on our city walls, shop windows, bus shelters, and more, Spoken Walls: A City in Verse invites poets from high schools and communities across the city to contribute to this concrete kōrero, and gift their visions of hope and inspiration to all of Auckland.

Action Education is a leading arts-based youth development organisation that use spoken word poetry as a powerful medium to engage young people. They believe creativity and self-expression is fundamental to wellbeing and they provide safe spaces for thousands of young people each year to connect, reflect and to express their stories.

Through this project they will work with 14 young poets from different High Schools and communities across the city. They will be taken on a journey to explore the things that matter to them the most, reflect on their truths and hopes through spoken and written word.

Spoken Walls



Based on a kīwaha – an expression – inspiring an ambience of wonder and surprise. What does it feel like to be alive today?

Calling together artists from Aotearoa and abroad to share knowledge, conversation and time, Ata koia! presents newly commissioned and existing artworks woven from the wind and stars, colours that slip from the horizon and images that saturate our imagination. “Ata koia!”

Ata Koia!


Celebrating the life-enhancing power of dressing and choosing what to wear.

Twelve distinctive individuals including poet Tayi Tibble, mental health advocate Sir John Kirwan, and K’road chronicler Six, have fashioned their personal appearance in a way that expresses their identity, their culture, and their truth. Vibrant life-size portraits by award-winning Samoan/New Zealand photographer Edith Amituanai invite you to meet and engage with the person and reflect on how you fashion your own story.

To Fashion


Declaration maps a feminist trajectory in contemporary Pacific art.

Artists in this exhibition declare a new set of principles to form a Pacific feminist agenda, one that acknowledges the existing ways that Indigenous and Pacific societies have always empowered women.

Acknowledging matriarchal societies and reciprocal kinship roles across the Pacific, allows for a notion of feminism that is inclusive of Indigenous gender identities such as leitī and also men. Across installation, performance, photography, and moving image, the artworks in this exhibition collectively positionPacific feminism as a tool of empowerment.


The 2022 Auckland Arts Festival takes place from the 10th to the 27th of March. For more information on the 2022 AAF head to