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Free summer fun

Friday 16th January 2015

It’s summer time, and with the sun comes free outdoor festivals.

Drax Project bass player Sam Thomson on stage at the Wellington Botanic Garden's Soundshell.

Photo: Eddy Kerr-Hislop

Almost every night this month the serene Wellington Botanic Gardens are being taken over by hundreds of punters there to see free live gigs as part of the local council’s Summer City events.

Earlier this week, Drax Project pulled more than 1000 people, who filled every possible space around the stage.

What started off as a very subdued picnic, escalated into a Tuesday night dance party.

The band’s frontman Shaan Singh said he loved playing the outdoor gig. “The audience was like so much more than we expected. It was definitely the biggest crowd we have played to. It was really nice actually to have a chilled start and crank it up near the end of it.”

Any nervousness about the changeable Wellington weather disappeared along with the clouds, said guitarist Ben O’Leary. “We were packing the gear into the car and it was like building up a sweat and it was just like ah, mean the sun is here it’s all good.”

One punter, Morgan Rapana, 23, said: “Everyone here is real positive, all here to have a good time … it’s just too nice of a thing for anyone to be aggro.”

Auckland and Christchurch councils are running their own summer festivals.

Music in Parks and Movies in Parks, gigs and screenings are happening all over Auckland – east, west, north and south. This weekend, Sidney Diamond will be playing at Hayman Park, Manukau from 2pm on Saturday and The Rocky Horror Picture Show will be screened tonight at 8.45 at Tamakae Reserve Waiuku. Both events are free.

Meanwhile, Christchurch is hosting SummerTimes, which includes Lazy Sundays gigs in the city's botantic gardens. The World Buskers Festival is also on this weekend, with free and ticketed performances.  

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