Located at Auckland’s Silo Park, the New Year’s Eve festival heads into its second year after a highly successful response to its inaugural event in 2016.
Wondergarden is a musical celebration that was conceived to provide Aucklanders something a little bit special and different from what is currently on offer in the city over the holiday period. 2017 see's the welcome return of an event that organisers aim to grow into one of the city’s essential summer dates of the future.
‘Wondergarden is for those of us who are avoiding the mass exodus out of town over that New Year period,' says festival director Reuben Bonner 'Auckland tends to empty out a little, and it's a pretty dreamy time to enjoy Auckland for the people who stick around. We're here to provide a party with an incredible soundtrack for Aucklanders, and anyone else who finds themselves visiting our fair city to usher in 2018.’
As well as a full afternoon and evening of main stage musical entertainment, Wondergarden also features a dedicated family zone away from the main stage. This will include games and activities as well as children’s performers and entertainment, headlined by rogue pirate, Captain Festus McBoyle and his motley crew of music and mischief. As well as that, New Zealand's favourite street food is on offer all day and night courtesy of the Food Space food trucks. It all takes place at Silo Park, on the cusp of Auckland Harbour with the best view in the city for the Sky Tower's midnight fireworks display.
The brainchild of New Zealand born frontman and multi-instrumentalist Ruban Nielson, Unknown Mortal Orchestra are one of the most sought after and revered bands on the planet. On third album Multi-Love, Nielson reflects on relationships: airy, humid longing, loss, the geometry of desire that occurs when people align. Multi-Love adds dimensions to the band's already kaleidoscopic approach, with Nielson exploring a newfound appreciation for synthesizers. The new songs channel with the spirit of psych innovators without ignoring the last 40 years of music, forming a flowing, cohesive whole that reflects restless creativity. Cosmic escapes and disco rhythms speak to developing new vocabulary, while Nielson's vocals reach powerful new heights.
In the 18 months since they posted their first track Got It Bad, Auckland five-piece Leisure have continued to garner attention. With the song going viral, crossing the globe and seducing fans with its funked up, psychedelic, blissed out homage to laid-back pleasure. Bloggers love them; they’ve had more than eight million streams across the seven songs released so far, and have released their self-titled debut album, which reached fans in every corner of the globe. If their expectations had initially been small, their horizon is now adjusting accordingly, as fans worldwide continue to connect with their manifesto of living the good life, and their over-riding code to keep things LEISURE.
Onehunga's very own SWIDT may well be the 'The Most Electrifying Rap Group in Entertainment'. Having had New Zealand in a frenzy over the last 2 years, this unique hip-hop crew have managed to command the attention of everyone with their flair, raw lyricism, hard hitting production & their electrifying onstage presence. SWIDT broke onto the music scene with their independently produced single & video “No More Parties In Onehunga” in early 2016 & from there the momentum built towards the release of their debut album STONEYHUNGA which debuted at no.1 on both the iTunes Hip Hop and Pop charts.
After realising the crude sound and performance work she was making could be applied to the pop song structure she had grown up adoring, art school drop out Chelsea Jade honed a new musical craft to release two e.ps and several music videos under the moniker Watercolours. Refining her persona, Chelsea Jade the artist was born, and was validated by a dose of encouragement on home soil with 2012's Critics Choice prize at the VNZMAs and a coveted place in Red Bull Music Academy as it sailed through Tokyo. Now after relocating to LA - the pop mecca she had been fantasizing about - and composing energetically with Big Taste (Justin Bieber), Sam McCarthy (Boyboy), Brad Hale (Now Now) and Justyn Pilbrow, Chelsea has executive produced her debut record Personal Best due for release in late 2017.
Over the past two years, MAALA has risen from little known Kiwi enigma to garnering near instant acclaim on the world stage. Since first single Touch hit the airwaves (reaching #2 on the Alternative Airplay charts and over 2.7 million streams on Spotify alone), the accolades flooded in, the streams kept flowing, and the fan base grew exponentially. In an age of oversharing, MAALA’s anonymity put the focus back on the music. With his debut album, Composure released last year, MAALA reached – and in many cases, surpasses -- the upper echelons of his contemporaries. The songs twist and turn but never deviate from their path. Some swell up in steady euphoric revelry; others simmer in the heat of heartbreak and lost love. All this from a guy of just 22.
Through cavernous lows, blissful highs and globe-trotting adventures, music has been by enigmatic folk singer songwriter Nadia Reid’s side the entire way. With two critically acclaimed albums under her belt, Reid has spent the best part of two years touring extensively. Whether in New Zealand’s familiar rugged beaches and mountains, brutally windy Wellington, her hometown harbour Port Chalmers or the untrodden territory of faceless hotel rooms or the jungle in Kuala Lumpur, every episode of loss, heartbreak, and disappointment glimmers throughout her. "Her songs are either oblique, or tight, and parsimonious. It keeps you listening." says The Guardian.
REMI and musical collaborator Sensible J are one of the fastest-rising hip-hop acts in Australia. As well as performing their own sold-out headline tours across Europe and Australia, REMI have also shared the stage with Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown, Vic Mensa, De La Soul, Joey Bada$$, Blackalicious, Hiatus Kaiyote and were invited to perform Gorillaz tracks with Damon Albarn on each of his Australian shows. With features across international media such as OkayPlayer, Billboard, NME, MTV Iggy, NPR and shout outs from the likes of hip-hop luminaire Chuck D, REMI’s appeal is as diverse as it is impressive.
The Ruby Suns, are the band-ish pseudonym of Norway based nomadic Californian-New Zealander Ryan McPhun. McPhun returned in 2017 after four years with the brilliant and ambitious new record Sprite Fountain. Rhythmically and harmonically complex, McPhun's influences are alluded to like snatches of a jukebox heard across a busy motorway. The touchstones are brief - ELO for four bars, a hint of Julia Holter in an arrangement - before they disappear into a kaleidoscopic tapestry that reveals McPhun to be a singular savant hinted at by his diverse back catalogue.
Few artists come new to the game with such a fearless and complete approach to music. Bailey Wileyfilters neo-soul classicism through modern, righteous and true live musicianship, the star of the show, her golden voice – both effortless and organic. She has fast gained the respect from her peers & audiences alike. Bailey has already racked up an impressive amount of live performances & features, sharing the stage & collaborating with some of New Zealand most well known musical talent. Her live performance - solo or with her producers - is mesmerising. Live on stage is truly where Bailey Wiley belongs.
New Zealand born, LA-based songwriter Sam McCarthy aka Boyboy was driving home from a meditation retreat when Prince came on the stereo. Flooding his senses with exuberant pop music after 10-days of silence, McCarthy was hit with a fresh perspective: This fresh dose of mental clarity punctuated by fearless pop has since alchemized into a slew of infectious singles under the moniker Boyboy. Self-actualized and self-released, Boy, None Of Your Love, Vices ,Daylight and new single Me have already caught the attention of tastemakers across the board from Pigeons&Planes to Pitchfork to Gorilla VS Bear. Durable, danceable and with a fresh live show, Boyboy and his bright pop sensitivity have an exciting 2017 to share.
Sunday December 31st: Silo Park, Auckland