To kick things off for the opening night of NIGHTLIGHT, you will be entranced by Ngāpuhi songwriter Erny Belle and the inimitable balladeer that is Kirin J Callinan.
Taking to the TSB Royal stage the bewitching Erny Belle will entangle with ghost laced tales of home, of belonging, of land and of whānau. Erny Belle’s critically acclaimed debut album “Venus Is Home” saw the artist nominated for multiple awards and appear as a magazine cover star. Currently working on her follow up album, we are humbled to have Erny Belle open up the festival.

Where does a man like Kirin J came from? What mix of lust and love, violence and tenderness leadto this apparition riding into town? Kirin is an Australian man. He’s heat shimmer on a road and waves white against ocean blue. Built like an amateur boxer, long and strong, dressed like a toreador. Drinks salt water and holds eye contact after offering you a sip. Kirin has collaborated with the best of them, from Conan Mockasin to Weyes Blood and most recently working with Caroline Polacheck on her latest album “Desire, I Want To Turn Into You”. 

 Kirin J returns to Aotearoa to beguile with songs from his 4 th  solo album “If I Could Sing”. The album largely created here in Aotearoa in a remote batch in Anawhata, a spectacular west coast Tāmaki Makaura beach that can only be reached by foot. He recently announced this will be his final tour for the foreseeable future.

Which is our loss. When Kirin J takes stage it’s hard to explain the feeling. The tension in your heart. It forces you to consider if this mania, this insanity, this total abandon exists within all of us. 
Don’t miss this intoxicating opening night of witchcraft and wizardry. 

(access to every show of the festival)

(Thursday night Theatre Royal Pass)

NIGHTLIGHT festival recommends that in preparation for your evenings adventure you allow time in your day to immerse yourself in the world of Len Lye, sample a locally crafted beer from Three Sisters Brewery and lose yourself in the cities festival of lights winter edition before stepping forward into the magic of the evening at The Royal.


The second night of the festival sees two different stages for the evenings gathering. Complimentary yet opposing.

Samara Alofa x PollyHill present their collaborative project for the first time in Ngāmotu before award winning UK artist Arlo Parks takes command of the majestic TSB Showplace theatre in a NIGHTLIGHT exclusive appearance. Because we love you, the evenings performances have been staggered so that should you wish, you can attend both Arlo Parks at the Showplace and still catch Dartz with Earth Tongue and Alien Weaponry at the Royal.

 The co creation between Samara Alofa and PollyHill first took place when the artists were living together as flatmates. Stripped back atmospheric production gently holds ethereal haunting vocal melodies that pulse and flow over the minimalist beats. It’s addictive and pulls you into its swirling, layered depths. 

Headlining NIGHTLIGHT festival is mercury prize winning UK singer Arlo Parks. With her brand new record “My Soft Machine” just a few weeks old, this will be New Zealanders first and only opportunity to hear these tracks performed live. Parks’ reputation for jaw dropping heart breaking performances have enchanted fans around the world. Her songs traverse the landscape of love, mortality and the sometimes terrifying absence of chaos, which nonetheless, can allow space for genuine human connection.

From Coachella to Primavera and everywhere in between, we’re deeply honoured to have Arlo Parks headline the inaugural NIGHTLIGHT festival in Aotearoa.

Dartz is the band from Wellington, New Zealand. The politically charged party punk foursome crush beers whilst simultaneously smashing out blistering guitar driven anthems. A high energy, razor sharp, good time singalong cacophony of chaos and entertainment.

Hazy psychedelic sludge riffs trip over relentless hypnotic drum patterns, drugging the listener into an out of body experience. The power duo Earth Tongue’s soaring vocals are their secret weapon, taking the audience on a ride through space and time. Along the journey you visit abandoned B grade 70’s horror film sets, aliens, witches and desert landscapes. Resistance is futile.

Headlining the TSB Royal stage are global thrash metal heavy weights Alien Weaponry. The brutal, uncompromising force of an Alien Weaponry show is indescribable.

Incorporating Te Reo Māori, the whiplash inducing three piece use taonga pūoro and haka in their material with subject matter referencing Māori history and Pūrākau. A ruthless, fast, hard hitting, near religious experience. Prepare for bruises.

(access to every show of the festival)

Arlo Parks + Samara Alofa x

(Friday night TSB Theatre Pass)

alien weaponry with earth toungue
+ dartz

(Friday night Theatre Royal Pass)

Before the evenings grip takes hold, why not attempt something you wouldn’t normally. Call Simon Deken and schedule a mid winter surf lesson. Go 10 pin bowling at bowlarama. Purchase a record by an artist that you don’t know from vinyl countdown. Try our limited edition signature NIGHTLIGHT festival cocktail at Itch wine bar while the night is still in its infancy.


And in the blink of an eye, we have arrived at the conclusion of the inaugural NIGHTLIGHT festival experience. To conclude the long weekends festivities we shift gears into sweat dripping, transcendent, club mode. Jujulipps and Church & AP join forces with reigning Queen of the stage JessB. With the party at full blown crescendo, BBYFACEKILLA, Zeki and GALOLEAFI keep the temperature UP to see us through the small hours into the ecstatic magic of the night.

Jujulipps star is on the rise. As the South African born party starter screams in her new single “Saucy” I SAID IF IM TOO SPICY DONT HIT IT UP WITH ME. Unapologetically herself Jujulipps is on a mission of empowerment. Turn up early to hear whats good.

Globe trotting, award winning, fiercely independent streaming sensations Church & AP are writing their own script. Currently working on their sophomore studio album, the prolific rap duo churn outbanger after banger. There’s a reason they’re a favourite on the festival circuit. Get ahead of the masses and atone for your sins early with Church on a Saturday.

Queen of the game JessB constantly surprises in her tireless pursuit to push boundaries and challenge herself. Her smouldering, electric performances have a gravitational pull, leaving audiences in a spellbound state of joy and carefree abandonment. Leave your troubles at the door and trust in JessB to choreograph the night of your life.

At 11pm the doors open on the closing component of the weekend. The lights out ball is the culmination of all that has occurred over the course of the festival. The seduction, the frivolity, the hedonism, the clarity, the shadows, the magic. Succumb to extravagance and flirt with indulgence. With a soundtrack provided by BBYFACEKILLA, Zeki and GALOLEAFI this is a night of community, of dancing and of perfectly outrageous celebration.‍

(access to every show of the festival)

JessB + Church & AP + Jujulipps

(Saturday night Theatre Royal show)

the Lights Out Ball

(Saturday night Theatre Royal after party)

JessB + the Lights Out Ball  combo

(Saturday night Theatre Royal show + after party)

Before the festival draws to its unnatural conclusion, we recommend soaking away last nights regrets at the Taranaki Thermal Spa (advance bookings recommended). Schedule a trip to Puke Ariki museum and pay a visit to Shining Peak brewery for locally sourced produce and beer.‍