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Primer: Auckland Live Fringe Town 2021

Primer: Auckland Live Fringe Town 2021

Annabel Kean / Image: KITA / Wednesday 20th January, 2021 2:35PM

For those of you still coming to terms with your impulse lockdown bangs, here's hoping this year's Auckland Live Fringe Town can shift your attention to a non-cringe fringe. In conjunction with the 2021 Auckland Fringe Fest, Fringe Town is like the fest's cool muso cousin who gave you a USB of pop-punk that one time. For a whole week from February 15th, Fringe Town takes over the Auckland Town Hall for a packed schedule of Aotearoa's finest musicians, dancers, actors, acrobats, game designers, and, naturally, a one-thousand person dinner party.

In a divine turn of events, Pōneke three-piece KITA, Tāmaki duo Imugi 이무기 and 'jazz-pianist-synthesist-turned-producer' Zuke (Trinity Roots) share the bill on the 19th in the Town Hall's concert chamber, and award-winning collective Maimoa bring their charting beats the following evening, showcasing some of Aotearoa's most talented Māori and Pasifika artists. All that over just two nights, and I've barely scratched the surface of what's in store. Allow me to run you through it...

Auckland Live Fringe Town - musical events timetable:

Monday 15th February to Wednesday 17th February - SUSO: Stand Up Stand Out, Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall (free)

SUSO — Stand Up Stand Out — is a secondary school music and dance competition, and SUSO Alumni will be performing as part of Fringe Town this year! Former SUSO finalist Selevasio Tu’ima provides a wee taste of the sort of talent we're talking about...

Thursday 18th February (10am) - APO open rehearsal of Houstoun Plays Rachmaninov, Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall (free)

The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra are inviting the public to sit in on their rehearsals for Houstoun Plays Rachmaninov. Not that anyone needs any proof, but here's the orchestra in action...

Friday 19th February (7pm) - Battlezone, Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall (tickets HERE)

A breakdance battle. In the Auckland Town Hall. With some of Aotearoa's best dancers. Here's what to expect...

Friday 19th February (8pm) - KITA, Imugi 이무기 & Zuke, Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall (tickets

Already versed in the festival world, Pōneke's KITA put on a mindblowing virtual opening set for Glastonbury's Greenpeace UK Stage last year...

Saturday 20th February (doors open 7pm) - Maimoa, Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall (tickets HERE)

Imagine the energy Maimoa will bring to their live show if this is them captured in video...

Sunday 21st February (7am to 9am) - The 95bFM Kids' Show - Live,  Aotea Square (free)

A Sunday morning tradition, the 95bFM Kids Show will be broadcasting live from Aotea Square — join Lee, Finn and more for stories, games, laughs and songs!

More information + ticketing via Auckland Live

Press release:

Auckland Live’s Fringe Town was created in 2019 – a weeklong artistic takeover of the Auckland Town Hall as part of the Auckland Fringe Festival. That first game-changing programme featured iconic Russian punk protestors Pussy Riot and the extraordinary Movement of the Human by Malia Johnston, Rowan Pierce & Eden Mulholland. The 2020 programme was headlined by the inimitable Alien Weaponry and saw the reformation of haka theatre company Hawaiki TŪ. This year Fringe Town returns with a programme that once again flips the Auckland Town Hall on its head with its combination of pay-what-you-like dinners, intimate performances, and first-time headliners.

Fringe Town programmer Anders Falstie-Jensen says: “The Auckland Fringe Festival is all about artists taking risks and doing things they haven’t done before. Auckland Live’s Fringe Town has handpicked all these performers because we want to support them by giving them the best possible stage to perform on, and I can’t think of a cooler place than the Auckland Town Hall! For the week of Fringe Town, audiences will a get a chance to directly participate or simply experience great performances. Hopefully some of them will also lead to bragging rights in the future like ‘yeah, I saw THAT at Fringe Town back in 2021!”

Here’s the 2021 Fringe Town roll call:

Winner of the 2020 Aotearoa Music Award for Te Māngai Pāho Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa, Best Māori Artist of the Year, Maimoa will headline Fringe Town in a two-hour extravaganza on Saturday 20 February. Trailblazers of Māori pop music, Maimoa are a music collective made up of 11 young, cutting-edge Māori and Pasifika artists. Maimoa have been making headlines since 2015, when they knocked Justin Timberlake off the iTunes NZ Charts with their first single ‘Wairua’ and secured the number two slot on the New Zealand music charts.

The multi-award-winning charity Everybody Eats is putting on a truly soul and body-nourishing experience. Cooking up a storm for an incredible pay-as-you-feel event, several of Auckland’s top chefs are lined up to feature at the Fringe Town session. Aiming to feed 1000 people inside the Auckland Town Hall on Sunday 21 February, Everybody Eats will celebrate community connection while simultaneously caring for people and the environment.

The 2021 season continues Fringe Town’s strong focus on elevating growing talent, with Fresh Movement making their return to the Town Hall for one night only in Battlezone - an all-ages, alcohol-free dance extravaganza. Fresh Movement were part of the inaugural 2019 Fringe Town with their show Māui and were the winner of the Festival’s award for ‘Best Community Engagement’.

Friday 19 February sees an epic triple bill in the Concert Chamber. Wellington-based KITA, led by Nikita Tu-Bryant, have a new album on the horizon and will perform alongside rising stars IMUGI 이무기, and bass and beats supremos ZUKE (Trinity Roots, Rhian Sheehan).

Other Fringe Town highlights include: Barrier Ninja, a verbatim play about hauora devised by Fran Kewene and the autobiographical solo show Sorry For Your Loss from creator Cian Parker, which is also part of the 2021 Auckland Arts Festival programme. The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) will open their doors to a rehearsal of their APO season opener, Bayleys Great Classics: Houstoun Plays Rachmaninov on Thursday 18 February.To catch a glimpse of the musicians of tomorrow the SUSO (Stand Up Stand Out) Alumni competition will offer free showcases from the 15th – 17th of February. Another competition for those curious about gaming will give participants the challenge to create a new game in just 48 hours with Frnjam, whilst the kids will enjoy the live broadcast of the 95bFM Kids’ Show at 7am on Sunday 21 February from Aotea Square. Later that day winners of ‘Best Circus’ show at the 2018 Auckland Fringe Festival, Manubrium Circus Theatre make a triumphant return with their outdoor acrobatic new show Towel You What?!


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