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Auckland Pride Festival 2013 - a first peek

Sun 9 Dec 2012 In: Events View at Wayback View at NDHA

Auckland Pride Festival 2013 will feature over forty events over two weeks, including three weekends, from Friday 8th until Sunday 24th of February, and venues and locations are spread right across the Auckland region. Julian Cook "In addition to major events such as the Auckland Pride Parade, the Get It On! Big Gay Out, Bear NZ Week, Heroic Gardens and The Auckland Pride Gala, the inaugural festival programme also features local and international cabaret, comedy, theatre, visual arts, concerts, record releases, book launches, debates, discussions, historical walks, charity events, sporting events, lifestyle events – and parties!" laughs a breathless Julian Cook, the Director of the Festival. While most Auckland Pride Festival activity will centre on Ponsonby and Karangahape Roads, the festival’s events will also reach out to Henderson in the west, Mt Wellington to the south, and even into the Hauraki Gulf. Creating a festival from scratch is hard work. "You're building from the ground up because it's a first-time festival," says Cook. "You're developing systems and processes and all of that takes time but it's really rewarding because you're able to create it as you want it." Cook provided us with a sneak peek of some of the highlights locked in so far, here are a few we spotted to whet your appetite... The Auckland Pride Gala (Friday 8 February, Q Theatre) The Auckland Pride Festival will be officially opened at a glittering Gala on Friday 8 February at Queen Street’s fabulous Q Theatre. This is a black tie sampler of the best-of-the-fest, showcasing many of the Festival’s most talented entertainers, musicians and artists. Tickets are expected to be on sale at the Q Theatre box office prior to Christmas.   Nikki Aitken Gobsmacked: Showbiz Bear New Zealand Week (Sunday 10 to Sunday 17 February) A full week of fun, mayhem and partying, including Mr Urge New Zealand Bear 2013 on Friday 15 February, and the Tri-Nations and Love Candy dance parties on Saturday 16 February at 4:20 and The Rising Sun.   On the Big Gay Out 2012 stage Get It On! Big Gay Out (Sunday 10 February, Coyle Park, Pt Chevalier) A long-time staple of the Queen City's summer of glbti fun, this is a "family" event in the widest sense of the word, with every kind of glbti person you can imagine, and their kids and dogs and picnics and sunnies, packing out inner-city Coyle Park. Entertainment, celebrities, information stalls, a funfair, pounding dance tents and much, much more. Full details are yet to be released but every year it's a must, must do.   Salon Mika Salon Mika (Wednesday 13 to Saturday 23 February, Switch Bar) The original Māori cross-cultural gender-bender is back on the strip with a sexy cabaret showcase embracing everything from haka to vogue, burlesque to drag, soul to punk. Auckland’s most beautiful boys, girls and in-betweens in what's billed as "a wild and free performance mélange that can only be Salon Mika."   Rose Collis Trouser-Wearing Characters (Friday 15 to Monday 18 February, TAPAC, Western Spring) One woman, two banjoleles and four trouser-wearing characters. Celebrated British biographer and performer Rose Collis unbuttons her critically-acclaimed show from the Brighton Fringe Festival 2012. It's a unique performance featuring music, history and performance engaging us with Rose’s favourite cross-dressing, bygone characters. "It skilfully combines stories, vignettes and songs about these eclectic, historical figures from 50’s media star Nancy Spain - a trouser-wearing character - to masquerader ‘Colonel’ Victor Barker (aka Valerie L A Smith), cabaret legend Douglas Byng, to the ‘F***ing Lady’ herself, actress Coral Browne," according to Cook.   Auckland Pride Parade (Saturday 16 February, Ponsonby Road) This has got to be a majorly fabulous event, and in the background Jonathan Smith and his team are creating what promises to be a fabulous daytime parade full of glbti colour and vitality. Watch this space for an upcoming feature on all you need to know about the Parade!   Victor Rodger Black Faggot (Saturday 16 to Wednesday 20 February, Basement Theatre) In the style of Toa Fraser's 'Bare', Victor "My Name is Gary Cooper" Rodger will be premiering 'BLACK FAGGOT' a series of humorous monologues exploring the gay Samoan male experience, from a camp closeted member of Destiny Church to a butch Hamo homo with plenty of swag and everything in between.   Heroic Gardens (Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February) After seventeen years this is still a must-see event on many gardeners’ calendars. Heroic Gardens provides exclusive access to some of Auckland City’s most prestigious private gardens. This remarkable self-guided tour showcases gay and lesbian-owned gardens in particular but is also supplemented by the gardens of other supporters of Hospice as well. Proceeds from every ticket sold will support Mercy Hospice. Registrations for Auckland Pride Festival 2013 events can be made up until next Monday December 17. Details are available at the Festival's website. - 9th December 2012    


First published: Sunday, 9th December 2012 - 6:52am

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