- After a long lockdown hiatus, Aucklanders can look forward to a bumper and vibrant summer season, with up to 295,000 attendees expected across Mt Smart Stadium and Western Springs alone
- Organisers are working with New Zealand Police and KnowYourStuffNZ to help patrons make informed choices about recreational drugs at some events – first up is Listen In tomorrow, Friday 30 September at Mt Smart Stadium
- Tātaki Auckland Unlimited is calling on event attendees to be prepared to have lots of fun, while being responsible and looking out for one another.
Aucklanders and visitors can look forward to a smorgasbord of major events to suit every taste in Tāmaki Makaurau over the summer, including an exciting line up of concerts, world-class sporting events, and festivals.
First up at Mt Smart is major dance music festival Listen In tomorrow, Friday 30 September. In December, Justin Bieber brings his Justice World Tour to Mt Smart. Other global acts to follow include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elton John and Harry Styles.
In November, Western Springs will host the popular ZM Friday Jams followed in December by Jack Johnson. Kiwi superstar Lorde and My Chemical Romance will wrap up the summer at Western Springs in March 2023.
Auckland Stadiums Director James Parkinson predicts nearly 295,000 fans will attend these events.
“We can’t wait to welcome people back to experience these amazing events, concerts and festivals. We want everyone that comes to our venues to leave with great memories, have a great time and feel safe,” Parkinson says.
“As we know, with huge attendances come potential challenges. While most patrons enjoy themselves responsibly, there are always some who take it a little too far, putting them and their mates at risk.”
A change in approach
While Auckland Stadiums’ stance on the abuse of alcohol and bringing prohibited substances into venues hasn’t changed, recreational drug checking volunteers from KnowYourStuffNZ will be onsite at Mt Smart Stadium for the first time, starting tomorrow.
KnowYourStuffNZ provides drug related harm reduction services at events around New Zealand, including drug checking.
Parkinson says this approach follows a change in government legislation to legally enable this safety measure.
“We all know recreational drugs can cause issues at major events and acknowledge the harm these illegal substances cause so we will be doing everything in our power to prevent them coming into our venues in the first instance.”
Amnesty bins will be located prior to gate entry and KnowYourStuffNZ will be inside the venue.
KnowYourStuffNZ spokesperson Dr Jez Weston says the service is confidential and enables recreational drug users to make informed choices.
"It’s always better for people to find out what they have before they take it. Our service is free, legal, and non-judgemental – we’re here to provide people with good information and we’re grateful to Auckland Stadiums for the chance to do this."
Collaboration with New Zealand Police and Hato Hone St JohnSt John
At all major events, New Zealand Police and Hato Hone St John provide an invaluable service to help keep patrons safe.
To encourage people to use the KnowYourStuffNZ service, New Zealand Police will not target drug possession for personal use within the immediate vicinity of the drug checking service.
“During tomorrow’s event we want our patrons to know that you can come to us for help if you or your friends need it, without fear of getting in trouble at any time,” Parkinson says.
“We will have chill out zones, Crowd Care facilities, and Hato Hone St John medical services all on site. We ask all patrons requiring help or information to be honest with medical staff and Crowd Care teams about what you have consumed so the support teams know how best to help you.”
- Auckland Stadiums Drug Policy
- Upcoming events at Auckland Stadiums
- Upcoming events in Tāmaki Makaurau
Photo credit - Jana Turtelboom