- Pasifika Festival returns to brighten up Western Springs this weekend. For the first time since 2018, the park will come alive with Pacific music, kai, dance, art, culture and more.
Taking place over two days (18 – 19 March), the festival features eight villages showcasing the diverse cultures of 11 Pacific Island nations: Aotearoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Hawai’i, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tahiti, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu. With 48 food stalls, 51 retail stalls and more than 1000 performers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
This year’s festival includes the new Pacific Bowls programme, following on from its success in 2022’s Taste of Pasifika events. The bowls are spaces of discovery, offering insights into and engagement with cultural practice, artistic identities and expression, storytelling, wellbeing, histories, Queer communities, the environment and much more – presented from a uniquely Pasifika Festival perspective.
Stock up on some kai
Your favourite Pacific soul food is all here, with Samoan umu, Tongan otai, chop-suey, kava, pāua rolls and more. The iconic watermelon and pineapple ice creams will also be on hand for a classic Pasifika Festival sweet treat.
Shop till you drop
From traditional tapa cloths and crafts to modern Pacific streetwear for the whole family, classic shell necklaces to handmade bags, you can find everything at the 51 retail stalls.
Stop by the stage
With eight stages there’s always something on. There are more than 1000 performers across the two festival days, including Siva Afi, traditional Tahitian dancing and contemporary R&B hits. Get ready to let the music move you and be inspired.
Fill your Bowl
Stop by the Talanoa (discussion) Bowl to hear from Pacific women writers, learn about traditional navigation techniques in Pacific cultures, understand the role of collective action against climate change and more. To take a piece of Pasifika Festival home with you, come to the Ako (to teach/learn) Bowl Makerspace and create your own poi, hiapo and more with expert guidance.
Top tips to enjoy Pasifika Festival 2023
- Plan your travel in advance. Parking restrictions and road closures will be in place and with thousands expected to attend, the surrounding area will be busy with both vehicle traffic and pedestrians. Public transport options are available, and a park and ride shuttle will transfer festivalgoers to and from Western Springs from Unitec every 30 minutes. More information on transport options is available here.
- Know what’s on. To make the most of your festival experience, check out each village’s performance programme here.
- Bring with you:
- Cash – while some stalls have eftpos, some only take cash. Be prepared so you can skip the cash-out queues
- Only what is necessary – travel light for ease of movement amongst the crowd. Auckland’s weather can be unpredictable – bring layers and protection from rain, wind and sun
- Your friends and family – it’s a great group outing, and a family-friendly event with something for all ages
- Leave behind:
- Alcohol, cigarettes or vapes. The festival is smoke-free, alcohol-free and family friendly
- While accessibility dogs are welcome, we advise that other pets be left at home.
- To get around the festival, there are wayfinding towers and large-scale fixed maps. Printed maps are available at the festival’s information tents, or online at www.aucklandnz.com/pasifika.