To Splore is to dance, sing, swim, leave no trace and embark in as much merry-making festivities that a three-day festival weekend can provide. As New Zealand’s longest running music, art and performance festival, Splore knows how to put on a good show. Fans leave the Auckland beachside venue feeling uplifted, having frolicked about in nature while respecting all that it so generously provides.
Sustainability and taking care of Mother Nature is taken most seriously here. The festival is a proud part of New Zealand’s Sustainable Business Network, and in 2013 was recognised with the International Greener Festival award, a first and only for festivals in this country. Compostable plates and cutlery are the only option for vendors, there are extensive recycling facilities and unlike the likes of Britain’s Glastonbury, it’s difficult spot virtually any rubbish around. The collective ethos here also happily reinforces this stance to any who momentarily forget.
On arrival, it’s the beautiful shoreline, views out to Coromandel that will initially grab attention. Splore’s main stage for headline acts is positioned almost on the beach itself, leaving revellers free to refresh mid-act via a quick dip in the ocean. Native pohutukawa trees, a permanent fixture in North Island coastal areas, become shrines, their trunks and branches wrapped in multicoloured strands of wool. Cinemas are powered by bicycles, a tin hut transforms into a steampunk time machine and burlesque nymphs dangle from trapeze under a marquee.
The best part about Splore is that two people can have very different experiences. Spend the day drinking iced tea and fresh-pressed juices while sprawled out on rugs in the shade. Hula hoop down the length of the beach. Book in for a massage, then spend the afternoon eating by working through the food stalls. Start an impromptu campsite party, join someone else’s or secure prime stage spots for a sunset main stage boogie. Whichever way it is spun, Splore is all about fun.
WORDS OF WISDOM
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