It’s time to plan your day at Auckland City Limits at Western Springs on Saturday 3 March as the music festival releases its 2018 timetable and site map.
With 33 acts appearing across five stages, there’s a massive lineup for music fans – not to mention half a dozen additional artists playing through the afternoon in Auckland Kiddie Limits, plus DJs, comedians and more. Auckland City Limits certainly caters to a huge array of tastes.
“There is some incredible fresh musical talent performing this year” says promoter Campbell Smith. “Internationally, we have Sigrid from Norway, she’s just been acclaimed the BBC’s Sound of 2018, you simply cannot buy a ticket to Australian sensation Tash Sultana’s shows anywhere in the world right now and locally you can’t not be excited about young artists like Drax Project and Alien Weaponry.
“Our night time lineup packs real visual spectacles from Justice (with their 24 tonnes of production equipment!), Peking Duk and Phoenix. As for Grace Jones, I still can’t quite believe we have her in Auckland at last. We know she is going to be the festival highlight for many fans, especially as she will play a full concert length 75 minute set.”
“Our headliner Beck is playing his first show here in 20 years. Beck defies genres, and he will blend everything from electronic, folk, indie, rock and hip-hop into his show-closing 80 minute set.”
Prime main stage hour long slots are set aside for hip hop stars Future and Young Thug, simply because the Altlanta rappers are two of the biggest and freshest names in the game right now. Further highlights for hip-hoppers will be local rising stars Jess B and SWIDT, while the Golden Dawn stage closes with rap duo HEAVY.
The afternoon showcases LA bass genius Thundercat and the UK’s The Staves, a three sister act widely admired and known for their affiliation with Bon Iver. Aaradhna and Katchafire represent the very best of local soul and reggae while the harmony drenched indie folk of Seattle’s The Head And The Heart will be great for sprawling on the grass before English troubadour George Ezra leads an anthemic singalong or two to hits like Budapest.
It will be a frenetic start to the show for rock fans with Alien Weaponry and veterans Head Like A Hole kicking things off with a double kick one-two in the Spark stages while later on The Libertines and The D4 will fire things up a gear for fans of loud guitars.
Indie music fans will find plenty to enjoy with Pitchfork-acclaimed acts like Car Seat Headrest and the mysterious Avalanches making their first ever NZ appearance. Over by the Western Springs lakeside, the Golden Dawn stage is packed with local indie talent including a rare outing for Fabulous/Arabia. Always a bastion of the willfully wayward, the Golden Dawn is also ACL’s home of comedy.
Gates open at 11am and the festival runs through to the moment Beck closes the stadium arena down at 11pm, the same time as French indie hitmakers Phoenix’s set ends out on the fields. So take time now to plan and plot your way through a 12 hour music marathon that promises more mindblowing sets than any festival Auckland has seen in recent years.