The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on events scene in New Zealand and around the world. There were a number of big events planned for July so we thought we’d update you with the latest on what’s happening with them so you can plan ahead and get your social calendar sorted!

1. Matariki Festivals


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The month of July sees one of the biggest Maori festivals in the calendar year. The Matariki Festival in New Zealand celebrates the Maori New Year and the rising of the Matariki star cluster. Events typically take place all over the country with some actually starting in late June but carrying on right through until the middle of July.

For 2020, at the time of writing, most of the festivals are still officially scheduled to still take place with a variety of events and ceremonies. These include dawn ceremonies, art exhibitions, film screenings, storytelling, food festivals, stargazing and more.

They will undoubtedly be affected by the limits on mass gatherings if restrictions are still in place by late June. We’ll be sure to update this post with any new information that comes to hand.

Event: The Matariki Festival

When: 20 June – 15 July 2020

Where: Various locations including Auckland, Great Barrier Island, Wellington, Picton and Dunedin.

2. New Zealand International Film Festival


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The New Zealand International Film Festival is one of those festivals that made an early decision to reinvent itself. In its 52nd year running, 2020 will represent the first time the festival is enjoyed entirely online. It follows the trend of other international film festivals that have switched to online platforms in order to get great films seen.

Compared with the possibility of having no festival at all, this is fantastic news to movie lovers all across the country. The film festival is the best chance Kiwis have to enjoy a wide variety of films from all around the world that wouldn’t ordinarily get a release in New Zealand.

There’s always some great gems to be found and the New Zealand International Film Festival will release its full programme on the 22nd June.

Event: New Zealand International Film Festival 2020

When: 24 July – 2 August 2020

Where: Online!

3. Urzila Carlson – All The Rage


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One of the hottest names in New Zealand comedy at the moment is the award-winning Urzila Carlson, star of the TV show – ‘Have you been paying attention’.

Her deadpan style and sharp wit have won many fans in Australia too where she won the People’s Choice Award for selling the most tickets at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Her new show ‘All The Rage’ was supposed to take place in July but has been pushed back to December as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a bit of a disappointment but one that’ll be worth the wait for all.

Event: Urzila Carlson – All The Rage

When:  Previously July but now 14 & 16 December 2020

Where: Auckland and Wellington

4. NZ Opera – The Marriage of Figaro


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One of Mozart’s most infamous operas – The Marriage of Figaro – was due to take the stage in our nation’s capital this July but has unfortunately been tentatively postponed for September/October 2021.

The Marriage of Figaro is a great comedy that deals with some weighty issues of power with respect to class and gender that are still very prevalent today. With a great mix of local and international performers, it was one of the most anticipated productions in the operatic calendar for 2020 but it’s hoped that the same creatives will get together for 2021.

In the meantime, you’ll be able to enjoy some of NZ Opera’s previous productions on TVNZ like Tosca which is screening on 31st May at 10am on TV ONE.

Event: NZ Opera – The Marriage of Figaro

When: Was July and now tentatively expected in September/October 2021

Where: Wellington

5. Armageddon


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Fans of popular culture will be excited to hear that the planned Armageddon Expo scheduled for July is still on track to take place in Christchurch, the Garden City.

As with most events, this particular expo will look a little different compared to the previous ones with the celebrity guests attending virtually. The celebrities haven’t been announced yet but each will take part in a 1 hour discussion panel that will be screened at the event.

There’ll be plenty of other things going on at the even too like cosplay contests, competitions and plenty of memorabilia to see and buy for the collection too.

Event: Armageddon 2020

When: 18 -19 July 2020

Where: Horncastle Arena, Christchurch

6. CRC Speedshow


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The CRC Speedshow has become a must for petrolheads from up and down the country which usually takes place in July at the ASB Showgrounds. As a result of COVID-19 restrictions organisers have decided to postpone the event until November 2020.

Before you get too disappointed by that, there is some good news. The CRC Speedshow has announced that their November event will combine with Big Boys Toys, another epic event for car lovers in this country. This means attendees will get two events for the price of one!

It’s the largest and most diverse car show in New Zealand showcasing the finest and fastest cars, motorcycles, racing vehicles and classics you can imagine. There’ll also be hot rods and custom creations from all around the world.

Event: CRC Speedshow and Big Boys Toys

When: Formerly July but now 13 -15 November 2020

Where: ASB Showgrounds Auckland


And there we have it! 6 updates on some of New Zealand’s biggest July events. We’ll continue to keep you updated on the latest and don’t forget we also have some great city guides featuring sights and attractions that you can see right throughout the year with a few additional tips about accommodation and dining!

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