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Celebrating summer in Whakatū Nelson

Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 restrictions, Nelson City Council and the region’s event organisers are working hard to bring as many exciting events as possible to our community this summer.

The City’s summer event schedule has been altered to ensure events can still go ahead under changing COVID-19 alert level conditions, but many of your yearly favourites are back.

You can see them all in the Nelson Tasman Summer Events Guide when it lands in letterboxes on 1 December.

Tickets went on sale on Monday, 15 November, for Nelson’s biennial celebration of sound – Opera in The Park.

Taking place on 19 February 2022, award-winning musician Stan Walker will headline the event in his first performance in our city since 2018, with support from the renowned Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

Stan says he is always eager to visit Whakatū Nelson, and the chance to perform with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra is a dream come true.

“This will be a magic night for me – to have the songs I have written, and that Nelson has loved, re-imagined as glorious, big sound, is a privilege and a dream come true. The Nelson audience is a great crowd, and I’m so looking forward to returning to the City.”

Opera in the Park will take place within the COVID-19 requirements of the time, and in the event of cancellation, all ticket holders will receive a full refund.

Among Whakatū Nelson’s other main summer events are; Sounds by the Sea, an evolution of the usual Tāhuna Summer Sounds event, The Nelson Buskers Festival, and while a large, unticketed New Year’s Eve event is unable to go ahead as it has in the past, a series of activities and performances throughout the city centre will be held instead.

Sounds by the Sea will take place across two dates and three locations. On 14 January, performers will entertain at Tāhunanui Beach and in upper Trafalgar Street.

On 21 January a comedic take on Shakespeare, performed by the Barden Party, will take place outside at The Honest Lawyer, in Stoke.

The Buskers Festival, usually spread across numerous locations, will take place over 28-31 January at Founders Heritage Park. The Boathouse will also host a ticketed R18 event.

Exact details of the New Year’s Eve performances are still to be confirmed but will feature live entertainment right up to the countdown at several venues in the city centre.

There’s plenty to entertain in between too. Youth aged 17 and under have a unique opportunity to clear out the old ahead of Christmas, by selling their wares at a youth-only Umbrella Market at 1903 Square on 4 and 11 December.

For younger children, the Teddy Bears’ Picnic is back on 16 January in a new location at the Fairfield House Meadow, and Summer Movies Al Fresco is a great opportunity for a family evening out as a new line-up of movies return to parks with 18 screenings throughout the region.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says there is a lot on for the whole family this summer.

“Event organisers and the Council team have done a brilliant job making sure Nelson’s summer schedule is full of fantastic events. The Opera in the Park line-up looks fantastic as always, with Stan Walker and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra set to bring us a standout moment of the summer. The new-look Tahuna Summer Sounds will be a real treat, and the Buskers Festival is always full of unexpected delights!”

Additional time and effort have gone into making sure the events on offer meet COVID-19 safety requirements, and Council encourages everyone to make sure they are familiar with what’s expected for each event they’re attending and double-check before they leave home.

For the most up-to-date event information, use the QR code on the Summer Events Guide or check the event listing online at



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