Maximise your ‘Mystic Ritual’ mojo at Splore 2018: A how to guide…

Sun.Kissed. at Splore. PHOTO: Supplied.

Sun.Kissed. at Splore. PHOTO: Supplied.

So you’ve nabbed your tix for one of world’s most beautiful boutique music and arts festivals – Splore 2018. Onmag has compiled a run-down of some key tips for maximising your Splore experience, whether you’re a rookie or longtime Splore lover. 

Dress Up. Look Sharp. PHOTO: Supplied.

Dress Up. Look Sharp. PHOTO: Supplied.

  • Curate your outfit. Every year, Splore has a different theme. This year, it’s all about ‘Mystic Ritual’ so think “Magical. Mysterious. Mind-Bending. Marvellous. Mayhem!” Bring texture and sparkle (not glo-sticks because they’re the STD of party props – you just can’t get rid of them). On the Saturday night, you’re invited to the Festival’s legendary dress-up Cabaret party, The Temple of the Midnight Mantra. Hosted by the one and only Miss Tique, the evening promises to cross borders, boundaries, genres and genders. Adorn your bones in suitable threads for an unforgettable night of razz-ma-tazz followed by swoony tunes from Barry Ashworth of the Dub Pistols. Look sharp!
  • Pack your camping kit. To go to Splore is to be part of Splore. Some Splorers work for months on their habitats in special themed camps, so if you can source solar-lanterns, those sleeping bags that zip together, an airbed, maglite, mobile phone charger and a fold-up chair you’ll be ready to camp Like A Boss. If you have mates who are working the Festival or locals who are going early, have them set up your shared site in advance. Sorted!
  • Carpool. For Splore 2016, I scored a ride with a really cool gal who I ended up hanging with for much of the Festival. All part of Splore’s ethos of connection and sustainability, their rideshare page helps people link up to find a lift to the party, and minimises the amount of vehicles rocking up to the site.

    Main Stage, Splore. PHOTO: @Jason Burgess.

    Main Stage, Splore. PHOTO: @Jason Burgess.

  • Scrutinise the line-up. Festival director John Minty makes a point of scouring the world for quirky, up-and-coming bands as well as well-known acts. Splore’s special mix of live indie music alongside dancey dj sets ensures you’ll be spoilt for choice when deciding which music to bop to across three nights and multiple stages. Leading UK MC Dizzee Rascal headlines this year, with Jamaican star Chronixx.

    The phenomenon that is Too Many Zooz from NYC will make their New Zealand debut at Splore 2018. These NYC subway buskers became a viral sensation after a passerby posted a clip to Youtube in 2014. Other highlights include acclaimed Detroit hip hop artist Black Milk, the UK’s DJ MK, Japanese art punk outfit KAOS, Dutch band My Baby, German punkster Bonaparte, DJ sensation John Morales, Brazilian DJ Marcelinho da Luna, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band and Danish techno DJ’s Courtesy and Mama Snake. Local acts confirmed so far are RIA Hall, The Nudge, Manuel Bundy, Greg Churchill, Lady Flic, Kody Nielson, Cian, The Nukes, Aroha and Tali.

  • Circumnavigate the site. Upon arrival, check into your tent or glamping accommodation and suss things out in daylight so you know the lay of the land for later. On the top plateau, you’ll find plenty of themed camping zones, wellness hubs, water taps, bathrooms, first aid, food and market stalls as well as some special surprises. Figure out the proximity of these to where you’ll be sleeping. Wander through the native bush zig zag or ‘snakes and ladders’ track down to the beachfront to find the main stage, Living Lounge, bars, Flow Academy, workshop spaces, and dingie parks. All surrounded by the lush and fragrant flora of ancient pohutukawa, beech trees, seagrass and golden sands. Arrange a meet-up point with your crew. Then take some time to…

    Disco balls in the trees. PHOTO: ONmag.

    Disco balls in the trees. PHOTO: ONmag.

  • Soak up the art, performances, workshops and talks. The Arts Trail crosses both the high and lower ground of the Festival site, and always provides a plethora of next-level installations and emperical art experiences. Take time to tour this contemporary radness. Be entertained by weird and wonderful roving acts from the likes of Dynamotion, 3 Ring Riot and Superhero Secondline. Participate in some of Splore’s forward-thinking workshops or chill out and listen to the thought-provoking panels and spoken word sessions at the Living Lounge before or after you…

  • Rock on. Dance, dance, dance. If you’re lucky enough to escape the rat-race early, there are Thursday-entry tickets available so you can get your groove on for four whole days. If you want to jostle and jive with the crowds, head to the Main Stage, otherwise cool spots to exercise your twinkle toes include Lucky Star and the Beach Hut.

    Splore as seen from The Flying Carpet. PHOTO: ONmag.

    Splore as seen from The Flying Carpet. PHOTO: ONmag.

  • Swim. One of the coolest things about Splore is that its nestled into a lovely warm swimming bay in Tapapapakanga Regional Park. You can lax out on your li-lo, sunbathe with your beau or paddleboard to your mate’s boat while world-class music wafts across the waves. Just bliss.

  • Imbibe. Sustenance at Splore is affordable, varied and delicious, and largely served by vendors who come every year. Food is served in compostable dishes and drinks come in reusable “globelet” cups. Must-try goodies from my highlights reel are Turkish gözleme, sushi, churros and Waiheke Island wood-fired pizza.

  • Respect. The kaupapapa of Splore is all about honouring the place and its people, with a view to fostering a sustainable future. Respect for the land goes hand-in-hand with respect for tangata whenua. At every Splore, international visitors are welcomed with a powhiri on behalf of local iwi.

    A leading member of the Sustainable Business Network, Splore was awarded the ‘International Greener Festival Award‘ in 2013, a first and only for a New Zealand festival. Splore was also the first NZ festival to stop selling single use plastic bottles. All rubbish is sorted onsite into recycling and composting, minimising waste and ensuring high diversion rates away from landfill. Splore has the other end of proceedings covered too, with purpose-built composting toilets alongside campsites. Every year, the mantra is #leavenotrace, and the organisers really do walk the talk. And now it’s your turn!

    Aroha chilling ON the beah at Splore. PHOTO: ONmag.

    Aroha chilling ON the beah at Splore. PHOTO: ONmag.


Instagram @splorefestival



General admission adult festival ticket: $275 (includes general camping)

Youth ticket 13-17: $150

Children: Free

Camping upgrades are available

Reserved and glamping options on sale at

Festival Location: One hour from Auckland’s CBD – Deery’s Rd, Orere Point.

More Splore stories from Onmag:

Odyssey ON the beach: Splore music and arts festival 2016

ON the beat: MC Tali on tour and at Splore

Gig Alert: The Funk Hunters return to Splore

Gig Alert: It’s all coming back – Leftfield to headline Splore

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