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Skip the mall, support local artists this Christmas

14 Dec 2019
Dominic Hoey rounds ups the best spots in Tāmaki Makaurau to grab killer Christmas gifts and drinks in the next week.

We’re mid-way into December, the season of Christmas parties, pop-up markets and hangovers. It’s time to frantically search for gifts in the blistering heat, cursing both capitalism and baby Jesus under your breath. 

But never fear, I’ve pulled together a selection of events happening in Tāmaki Makaurau where you can pick up some last-minute gifts and have a few drinks, while also supporting local artists and some good causes in the process. 

Let There Be Light 

This Saturday, Auckland-based artist and animator Amy Neave is holding a pop-up solo show and shop on Cross Street. The show is called ‘Let There Be Light’, and Amy describes it as “a collection of frank pieces that somehow manage to appear light but are, at times, disarmingly direct.” If you’re not already familiar with her work you can catch her on Instagram here.

The exact location is a bit of secret for legal reasons, but if you go down to Cross Street between 1pm-3pm I’m told you can’t miss it.  

Cross Street, Saturday December 14, 1pm-3pm 

95bFM XMAS 2019  

If you like your Christmas parties deafening, dark and drunk then you should head down to Whammy and the Wine Cellar next Saturday. Two of the last Auckland music venues still standing, the St Kevins Arcade bars have teamed up with 95bFM to present XMAS 2019. A plethora of local bands will be playing across both venues. It’s only $10 on the door or $5 with a can of food for the Auckland City Mission.

Whammy Bar and Wine Cellar, December 21, 9pm–Late. 

Merch for sale  

Whammy bar is also home to The great Xmas Merch Sale. Bands, labels and artists will be selling their wares in Whammy Backroom next Thursday. They’ll also be collecting money for the City Mission and the locked out NZ Bus drivers, so bring an item to donate or some cold hard cash if you wish.

Whammy Bar, December 19, 2019 at 6pm–9pm

Me and my typewriter from the 70s 

Dead Bird not dead! 

Now for a wee bit of shameless self-promotion. Me and my long-suffering life partner Sam Walsh’s press, Dead Bird Books, are hosting a pop-up store that will descend into some sort of Christmas party featuring poetry. Dead Bird was started this year with the goal of putting out books by interesting, weird and underrated writers in Aotearoa. So far we’ve managed to not go bankrupt, so we’re having a wee shindig to celebrate. From 2-5pm we’ll be selling books, t-shirts and prints, plus I’ll be writing personalised poems for people on my typewriter from the ‘70s. Then, from 5pm to 9pm, we’ll be having some beers (thanks Hallertau) and there may be some poetry performed.  

Strange Goods, 281 Karangahape Rd, December 21, 2pm-9pm