About time – A festival that is kid-friendly!

I am all about taking my kids to concerts and festivals. Eddie’s first proper BIG concert was AC/DC. He was newly three. And dear lord the pearl-clutching about it! He (of course) absolutely loved it. He rocked out, we wanted to go home and he didn’t (turns out AC/DC isn’t as fun when you’re stone-cold sober) but hey – THE KID LOVED IT.

And the crowd was awesome, lots of happy kids just rocking the Hell out. BUT – it was an adult concert and had I had my way there would have had an area including toilets that was just for families.

A concert that specifically caters for little ones but IS NOT THE WIGGLES (this is important) is what I’m after. So I was stoked when I got an email about Auckland Kiddie Limits (it’s part of the Auckland City Limits Music Festival). FINALLY! Actual proper music (Anika Moa’s Songs for Bubbas is the only kid album I can tolerate) at an actual proper music festival that is SAFE FOR KIDS. Yes!

Auckland City Limits

The big thing that stops me from taking Eddie to shows is the cost – the absolute best thing about Auckland City Limits is that it’s FREE FOR UNDER TENS! I am so stoked about this I can’t even tell you. I am so sick of paying adult prices for concerts and shows for kids – there’s no better way to make the arts completely inaccessible for kids. It sucks. Look, I get that performers need to be paid, but when you’re charging that much for kids, you’re basically saying they can’t attend (or that the only kids who can attend are kids from families who have a heap of disposable income). That sucks.


So it’s awesome that Auckland City Limits have done this. Bravo. I’m going to support the crap out of this (and I’m even going to try to see if I can take Eddie to Auckland for the weekend since I know he would LOVE IT – I mean what kid wouldn’t? And I was given a double pass to write this post). As promoter Campbell Smith says: “We want to see the next generation of music lovers getting a free taste of what an amazing festival this is. We’re catering to that with free entry to Auckland Kiddie Limits, their very own mini-festival within a festival”.


Other awesome things about Auckland Kiddie Limits:

  • All kids are registered so if you have a runner they’ll be safe
  • Finn from the 95bFM kids show has curated the line-up
  • There are crafts and activities – music instrument making, hip-hop workshops, karaoke, punk-rock hairdos, temporary tattoos, a giant art wall and heaps more
  • There’s an Auckland Library chill-out zone for kids who need a bit of quiet
  • There’s changing facilities for babies and really little ones
  • There’s specialist food venues and most importantly – COFFEE

The Kiddie City Limits fest runs from 11am till 5pm. Then if you’re really lucky you can give your kids to someone else and see the other bands at Auckland City Limits (they play until 11pm): Kendrick Lamar, The National, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Modest Mouse, Girl Talk, Shapeshifter, Action Bronson, The Naked and Famous, BROODS, Ladyhawke, Cold War Kids, Jarryd James, Grace Potter, Highly Suspect, Kamasi Washington, Shakey Graves, Lord Huron, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Houndmouth, Che Fu & the Kratez, The Phoenix Foundation, Tami Neilson, Gang of Youths, MAALA, Kinetic, Racing, Openside, Delaney Davidson, Peter Baecker LIVE, Hopetoun Brown, Carnivorous Plant Society, Shab Orkestra, Storehouse, David Correos, Joseph Harper, Paul Amos, Amorous Ava Burlesque, DJ TSR Airlines, DJ TV Disko, DJ House of Bamboo.

                        Here’s the Kiddie City Limits line-up: Kath Bee, APRA 2015 children’s Music Prizewinner Levity Beet, Mr Roberelli, Flaxworks Revolting Rhymes, School Of Rock up-and-comers Sparrow and Serato!


Auckland City Limits Music Festival is on Saturday 19 March, 2016 at Western Springs Stadium. Tickets are available from www.aucklandcitylimits.com and Ticketmaster. Earlybird prices tickets are available in limited numbers. Children have to attend with a paying adult (as great as it would be to just be able to drop them off, like for the weekend, while you sleep and drink wine).


69 Comments on “About time – A festival that is kid-friendly!

  1. May have to drag the children along to this – well at least the 7 year old who is the only one who will actually dance with me ….

  2. This sounds awesome! Would love to drag my little babe south for this ?

  3. This is such a brilliant idea! Still a while before we’ll be doing this but I’ve got a friend with a 2.5 year old who would be stoked to dance to Kendrick ??

  4. I would love love love to take my daughter to this! She may only be one but she’s already got all the moves.

  5. Would love love LOVE to take the hubby and 2 bigger kids plus baby to this.Sounds ahmaaaazing. pick us PALEEEAAASE x

  6. Awesome! Would love to go and take my girls. Hey husband is already going with work so I was going to miss out but this would be the perfect solution!

  7. What a neat idea. Will have to tell my mother in-law for her three youngest {5,7 and 9).

  8. What a fantastic idea! So nice for people to have something different to do with the kids. (I don’t have any yet but I know from my babysitting days how frustrating it can be to find something fun AND kid-friendly) I hope it goes well so they can offer it every year.

  9. I would love to take my little brother (11), he’s really passionate about music and singing and I’m trying to expose him to as much live music as possible!

  10. This is a great concept. We have always played the music we are into with our kids so glad to see a festival that offers a wider range of music, rather than only kid-specific. (Although Mr Roberelli is the best!). When our oldest was 4 we managed to wrangle her into a Ladyhawke soundcheck and she danced her heart out on that empty dance floor. We would love to win the tickets! LOVE that kids are free, but the cost of adult tickets is still quite prohibitive. Thanks for this post letting us know its on 🙂

  11. Wow. awesome. totally agree that it is well worth kids hitting concerts and in particular festivals early. exposure to the music, atmosphere and colour has to be good for them. cheers for bringing this to our attention

  12. Alex and Charlie would both love this!!!
    Such a great idea!

  13. I’d love this for my little boy! He turns 5 next week and he loves music! Would be awesome to have a family day out and enjoy spending some quality time with him before he starts big kids school! ?? we’ve never been able to take him to a festival because as you say it’s just so bloody EXPENSIVE to take two adults and two little ones! What an awesome idea this is ?

  14. Sounds amazing !!! Both the 4 & 2 year olds are all singing dancing performers so would love to go

    • Congratulations Kristin! You’ve been drawn as a winner. I hope you and your wee ones enjoy the show. Please email me with your contact details so the tickets can be sent on Monday. Thanks, Emily

  15. Oh we would love to go. Thanks so much for letting us know this is on

  16. I like your refreshing attitude about taking kids to concerts, it’s never occurred to me as I don’t want to annoy other people but then I equally hate other people who think kids are generally annoying and not part of society and should stay where they belong (ie home) – looking at the Shelley Bridgemans of this world! Cool that kids are free, and I know you have tix to give away so you’re letting people know of this but it’s still really expensive to take your kid there, my husband said it’s $180 for the adult. No way we will be going even if this is value for money for the whole day of great music, we just can’t justify the money for one ticket even. But I guess it limits the number of people able to go so it’s not crowded. Anyway all concert tickets are expensive it’s just life. Wiggles are expensive too thank god, heh!

    • I hear you Megan. I guess though, concerts these days for actual bands are $100+ that’s what I paid each for us to go to ACDC – we are all fans and it was our huge Christmas + Eddie’s birthday present. A festival where I liked three or more bands for the same price (tickets for this festival started at $99) is better value in my opinion, but it totally depends on what bands you like and whether you want to pay to see them. But I totally get your point and hope organisers will possibly consider a restricted pass for next year that just gets you into the kiddie city limits festival and not that main part (which is where the price is justifiable if you like the bands). And fuck me, Wiggles are so damn expensive and I cannot pay for that kind of torture (I guess I’m never going to get free wiggles tickets now ??? shit).

      But yes, take kids to concerts if you can! Drunk munters are far more annoying than kids. I’d rather go to a concert with hundreds of hangry toddlers than a concert with drunks (now that I’m not the drunk because I have kids).

      • Oh thank you for replying! That’s so nice of you. I didn’t intend it to sound negative. Yeah it is good value for money for sure and great they don’t charge for kids. Great idea if there could be cheap tix restricted to the kiddie area in future…

        • You didn’t sound negative!! I agree with you 🙂 hopefully they see this and think about it for next year.

  17. Sounds absolutely awesome! Both my kids are really into music – my 6 year old adores old school reggae and can dance to just about anything, and my 3 month old loves rocking out to Fat Freddy’s (although she might be sitting this one out till she’s a bit older:)

  18. This is so bloody awesome. We can’t have kids but as a feminist I think that any event that doesn’t cater to kids is excluding parents.
    YAY Auckland city limits.
    We would love to go but can’t afford tix so would totally love to go in the draw! Thanks so much.
    Scuby (scuba nurse on Twitter)

  19. Ahhh I need a ticket to this so bad I’m so excited about it! Would be wonderful.

  20. This sounds AMAZING! I have a Mr 3 and Mr 11 who would love it!!

  21. I would loooooove to win this!! My daughter loves music and dancing! Can’t think of anything better for her 🙂

  22. Finally an amazing concert that we can take our important little people along to!! My husband and I are both huge Shapeshifter fans, and Master 6 knows the words to quite a few of their songs now. This would be a magical day for the whole family!

  23. Heck yes I want to win this. My little chunky boy Hank and I are always rocking out to The National and Cold War Kids! We looked at tickets but it was out of reach on the one income sadly! Fingers crossed 🙂

  24. This sounds great! I’ve never considered taking my (very young) kids to any sort of concert because I assumed it would be too hard. It’s great that they’re making music accessible for everyone!

  25. This would be amazing to win. My husband and I used to go to festivals and concerts all the time, then we had kids (5y/o girl & 2y/o boy) and haven’t had the chance (yet) to take them to anything like this. They would have a blast! And we would too 🙂

  26. oh gosh yes count me in!!!!!!! the line up is so amazing.

  27. This is so cool for the kids, and parents too (actually probably even more so for the parents so they don’t have to toot toot chugga chugga it up all the time)

  28. Yes please this would be awesome fun! 🙂 🙂

  29. Sounds like a nice day out with the little one before baby no 2 comes

  30. Oh I’d so love to take my 6 year old step-daughter to this! I think she’d absolutely adore it. She is such a party animal- always singing and dancing. I think something like this would BLOW HER MIND!


  32. Eeeeek! What an amazing prize! So keeeen! I commend the promoter – by making this event kid friendly it already seems like it might be less overwhelming for anxious music lovers too 🙂 The library should make an adults chill out zone too!

  33. What a cool idea! Little miss would love it! She’ll dance to anything that even remotely sounds like music (my mothers cellphone ring gets her bobbing along just as much as Beirut does!).

  34. Such awesome idea. Would love to take my two kids to this.

  35. Oooh, my 21 month old daughter loves to dance, this sounds so cool for everyone.

  36. My 5 year old son would love this!! *crosses fingers and toes*

  37. YES PLEASE. Our two little ones (3.5 & 16 months) love music. We have dance jam every morning in the lounge. Xx.

  38. Its a fantastic initiative and well overdue. I’ve never really understood the exclusion of kids from these kinds of events. Both my daughters are music lovers – this kind of experience would be a lifetime memory.

  39. Please pick me! My three year old dances all day and LOVES bands and getting out and I can wear mr 9 week old and put baby banz on his ears and maybe have a wine too! Pleasssssseeeee xx

  40. Would LOVE to take my wee 7 month old. He loves his music and especially live music, we took him to Fly my Pretties at the zoo and he had a good ol boogie. Well his parents obviously helped him to have a boogie. So cool when they make concerts kid friendly.

  41. You’ve totally encouraged me to festivalise my son! X

  42. This festival looks amazing and I’m so glad it’s happening locally! Aw man I’d love to go – the National are my favourite band and I’d love to have a short break from mummy duties and leave bubs home with dad!

  43. As an avid festival/gig goer, I have been WAITING to take my little Ruby, who is 2, to her first festy! She has been musicly educated from the day she arrived into this world and has better music taste than I do, but considering what most gigs and festivals are like I knew it would probably be less than appropriate (and there would be a fair amount of mum-shaming going on!)
    But WOOHOOO KIDDIE LIMITS. (And woohoo Kendrick Lamar for Mama Bear ?)
    I cannot wait to find Ruby her first coachella-esque outfit (flower crown/metallic stick-on tattoos and leather-fringed hip-bag compulsory) and head on up to Auckland on the 19th of March (we live in Nelson). The only dissapointing thing is that Ruby won’t get to see Kendrick – as he will probably be on too late – and Kendrick is Ruby’s FAVOURITE!
    We are yet to buy tickets, but bought our flights last week, so a free ticket would be making Mama and Baby Ruby the happiest festy-goers in New Zealand ?????