• Dan Move and Angus Muir
  • Photo: Darren Clayworth
  • Photo: Brett Phibbs
  • Photo: Brett Phibbs
  • Photo: Brett Phibbs
  • Photo: Brett Phibbs

Takapuna lights up from 25-28 July

Takapuna Winter Lights Festival is set to captivate and inspire visitors with a dazzling display of art and culture from Thursday 25 July through to Sunday 28 July on Waiwharariki Anzac Square, the recently developed town plaza. We talked to event producer/ manager Dan Move in late June.

As well as being event producer/manager for the Takapuna Winter Light Festival, Dan Move also performs the same important role for the very popular LUMA Light Festival in Queenstown. Dan has travelled the world setting up such light festival events, including Vivid Sydney, Jerusalem Light Festival, London Light Festival, and iLight Singapore, to name just a few. Wherever Dan is, it lights up! He and his team have won awards for their work.
Dan is once again working with renowned light artist Angus Muir to ensure Takapuna Winter Lights 2024 is spectacular. He says they have worked together on many light festivals as well as other events.
“Angus and I have been working together since the LUMA (Queenstown) pilot project in 2015,” says Dan Move. “We have been all over the world setting up light festivals. Some of my biggest highlights with Angus have been outside of the light festivals, where we set up gorilla projects to tickle our own artistic desires. The Dead Sea project and the eastern part of Iceland mid-winter was out of this world. Angus and I also travel to other light festivals for R&D [research and development], to meet new artists and to see what's new. We recently spent six days in Japan, in Osaka and Toyko at the Team Labs events.”
So what events have provided inspiration for Dan and Angus on what’s happening in Takapuna this year?
“All the above,” says Dan. “Definitely LUMA Queenstown is a very inspiring event, nothing quite like it in the world I've been to. It was my first time on the set-up team at Vivid Sydney this year; the scale of the event operations and talent was incredible, their budget must be huge!”
Dan says he is thrilled with how the Takapuna Winter Lights event has grown and captured the imagination of the community over the past three years.
“Timing is everything. I got trapped in Auckland in the first lockdown in 2020, I met with Terence [Harpur] and the team from the TBBA and got offered the event producer role for Takapuna Winter Lights. I’ve loved it.
“I am one of the founding members of LUMA, and we've taken a lot of the successes in Queenstown and tailored them for Takapuna. Producing a free event is very hard at this scale and in this current environment, and working with funders and local businesses to achieve budget is very rewarding. I'm very proud of the community  programmes we run, Māori engagement storytelling, the schools' programmes, engaging emerging artists and this year we are piloting our fully accessible tour 'Shine' with Yes Disability and PHAB. Involving all the community is what it is all about.
“Takapuna Winter Lights is an arts festival. It will be different every year, giving the attendees a new sensory experience. 2024 will be special. I am very lucky to know a very large pool of amazing artists who are very passionate, talented and innovative.
“This year we are in the new Waiwharariki Anzac Square in the heart of Takapuna. We have been waiting for three years to get into the new town square. It is a great venue. We are also encouraging attendees to get dressed up and be a part of the art this year.”

Takapuna Winter Lights is Auckland’s only large-scale civic light festival. It is a fully accessible, sustainable, multi-disciplinary arts event, based around the theme of light. The event was created to directly enhance the wellbeing of our community, support local retail and non-retail businesses, support local artists and event suppliers, involve local schools and young people (schools/emerging artist programmes) and enhance the sharing of local iwi stories.
In 2024 Winter Lights pilots the Shine programme. Shine is a guided visit to Winter Lights outside the main opening times, designed specifically for guests with diverse needs, and enables accessibility for all.
The past few years have shown that Takapuna Winter Lights brings the community out of their homes mid-winter, and brings people from all different ages and cultures together to have a shared experience, in the process creating social wellbeing and inclusion in our communities with the shared experience of attending a mesmerising and inspiring event based around art/ music and performance.

More than 45,000 people attended in 2023. Dan Move is expecting upwards of 55,000 over the four nights in 2024.
Festival-goers in 2024 will be able to explore the enchanting displays through Waiwharariki Anzac Square, the adjacent Potters Park and Hurstmere Green at their leisure, with an array of eateries, restaurants, food trucks and beverages available to enhance the experience.

Takapuna Winter Lights Festival is made possible by the collaborative efforts of the Takapuna Beach Business Association, Auckland Council, Silo, AMD, Go Media, Barfoot and Thompson and Mercury.

Takapuna Winter Lights Festival – on nightly from 25 July through until 28 July (Thursday to Sunday), from 5pm to 10pm. Waiwharariki Anzac Square, Central Takapuna, Admission is free. For further information visit: winterlights.nz

Takapuna Winter Lights at a glance:-

  • Stunning Light Installations: Celebrated light artist, Angus Muir will once again curate a mesmerizing light displays that will transform Takapuna's streets into a magical wonderland.
  • Family-friendly Activities: With interactive light sculptures, performances by students, and more, there's something for
  • every member of the family to enjoy.
  • SHINE is a specially designed tour for people with disabilities so they too can enjoy the magic of Takapuna Winter Lights.
  • Culinary Delights: Takapuna is known for its huge variety of restaurants, bars and eateries which will be serving attendees delicious winter treats throughout the event. There will also be a variety of food stalls serving nibbles for you to enjoy as you walk around the festival.
  • Free Admission: The festival offers free admission, making it accessible to all members of the community and encouraging inclusivity.

Visit: winterlights.nz