Auckland To Bid For UNESCO City of Music

The City of Auckland has green-lighted a bid by New Zealand’s Recorded Music NZ and Australasian Performing Right Association for Auckland to apply to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network to gain “city of music” status. 

Recorded Music NZ
– Recorded Music NZ

The city’s mayor would have to formulate the official entry by June with the decision announced October. Best known for launching international pop and R&B names including Lorde, Split Enz, Neil Finn’s Crowded House, Savage and OMC, the city also has a strong hip hop and classical sector.

It is also the centre of music from the surrounding Pacific islands.

Recorded Music manager Mark Roach said on Radio New Zealand “We don’t want to (just) focus on pop music, for instance, but there is a really strong element of pop running through Auckland, whether it originated elsewhere in New Zealand.”

Auckland is where most labels and awards are based. Its festivals are among the biggest, including WOMAD which last year set a record draw of 92,000 and the C3 Presents co-promoted Auckland City Limits which in its inaugural year in 2016 was attended by 25,000.

Roach says a Music City status would allow all these different elements to come under one umbrella “and focus on what we can achieve.” U

NESCO’s music cities initiative began in 2004. If Auckland is successful, it will be networking with 19 other cities including its nearest neighbour, Adelaide in Australia; as well as Seville, Spain; Glasgow, Scotland; Liverpool, England; and Bogota, Colombia.