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'Art After Hours' and the value of night time events

News story
Thursday 11 Jul 2019

Image: Auckland Art Gallery

This month Auckland Art Gallery is hosting 'Art After Hours' - an evening of art, food and entertainment in celebration of the gallery's new major exhibition: 'Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys'. This late night event is an extra-special opportunity to explore all the gallery's exhibitions on display after hours. But its benefits extend far beyond the Auckland Art Gallery. 

Changing perceptions - positioning the city centre as a place to be at night

Our research shows that four out of five Aucklanders think events are important for a successful city centre. Thousands of people a year come into the city for shows and events, including for festivals such as the Writers Festival (which smashed previous attendance records this year), and American Express Restaurant Month (coming up in August). 

Reflecting on Auckland Art Gallery's evening events such as 'Art After Hours', the gallery's Public Programmes Manager Johnny Hui says their value lies is their wide appeal and family-friendliness.

"Events like 'Art After Hours' bring vibrancy to the city centre at night and also help position the city centre as a night-time destination for all different ages, ethnicities and interests." - Johnny Hui, Auckland Art Gallery 

Real results - late night events boost spending 

Of course, there is also real commercial benefit to late night events. These events contribute to our night time economy, which is already valued at about $450m a year - and which has significant potential to grow further. We are committed to helping grow the city centre's night time economy, and we invest in a number of events and projects each year to help make this happen.

Our sponsorship of ArtWeek includes an annual Late Night Art event which brings thousands of art lovers out into the city centre's streets and galleries after hours for a night. Last year's Late Night Art event, held on a Tuesday in October, saw spending in the city centre increase by 11%, with foot traffic in the city centre up 7% on an average Tuesday night. 

Similarly, our inaugural Late Night Christmas event - which saw city centre retailers stay open late for an evening of music and street performances -  resulted in a 6% increase in spending across the city centre during the hours of the event (5pm - 9pm). 

Our calendar is packed

The city centre's events calendar is packed full of festivals and evening events that are set to drive visitation and spend over the coming months and contribute to our night time economy. From the winter festival Elemental AKL which is on now and the NZ International Film Festival which begins this week to upcoming events like American Express Restaurant Month (August), NZ Fashion Week (August) and much more.