Auckland City Limits is making a debut grand appearance on March 19th this year at Western Springs. The baby of Austin City Limits and Big Day Out, this one-day festival will boast spectacular art, a menu to die for and a surprisingly amazing focus on family. But of course, we are all really there for one thing: the music.

The inaugural festival presents a huge line-up of many international acts. These are the five must-see bands for the first Auckland City Limits.


#1. The National

Headliners are headliners for a reason and The National definitely deserve to be one. The band’s latest album Trouble Will Find Me was released to widespread critical acclaim, leading to a rightgul Grammy nomination the following year. The show will be a beautiful mess of harmony, tears and the absolute joy of both the band and the crowd. Playing at 8:15pm during an Auckland sunset, this melancholy group is an absolute must-see!



#2. Modest Mouse

Formed over a decade ago in the early ’90s, Modest Mouse have etched their own place in the music world with six albums in their discography. Two of said albums were created with The Smiths’ Johnny Marr on guitar and vocals. ACL will be the first time songs from 2015’s Strangers to Ourselves will be played in New Zealand. The band currently consists of eight members, meaning a full stage for the audience to admire. Playing from 10-11pm on the V Energy Two stage, they clash with Kendrick Lamar, so choose wisely!



#3. Action Bronson

The chef, the rapper, the phenomenon. Plastered across the internet like a plague, Bronson has not only displayed his skill in cuisine and his intense musical flows, but a personality that draws you and keeps you in. I guarantee his performance will too. Bronson was last in NZ in 2014, supporting Eminem for his Rapture tour, but he only performed four songs. With an hour at ACL, Kiwis will get to see Bronson dominate on stage. His discography squeezes many a mixtape into a short time frame. And now, with his most recent 2015 album Mr Wonderful, his set-list is bound to be as spectacular as he is.



#4. The Naked and Famous

Smashing into the New Zealand music scene in 2010 with Passive Me, Aggressive You and singles like Young Blood and Punching in a Dream, The Naked and Famous were was impossible to avoid. They ruled the airwaves; before long their music was being heard on various international media. While touring, the band moved to LA to create their second album. Released in 2013, In Rolling Waves took their indie-rock sound and added a punch of edginess. Touring sold out shows in NZ in 2014, you can’t miss them this time!



#5. Maala

When Maala’s debut song premiered, he was only a glitched image. Mystery surrounded him as his song Touch caught traction, gaining a silver scroll nomination along the way. His self-titled electro-pop debut EP, with its late night bedroom vibes, has not only received national but international interest. Behind the name is Evan Sinton, a New Zealand’s Got Talent alumni who has been a part of New Zealand’s music scene since 2012. Playing his biggest festival to date, Maala will be quite the artist to watch, not only for this festival, but for the rest of this career. As one of the first artists performing at 12:00pm, Maala will be the perfect way to ease into the festival.



You can find the festival schedule here to plan out your day of music. Tickets are still on sale for Auckland City Limits and can be found here.