by Silke Hartung

Music In Parks’ Leanne Roche

by Silke Hartung

Music In Parks’ Leanne Roche

On May 30 Auckland’s Music In Parks team opened their website for applications of artists to be part of Music In Parks 2017.  A good time to ask event organiser Leanne Roche a few questions about the people behind the city-wide free shows, and what they’ll look at when picking the line up.

What exactly is your job at Auckland council and what does that practically mean?

I’m an Event Organiser which means complete end-to-end event management from developing new events and strategies through to programming and delivering events onsite.

How many people are behind Music In Parks? Who is the core team and what’s their job?

There are two organisers – myself and Grant Cole.  Grant makes the series physically happen by dealing with all the operations, permits, health and safety etc whilst I lead our strategic direction, curation, oversee marketing and keep the project on track.

We’re supported by three internal colleagues from marketing, publicity and Paul Weeks from our commercial partnerships team who brings-in and manages our growing family of sponsors.

The line ups are so incredibly well put together – who is in charge of that, and (for the lack of a better word for it) what’s their official mission statement for the curation?

It’s my job to pull the line-up together but it’s done with a huge amount of valuable feedback from wider event and arts whanau at council.

Our approach is simple – create a line-up that people will love to listen too on a summer’s afternoon.  We want people to be sitting (or dancing) in a park feeling proud of NZ music and the beautiful surroundings they’re hearing it played in.  Because Auckland is so diverse it’s vital we offer a range of genres.

Bands can apply online on your website – what happens with the applications once you submit them. Can you describe the process from submission to invitation for us, please? What happens in between?

Before the expressions of interest are looked at I’ll rough out an idea on the target audience for each of the parks we want to activate and the type of music that might suit.

We go through every submission in detail – watch videos, read bios and check out their social media. Some of my colleagues in arts and events have more experience with certain genres than me, so I get them involved in the short-listing.

From the short-list we build the individual event line-ups.  Depending on the size of event we may have 3-6 artists on a line-up and they need to complement each other.   This is when I’ll start contacting artists and agents.  Understandably sometimes the artists are not available for the dates we want them so we’ll go back to the list and start-over.

How many submissions did you get last year?


Is there anything you would like musicians to know before applying?

Although some covers with a unique twist are okay, we’re looking for artists with original music.

Music in Parks is a contemporary music series but we love seeing a cultural flavour in a performance and would like to see more of this.

What was your personal all-time favourite Music In Parks show and why?

I’m not sure I have an all-time favourite; I’ve been going to Music in Parks gigs for years and always have a great time.

My highlights this season had to be Weird Together at Western Park – so high energy and their engagement with the crowd was incredible.  Ha the Unclear was an absolute delight at the Winter Gardens with their witty and creative lyrics.  My fav emerging artist performance had to be Lightning On Me, I was surprised and impressed by the quality of their live music.

Click here to apply