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Monday 13 April 2015

A Proud space

Posted in: Events
By Jacqui Stanford - 20th February 2013

We’ve had a walkthrough of the multi-storey and multi-space venue for this Saturday night’s Auckland Pride Festival closing party Proud. It’s gobsmackingly, deliciously, dazingly, running-out-of adjectives-ly superb. We promise.

Julian Cook was always looking for something a bit special for the Proud party. The Pride Festival boss wanted to close the three weeks of GLBT fun and empowerment with a bang – something to remember. He was delighted when someone suggested Victoria Park, once a hub of Auckland culture and shopping, it died for a while, but now it has a whole new pulse.

With ten metres of rope over his shoulder and his hardworking site manager at his side, Cook took time out to give us an evening tour so we can fill you in on what to expect on Saturday night.

The first thing that strikes you when you walk into Vic Park is the incredible towering chimney. And what better than something so majestically phallic at the centre of Proud?! (Sorry ladies!)

For someone who used to spend plenty of Saturdays at Vic Park and its markets as a kid, it’s brilliant to see the transformation. A lot of work has gone into freshening the space up, while keeping its brick history and charm.

We love that brick charm

So the courtyard space will have a bar and of course music, and will be a great pace to spend some time if Saturday is another muggy Auckland night. Up a set of stairs (there are lots of stairs, but don’t worry, there will be stair monitors to look after you!) you get to Libertine, a sexy bar with an outdoor space for the smokers which will the more alternative/indie hub for the night.

Libertine will be the alternative space - and has a cute outdoor area

Next door (and also accessible by stairs from below) is La Zeppa, a city workers’ favourite thanks to its ambience, awesome staff and delicious tapas.

La Zeppa is romantic and ambient

It has a whole new balcony, replacing the thin one smokers used to line up on and have to squeeze past each other. The lanterns give it a great atmosphere.

La Zeppa's outdoor area has been revamped

The final and most intriguing space is a currently empty, dark and raw warehouse where the heavy, dark and dirty beats will be played. It already feels naughty, even without the music and sweaty people!

It's gonna get dark and dirty in the warehouse

Cook is excited, and so are we. His final advice is not to wait to get tickets as they are selling with the same momentum as all the final Pride events. He urges people to have an incredible night, but also to look after each other, and to respect the venues who are opening their doors for us.

You don’t want to miss this. It’s going to be, as the kids say, off the hook. Be there! Be Proud!

Tickets are $45 and are available from Marvel Menswear, The Women’s Bookshop, Urge Bar and Real Groovy or  can be bought online here

Jacqui Stanford - 20th February 2013

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