talked almost 10 years ago

Rugby World Cup 2011 Opening Night

Huge opening party planned for Rugby World Cup 2011
Open invitation to join the country’s biggest party!

What: Opening Night
When: Friday 9 September
Where: Viaduct Harbour, Quay St, Queens Wharf

A huge party with a stunning fireworks and light show, live performances and a mass haka will mark the start of the Rugby World Cup 2011.

Opening Night is a free, family-friendly event being held on Friday 9 September along Auckland’s waterfront spanning the Viaduct Harbour and Quay St to Queens Wharf.

A highlight of the evening will be the huge fireworks and light show - the biggest ever to be staged in this country. The show will be set to an original piece of music composed especially for the evening by singer Don McGlashan.

The celebrations start at 4pm when a fleet of 20 waka arrive in the Viaduct basin with Dave Dobbyn marking their arrival.

This will be followed by a mass haka by more than 600 kaihoe, or waka paddlers.

The Finn Brothers headline the music acts while Dane Rumble and others will perform throughout the night. All the action and excitement of the Opening Ceremony and opening match between New Zealand and Tonga will be beamed live from Eden Park onto big screens lining the waterfront.

Opening Night promises to be an exciting and fun-filled event for all the family. It is also the chance to check out the biggest Fan Zone for the RWC 2011 - Queens Wharf, which is open every day of the Tournament.

Opening Night is not to be missed!

Programme for the evening

4.00pm: Te Herenga Waka – fleet arrival
4.40pm: Dave Dobbyn and band at Queens Wharf
5.00pm: Kaihoe procession and mass haka
5.55pm: Mayoral welcome followed by haka
6.10pm: The Finn Brothers concert – headline act
7.30pm: Opening Ceremony from Eden Park live on waterfront big screens
8.00pm: Sound and Light Show - “All Lit Up”
8.15pm: Opening Match between New Zealand and Tonga live from Eden Park on waterfront big screens
10.15pm: Live performances by Dane Rumble, Midnight Youth, Kora and DJ Manuel Bundy
2.00am: Queens Wharf closes

For more information on Auckland’s preparations for RWC 2011 visit

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  • I'm thinking if you can't convince the boss you need to finish early on that afternoon you should start looking for a better boss. I've heard they'll be turning people away once they hit their capacity, so don't muck around getting there! It's going to be HUGE.