Plan your visit

First time at a concert?

What should I wear to a concert?

Whatever makes you comfortable. Formal evening wear is not required at Auckland Philharmonia concerts. Smart casual is the general rule but you will see everything from jeans and sweaters to suits and evening wear, if people are attending a special function before or after the concert. Matinée and outdoor concerts in other venues are usually much more casual. For indoor concerts you are required to wear some sort of footwear.

When should I applaud?

This is one of the most common questions we are asked. Audiences only applaud at the end of a complete piece, not between movements. Symphonies and concertos generally have three or four “movements” that make up the complete piece, so you only clap at the end of all the movements, not in between. Look at your programme to find out how many movements a piece has. Usually there is a noticeable pause in between movements, but not always.

If you’re not sure, the best idea is to wait until the rest of the audience starts clapping!

What about noises such as mobile phones and coughing?

Please turn off your mobile phone, pager, watch alarm or any audible device BEFORE the concert begins. Noises such as a phone ringing are very distracting to the conductor, musicians, and other audience members. Please also remember that the light from your mobile phone is distracting to those sitting close to you, so please refrain from texting until the concert has finished.

You can’t help a cough but please if you have one, bring lozenges, and try to hold the cough for the end of a movement or a noisy bit! A handkerchief often helps muffle the noise. There is nothing wrong with getting up and leaving the concert hall until the end of the movement if your cough won’t stop.

Will there be an interval?

Yes, at the majority of concerts there is an interval of about 20 minutes. This will give you a chance to buy refreshments and stretch your legs if needed.

Can I film and take photos of the performance?

We discourage filming, however, taking photos on a cell phone without using flash is sometimes possible, depending on the type of concert and audience. For our main series concerts, audience members can take photos before and after the concert, as well as during interval and applause. Our contemporary and family concerts are more relaxed and concertgoers can take photos during the show.

How can I learn more about the music?

There are FREE pre-concert talks one hour before each of The New Zealand Herald Premier Series and Great Classics series. These are held in the Concert Chamber or Supper Room of the Auckland Town Hall.

There are also detailed notes in the programme book for each concert. Concert programmes are available for sale at concerts - also we provide a downloadable version of the programme in our concert reminder.

If you want a taster of the pieces before you come along, we often include links to Spotify playlists on the event page for each concert.

Got more questions? Check out our FAQ's page.




Tickets to individual concerts can be booked through Ticketmaster.


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