Your First Concert

Attending an Auckland Philharmonia concert is not only a chance to appreciate world-class music but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene of Auckland. With this guide, you'll be well-prepared to make the most of your first concert experience with the Auckland Philharmonia.

First time guide

Our upcoming concert pages are a good place to start, with many providing a preview of the music to be performed. Many people make their selection based on the composer, guest artist, repertoire, or performance date and time.


There are two easy ways to book tickets for our concerts:

Tickets for concerts at other venues may use a different ticketing agency, but you can always call Auckland Philharmonia Ticketing (09-623-1052) for assistance or advice.

This is completely up to you. Some patrons prefer being in the stalls, while others like to be higher up in the circle or balcony to enjoy a top-down view of the entire orchestra. It is also dependent on the repertoire being performed at a concert. For example, if there is a piano soloist, some audience members prefer to have a view where they can see the pianist playing.


Simply wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable. Contrary to what many people think, formal attire is not required at Auckland Philharmonia performances.  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.

We recommend you arrive at the hall at least 15 minutes before the start time as this will allow you to find your seats without rushing. If you’re picking up tickets from the venue, or planning to have a drink at the bar, we advise arriving at least 30 minutes prior to the concert.

The Civic Carpark is the closest. Click here for a map of nearby carparks.

Once a performance commences, the venue doors will be closed and latecomers will not be admitted until a suitable break in the performance, which in some cases may not be until interval. This is in consideration of our artists and audience members. Venue ushers will assist you to locate your seat. Screens are available in the bar on which you can watch the performance while you wait to be admitted.

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!

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.

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.

Food and beverage facilities are available at most venues that we perform in so you can enjoy pre-concert and interval drinks and nibbles.

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.

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.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Signup for our newsletter to get the latest news, events and offers from AKL PHIL

Buy Tickets

Book with Auckland Philharmonia and save at least 10% off public ticket prices and avoid booking fees.
Book with Akl Phil
Please note: In Your Neighbourhood, Baroque & Beyond and Tunes 4 Tamariki concerts are not available via Ticketmaster.
Book with Ticketmaster