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NZ Music Month

Bespoke Silent Disco Citywalks® celebrating kiwi music

May 31, 2023 / developer / 0 comments

May has been jam-packed with surprises, dance, and kiwi music as we celebrated five years of Silent Disco Citywalk®!

Since the start of that walking adventure in April 2018, Yana Kirakovskaya, managed to write over 25 original scripts, designed over 35 unique walking audio adventures around Tamaki Makarau.  As a team we organised over 100+ Silent Disco Citywalks and made over 1,500 people happier.

Five years of consistent work, enthusiasm and determination to spread joy despite lockdowns, pandemic and economic challenges. Five years of connecting people to the core of themselves with the help of music, dance, theatre and live performances.

Something that is definitely worth celebrating. In partnership with Eke Panuku Development, we designed a brand new event series dedicated to kiwi music, mahi toi (public art) around Wynyard Quarter as a part of NZ Music Month.

Silent Disco Citywalk NZ Music Month 2023

Dancing on the streets of Auckland since April 2018

As a result every weekend in May our beloved audience was invited to take an immersive walk around the Wynyard Quarter, unlock its hidden gems. Find and spot the Karanga Kiosk  that became a secret music box during NZ Music Month where an unexpected live performance would take place.

Basically our celebratory walks had all of our favourite ingredients – humour, good story, surprises, inspiring places and great kiwi tunes. What not to like?

activating karanga plaza kiosk with papaya stories


Each walk we design is unique. It is based on the original script that Yana writes that she later turns into an immersive audio adventure with a help of voice over actors, site-specific activities, sound effects and themed music playlists.

For this project we came up with a new story. It was told by James Band, a made up radio host name, acted by a comedian Steven Lyons.  Streaming live from the radio station, James Band is on the mission to entertain our guests with greatest kiwi hits and also share stories about the public art that we encounter on our walk.

However our narrator has one problem. He is stuck in old ways and is not willing to embrace new wave of kiwi music. But this changes when James gets a mysterious call from one of the special guests. Being distracted by “Muse”, the audience takes over the radio station and gets a chance to experience some fresh tunes and modern kiwi music. That eventually leads them to discover the magic of the music box, which becomes a hidden stage where live performance takes place!


Together lovely Leehane, a Placemaker at Wynyard Quarter, Eke Panuku Development, we agreed on designing the walk that would celebrate and feature the local mahi toi – public art. Creatively we incorporated public art elements into the storyline and this is what we did.

We danced with Te Waka o Rangi Whetu stars on the ground and made a wish.

activating public art in silo park

Dancing at Wynyard Quarter to kiwi music

We traversed Tiramarama Way to the kiwi hit “Walking in Light” playing in our headsets.

cruising along tiramarama way activating the space

Tiramarama Way Wynyard Quarter

We also used this public space as the spotlight for a group lip-syncing activity.

Lip syncing to greatest kiwi music

Dancing along Tiramarama Way in Auckland with silent disco

Family-friendly activities in Auckland - best events 2023

Thank you so much for Saturday night- me and my boys loved it!! They have been raving about it (even though it took them a long time to warm up!!) Fun way to spend time in the city. – Hayley Cooper

a group of people interacting with public art in wynyard quarter

We admired the vibrant colours of Papatūānuku while dancing to Poi E.  

Papatuanuku mahi toi - Wynyard Quarter

We created music with the help of Sound of Seas, admired the Wind Tree sculpture that “like Shihad is pretty metal”

Kiwi Music Alphabet

We finished our walking adventure under the cover of Te Nukuao, where we asked participants to create the Kiwi Music Alphabet. During all walks our audience managed to do that under 3 minutes, great team effort, isn’t it? Well, try to do it yourself without using Google!


One of the best parts in this project was to get a chance to work with talented kiwi musicians and support female artists.
We managed to have a really cool and diverse line up featuring Theia, Lou`ana, and Paige   on our walks.

Each of the performers brought unique energy to the music box and overall experience, as they performed a 15 minute live set through the silent disco headphones.

 silent disco citywalk nz music month feat Theia

I still feel so emotional, I just loved it how complete strangers became united, enjoying the bubble we were all in.  The live performance, wow I can’t believe Theia was actually there, right in front of me! It was unlike anything I have experienced before. ” – Alana

silent disco citywalk-nz music month featuring Theia

silent disco citywalk nz music month feat Lou'ana

 silent disco citywalk nz music month featuring Paige kiwi musician

It wasn’t my  first time with Silent Disco Citywalk® but this one was sensational! The music was fantastic, and Paige’s acoustic live performance was especially wonderful. The energy in a group was great,  I am not much of a dancer but really got in the mood!” – Tony

Enjoying Paige live acoustic performance as a part of Silent Disco Citywalk NZ music Month 2023

The idea of having a pop up live act featuring a kiwi artist in an unusual setting is also strongly aligned with what NZ Music Month is about.

Together with talented artists, we designed an avant-garde format with the Silent Disco Citywalk® concept at its core. Linked through the headsets, participants experienced the musicians’ voices flowing directly into their ears, as if the lyrics were whispered, fostering a deeper connection.

We loved testing that innovative and funky format of live performance too and are super excited to grow this way of engaging local artists in Auckland and beyond. 

The magic of the music box not only inspired our guests but also turned James Band, our narrator of the story, into the biggest fan of modern Kiwi hits!

More than 100 attendees or as we call them “Citywalker” came along to our NZ Music Month events and here are some of the quotes that they shared with us.

Honestly, one of the best things I have done in YEARS! Wow… Guys, I felt so revived… it was just what the Dr ordered… I’ll definitely be back for more, it’s addictive. – Rebecca Mayston

Silent Disco Citywalk Fans turned 5 in 2023

Silent Disco Citywalk® – NZ Music Month has become a very special event series, for in those moments, we discovered the beauty of connection, the joy of shared experiences, and the transformative power of music!

If you are looking for new exciting ways to engage with the audience, get in touch with us today, and let’s co-create together.

Photography by Katherine Brook and Tanya Perova.

Silent Disco Auckland, NZ by Papaya Stories Silent Disco Citywalk Auckland

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