Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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The show must go on: Aucklanders hit by heavy rain ahead of big concerts

Guns N' Roses perform at Eden Park.

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Guns N’ Roses perform at Eden Park.
Photo: RNZ / Jeremy Rees

Thousands of Aucklanders heading to concerts late this afternoon were drenched as a heavy thunderstorm swept across the city, but the shows went ahead.

Coca‑Cola Christmas in the Park is one of New Zealand’s most popular free community fundraising events.

Christmas in the Park was taking place on Saturday night.
Photo: Linton Photography Limited

Severe thunderstorms watches for this evening have been cancelled by MetService, although a heavy rain watch was in place for the next 25 hours over central regions of the North Island.

The severe weather today came as Auckland was expecting a busy Saturday, and police were warning people to make sure their plans included getting home safely.

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Heavy rain swept across Auckland late this afternoon.
Photo: MetService Rain Radar

Tens of thousands of people were expected to descend on the city centre to attend the Guns N’ Roses and Jack Johnson concerts – as well as Christmas in the Park.

Despite the major downpour, the shows still went ahead.

At Eden Park, the torrential downpours which had threatened the start of the Guns N’ Roses concert had largely disappeared by 8:30pm and a large crowd, mainly over 50 and many with families, rocked out under grey skies, with Ukrainian flags adorning the side of the stage.

Christmas in the Park spokeswoman Deborah Delaney said Aucklanders were a “hardy lot” and would rug up accordingly.

Police said if people were drinking at tonight’s events, they should have a pick-up organised or put aside money for a taxi or rideshare.

Event-goers should also look out for each other and agree on a meeting point in case they became separated.

Police said there was no easier way of ruining a good night out than a trip to the emergency department or the police station.

Story Credit: rnz.co.nz

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