April 30, 2020Updates



While our roller door is down we want to take this opportunity to strengthen the future of live performance by taking care of our artist community - their sustainability, wellbeing, and connectedness. We will continue to support the creation of new work and provide opportunities for professional skills development. We intend to extend our role as an advocate for independent performing artists, while also acknowledging that the arts may not be centre-stage right now. We are happy to go underground for the time being, returning to the core of what we do - deepening our work and relationships, and managing our resources carefully to support our survival until the right time comes for us to emerge again.


  • Keep everyone safe

  • Respond to the needs of the new environment

  • Stay true to our strategic values & goals

  • Create paid work opportunities for artists

  • Communicate & act with integrity & authenticity

  • It’s OK if the arts aren’t centre-stage right now


#1 Artwork Development

#2 Skills & Career Development of Artists

#3 Wellbeing

#4 Advocacy

#5 Organisation Sustainability


Matariki & Basement: 1 - 24 (July) Hōngongoi

As Matariki guides us through the turning over of a new year, we also farewell our loved ones thus creating space for the new. A new time, a new space, a new world.

'Matariki, huarahi ki te oranga tangata'

At this time of Matariki we look to Ngā Whetu for guidance, to restore and heal our hauora, within ourselves and thus humanity. Basement will support a number of Indigenous Creatives to wānanga their stories, songs, rituals, as a space to nourish and feed their hauora. And in doing this, the Basement team will also step into wānanga, to learn, to grow, and to reflect on what is means to engage and support Indigenous creatives, processes and practises here in Aotearoa.

Ideas in Residence extended version:

Now in its third year, Ideas in Residence spreads its wings to invite even more artists to hunker down for a five month paid residency to develop a new work from the very seed of an idea. Originally for three emerging artists, this year we are expanding the programme to include seven artists in total and opening up places for established artists to participate. Submissions are now open!

Industry standards and skills development:

We will be reaching out to our industry friends to progress work on shared professional standards and identifying gaps for skills training offerings to support emerging and independent artists as they progress on their pathway to bigger venues and festivals.

Live, Laugh, Love:

An artist curated experience featuring hot tips and activity itineraries for you to follow. Recipes, music playlists, hidden gem film and comedy recommendations, craft guides and so much more; Live, Laugh, Love is an awesome way to stay connected with Basement artists.

Disruptors podcast:

Launched in early March, Disruptors is our brand new podcast featuring conversations between Tamaki Makaurau’s most disruptive artists and arts practitioners. Look out for three brand new episodes coming soon, plus upcoming episodes that will keep you in the loop with our Ideas in Residence artists and Matariki season right from the comfort of your home. Made in collaboration with our pals at Re: News.


As the ground shifts beneath our feet and the world changes around us, we want to ensure that the voice of independent performing artists is heard and their contributions valued. To do this, we will build relationships with decision makers and allies within our industry, while providing information to our artist community and learning about their needs and challenges.

Organisational sustainability & staff wellbeing:

During this time, it’s important to us to take care of our staff and ensure that Basement survives this disruptive event. This means keeping the organisation financially sound, investing in our staff's wellbeing goals, upskilling our team in te reo Māori and NZSL, and carrying out an overhaul on our company HR policies.

Venue improvements and Health & Safety:

We're thankful for some time to dive deep into our operations and make the changes we've been thinking about doing for years. We’ll be strengthening our health and safety systems and staff training processes, and carrying out cost-effective repairs and improvements to make our space safe, clean and oh-so comfy when you return.

Preparing for the return of live performance…

At the heart of Basement is the importance of the live experience. It’s the unspoken magic that happens between people, the social potential of being together, and the alchemy of joy and empathy that audiences and artists give to each other. This year we have the opportunity to discover what this could be beyond the four walls of our building. We’ll be carrying out preparations for a special project to bring live performance back to Tamaki Makarau later this year…watch this space!


While we don’t have a crystal ball to tell us when we can re-open, we’ve had a go at a tentative timeline to provide us all with some sense of how we will move forward with 2020. We don’t want to begin programming the venue again until we know that our audiences and artistic community feel comfortable and safe coming back into our space. We will be reassessing the timeline each month, so watch out for updates.

  • May


    - Ideas in Residence submissions open (closing 15 May)

  • Jun


    - Ideas in Residence begins (runs until Nov)

  • Jul


    - Matariki development season

  • Aug


    - Preparing venue for reopening

  • Sep


    - Secret programming project (!)

  • Oct


    - Potential venue reopening date

  • Dec


    - Christmas Show


Thanks to ongoing support from our funders, we’re very lucky to be in a position where our continued existence isn’t at risk even though our doors are closed. We know that many other organisations in our sector won’t be so lucky and we want to stand in solidarity with them. We will be pausing our campaign for the Make Basement Better fundraiser with the intention of relaunching this when the venue has re-opened, and instead directing our communications towards the campaigns of other organisations.

At the same time, we’re also aware that there are many independent artists in our community who need support and through Basement Underground we want to continue to champion our community. Any donations that we do receive in this time will go towards expanding our Underground activities to benefit even more artists. Please see our support page for more information about becoming a Basement Lover or Mate.