Name change for The Edge

Auckland entertainment organisation The Edge is rebranding itself in a bid to boost the city's growth as a live-entertainment destination.

The organisation will now be known as Auckland Live.

The Auckland Council contributes $3.2 million to community, education and arts development programmes such as Auckland Live, which it has helped fund for the past four years but the organisation gets most of its revenue through commercial activity.

When The Edge started in 1997 it was in charge of the arts and entertainment programming of three venues - the Aotea Centre, The Civic and the town hall.

The organisation is now also responsible for the programming of the Bruce Mason Centre, QBE Stadium and the Mt Smart and Western Springs stadiums.

Auckland Live director Robbie Macrae said a fresh start was needed because the organisation was outdated in its approach to targeting Auckland entertainment.

"Auckland Live offers so much more than just the bricks and mortar of venues," he said.

The change comes after the highest growth the organisation has seen in four years.

More than a million visitors attended events under The Edge's umbrella over the past year, and blockbuster musicals Wicked and Mary Poppins attracted more than 79,000 visitors to Auckland.

"Ten years ago, Wellington was seen as the cool cultural place to watch bands and hang out, but Auckland has very much overtaken Wellington now," Macrae said.

Auckland Live hosts the Auckland Fringe Festival, Aotea Square's popular winter ice rink, free activities for children and big-name acts like the Rolling Stones and Eminem and the musical Wicked.

Macrae said that while operating under the name The Edge, the public were unaware of who organised all these events, and he hoped the rebranding would prove how much Auckland's culture scene had to offer.

Upcoming events with Auckland Live include international productions of Annie, Shadowland and Soulfest.