People were thinking "the only Christian celebrity not here is Brooke Fraser", as Zed rocker Nathan King joined Petra Bagust, singer-songwriter Chris Cope and iconic broadcaster Ian Grant on stage at last night's GLOW – Carols by Glowstick at Vector Arena in downtown Auckland.

A crowd of 6,000 celebrated Christmas with traditional carols done differently; with candles replaced by glowsticks provided on each seat at the inaugural event on Sunday 20th December. Tickets were provided free of charge thanks to generous support from Auckland City Council, Vector Arena and their CEO Guy Ngata, DDB Capital raising sponsorship, and private donations organised via inner city contemporary Anglican church St Paul's in Symonds Street thanks to the vision of promoter Renata Blair. A countdown on the big screens got everyone snapping their glowsticks to activate their "glow." Once they got their glow on, Petra got the crowd going with some glowstick warmups, with individual colours swirling one by one, and even Christmas holly created with green glowsticks and little red circles, making it a magical sight. Watch the timelapse film YouTube of Glow here.
Click on below links to view photos.
The Vector Arena glow with lights

Nathan King

Suzie Espie and Alexandra Pankhurst joined vocalist Amy Blackburn in vocals on stage

Nathan King's daughter Ruby watches her daddy from the front row

Petra introduces Ben Roe, who did a reading from the Kiwi bible from Luke 2:8-20 on the shepherds and the angels from Jesus' birth told in contemporary NZ slang, which got laughs from the audience. Choice, eh bro?

Performers, a band, and a choir on stage led the crowd in carols

The children's choir

Monique Rhodes and the children's choir sang 'Away in a Manger'. Monique has released a CD 'Merry Christmas, Baby' to raise funds for Plunket, and 40 copies were given away to the lucky catchers of tennis balls thrown out by ushers. Christmas is about giving and a collection was taken up for Homes of Hope, a foster children's charity.

Ever wondered how God was born? What if we asked children what they thought of it all? We got some St Paul’s kids to tell us the Christmas story in their own words, then we got them to enact what they told us. "The oldest kid involved was the 11 year old behind the camera, the youngest was the three week old baby Jesus" says James Bowman, one of the guys behind SPANK (St Paul's Arts n Kids) who created the fantastic clip with the children. Click here to view the clip.

A short film set to Athlete's "I love everybody here" showed Auckland by day and night – traffic, people walking, running and swimming - all sped up, in a powerful representation of humanity in our city.

Petra introduced "St Paul's top talker", Rev Mike Norris, who spoke on the message of Christmas in light of James Cameron's movie Avatar, about Jake coming to the planet Pandora. His message had three points: God is with us, God loves us, and God wants us to glow.

Put your hands in the air; wave 'em like you just don't care. Petra gets the crowd to do a mass Mexican wave around the arena during a carol.

The fabulous Chris Cope, in waistcoat, played guitar.

Andy Campbell leads the audience doing their bit to bring joy to the world - 1

Andy Campbell leads the audience doing their bit to bring joy to the world - 2

Andy Campbell leads the audience doing their bit to bring joy to the world - 3

Ian Grant closed the night in prayer for Christmas blessings for all