That Time I Photographed An Organ And Got Locked Up In Auckland’s Town Hall

Last weekend I had the chance to visit Auckland’s Town Hall together with 12 other photographers; all of us hellbent on getting photos of the organ (which is the largest musical instrument in New Zealand). The city’s Town Hall is a popular and frequently booked venue for all kinds of concerts. I have seen the lovely Regina Spektor here and enjoyed a fun performance of Tenacious D.

However, last weekend’s photo meetup definitely had the most surprising twist: I got locked up inside the Town Hall foyer on a long weekend!

Spoiler alert: I didn’t stay in there for the whole weekend. But before telling more I want to show you a few of the photos I took so you can imagine the place while reading the end of the story below this gallery.

So what happened? I was taking photos (obviously) in the foyer of the building when I saw my fellow photogs moving back to the Great Hall and towards the stage exit. I packed my camera and tripod and followed them till I found myself in front of a big wooden door – locked.

At first I thought I must have mistaken the door, so I went ahead and tried all of them – none opened. Now I started to knock two, three times at each available door. I was sure someone would hear me since everyone left only a minute earlier – negative. I started reflecting on my situation: I was locked up in a public building which would be closed over the long weekend (Monday was a holiday here), but I had no idea how to benefit from being locked into the building’s foyer (I might have had ideas for the concert hall though, haha).

For a few minutes I relied on the head count. We were 13 when we entered. One of us had to leave ealier, leaving 12 of us. But apparently there was no final head count / rescue in sight…

I ended up making use of my all time low battery mobile phone before it conked out and started setting up a phone chain. I called my boyfriend, who then called the photo meetup organizer, who then called a woman from security, who finally got back to me and managed to navigate me through Auckland’s Town Hall using the camera surveillance system.

I am happy to tell you that I now know how to leave the building in case this ever happens to me again (never say never, right!?). I regained my freedom after 30 minutes. Neither any persons nor property have been harmed during / after my little adventure ;-)

Oh, and I learned one day later that there has been a final head count. They counted 11 and assumed someone else left earlier without informing the rest of us. Kiwi style!

If you like this article you might also like That Time I Touched A Kiwi, Played With A Pukeko And Talked To A Tui

14 thoughts on “That Time I Photographed An Organ And Got Locked Up In Auckland’s Town Hall

    • You’re very welcome! I really enjoyed your photos, especially all the black and white ones. You seem to have a never ending resource of towers around you :-) Thanks for checking back too!


    • That’s what I thought when I was locked in – “At least I’ll have a great story to tell.” ;-) Thank you for your nice comment Jane!


  1. Loved reading of your adventure. Your photos are beautiful.

    Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.


  2. Love it! We’ll take a head count but ignore it anyway…..! Thanks for your likes on my blog posts, much appreciated. I’m off to explore some more of your blog


    • It took indeed some patience to have the photos without any of the 12 other togs running through my composition. I would have liked to be locked in with the organ, but the foyer…?! ;-)


  3. Pingback: Year In Review: 2013 | travel photography and social media for photographers - ae.i

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