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What are the most in-demand events in Auckland at the moment? Katy Perry, Rodriguez, Dire Straits?

Try free university lectures.

Yes, tickets to 20 talks by University of Auckland lecturers on August 28 are a hot item. To be fair to the music superstars it is not a legitimate comparison – the lectures are free and they are being held in pubs and bars.

Following the success of last year’s series of Raising the Bar, the university is embarking on a second round of talks by academics who are swapping “tower for town”.

“Last year succeeded beyond our wildest expectations so it was kind of a no-brainer to do it again.” Director of alumni relations and development, Mark Bentley told Newsroom.

With just under two weeks to go, more than half of this year’s talks are sold out and the others are filling up. Read More.