Art Deco Trust To Decide Later Today Whether Festival Will Go Ahead- Thursday Programme Cancelled
The Art Deco Trust has announced this morning that Art Deco Festival events scheduled for Thursday 18th February will not go ahead and a decision will be made later today about whether or not the remaining Festival events will be cancelled.
“Since Government announced three days of Covid Level 3 restrictions for Auckland and Level 2 restrictions for the rest of New Zealand, we have been assessing whether or not Festival events scheduled from Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st February can and should go ahead, and when we must make that decision.” said Barbara Arnott, Trust Chair.
She said there are a number of practical issues the Trust needs to consider.
“First and foremost, we are absolutely committed to the health and safety of everyone involved in the Festival, from artists and performer to venue operators and, of course, Festival-goers and the wider community.”
“While the majority of people attending the Festival are Hawke’s Bay locals, many thousands of people make the journey from outside the region, some from afar. We are mindful it takes visitors time and cost to get here.” she says.
“For people from Auckland and Taranaki, the decision whether or not to travel to the Festival is largely outside of their control. However, we appreciate that many want to know whether the Festival will be going ahead in part or at all, once they know what Covid restrictions will be in place beyond midnight Wednesday.”
Ms Arnott explained that staging the programme of events, including the associated events that are managed by other organisers under the Festival banner, requires a huge amount of last-minute logistics.
“We need to give event organisers, caterers, venues and suppliers the certainty to go ahead with all the logistics for nearly 300 individual events. This includes everything from catering, putting up marquees, installing sound and lighting, and putting in place everything else required in each event location. Many of the talented people who perform at Festival events need to travel to get here too.”
“With all of these considerations in mind, we have made the immediate decision to cancel the events scheduled for Thursday 18th February.”
Ms Arnott advised that for events scheduled from Friday to Sunday, the Trust is waiting on the update from Government at 4pm today.
“After that, we need to decide whether or not the Festival events scheduled for Friday to Sunday will go ahead and we will advise everyone of our decision as soon as we can.”
“We know how much it means to so many people, from Festivalgoers to our associated event organisers who have worked so hard in planning for the Festival this year, and to our loyal sponsors and supporters. We are deeply disappointed that we have had to cancel so many events already and may need to cancel the remainder of the Festival.”
“Whatever our decision on the Friday to Sunday events, it is important people understand we will be making it with the best interests of Festivalgoers, everyone involved in making it happen and our Hawke’s Bay community at heart.”
“We are hopeful there is clear direction from Government later today. But regardless, we need to make a final decision today, and we feel a heavy responsibility to make the right decision for the Festival and for all New Zealand in these Covid times.”
Once the decision is made later today, ticket-holders will be advised the process from here.
“In the meantime, we appreciate your patience, and ask that you don’t email or phone us with your individual queries. Our small team is working hard to manage the situation we are all in, and we will be in touch with you once we have more information to give you.” Ms Arnott concluded.