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Change To Covid Alert Levels Too Late For Art Deco Festival

Despite the Government’s announcement this afternoon that Covid restrictions in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand will drop to Level 2 and Level 1 respectively at midnight, the Art Deco Festival remains cancelled.

Chair of the Art Deco Trust, Barbara Arnott said yesterday’s decision to cancel the Festival hasn’t changed, and the Trust stands by making the decision ahead of Government’s announcement on Covid alert level restrictions today.

“We know people will be asking why we couldn’t have waited till the Prime Minister’s announcement late this afternoon. But the reality is that the Festival involves hundreds of events and event venues, with tens of thousands of festivalgoers over five days. A festival of this scale requires massive logistics and set-up in the days prior. Level 2 restrictions had already forced us to cancel the first two days.

What’s more, whether or not we were in Level 2 or Level 1 by Thursday, Alert Level 2 conditions were affecting our set-up process and any prospect of trying to run the Festival under prolonged Level 2 meant many events could not have gone ahead.

“We simply didn’t have the luxury of time to wait and see what today’s announcement would bring. Timing was everything, and in this instance, time wasn’t on our side.” explained Mrs Arnott.

“Having said that, we fully appreciate that many Festivalgoers from around New Zealand have already arrived in town and many are still planning to come for the weekend, regardless. What’s more, many of the events that weren’t happening under the umbrella of the Festival will be able to go ahead under Covid Alert Level 1. We want to do everything we can to make sure people know what will be happening, where and when.

“As we collate information from our associated and individual event partners, we will also make sure we update our Festival website with event details.”

“For example, we know Napier City Business Inc is encouraging retailers to continue to embrace the Art Deco theme over the weekend. This morning the best dressed Art Deco retail window was judged, from 25 impressive contenders.” said Barbara Arnott.

The Trust’s own Art Deco Walking & Vintage Car Tours continue to take bookings and operate safely under Covid Alert Level 1 conditions. People can book at

“We encourage people to keep a close eye on our website for updates on events that are still happening, and we encourage events and venues that are going ahead to make sure they let us know so we can help promote them. Event organisers can contact us at

“As we said yesterday, having to cancel the Festival is incredibly disappointing, especially after all the thousands of hours of planning and effort by so many people; and knowing that tens of thousands of people were looking forward to the party.”

“I’m confident there will still be a festive atmosphere over the weekend. Afterall, Art Deco is, in itself, a symbol of Napier and Hawke’s Bay’s resilience and tenacity.”

All Art Deco Festival tickets will be refunded and ticket holders will be contacted directly by the Festival’s booking agents Ticketek or iTicket with details of the refund process.

© Scoop Media

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