Art Deco Festival gears up for one of the busiest years of all time

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New Zealand

The Napier Art Deco Festival is scheduled for February 16-20. Photo / 123RF

By Tom Kitchin from RNZ

One of New Zealand’s most iconic festivals is on track for its busiest year yet, with over 5,000 tickets sold and organizers hope they won’t have to cancel the planned Napier Art Deco Festival from February 16 to 20.

Last year it was canceled for the first time, just days before it started, due to a Covid-19 outbreak in Auckland causing uncertainty in the level of alert.

Some companies were angry because they were canceled without notice.

Art Deco Trust festival director Greg Howie said ticket sales were ahead of all previous years.

More than 5,000 tickets were sold, 65% of which were from out of town, he said.

“I think people are really looking forward to being able to attend events again, as there have been a number of restrictions.”

He was hoping for a better year in 2022.

“We were obviously devastated to have to cancel the festival last year [2021] which was, as you will certainly understand, totally out of our control. Fortunately, many people still came to the area and were able to celebrate in their own way. “

His team planned to “do absolutely everything in our power to move the festival forward.”

“As we prepare the festival program with the traffic light system in mind, we just make sure that all of our producers and event partners, sponsors, funders and attendees are aware of what we are doing and of how we are going to act the festival has given rise to restrictions of different level.

“Right now everything can work in orange and green, and then if we go red, the capacity numbers will come into play with the 100 person limit.”

An economic impact study carried out in 2019 suggested that the gross profit of the Art Deco festival for Hawke’s Bay exceeded $ 7 million.

Hawke’s Bay Tourism Managing Director Hamish Saxton said there are plenty of events planned in Hawke’s Bay during the summer, including the FAWC (Food and Wine Classic) postponed to late January, the Cider Festival, possible international matches. cricket, horse of the year and music festivals. Outfield and Nest Fest.

“The traffic light system has actually enabled event planners to plan for many of these events. So it is certain that the majority of events, especially ticketed events, can work in the traffic light system. traffic lights as we currently know them, ”Saxton said. noted.

“Some events that were largely walk-in or ticketless … such as New Year’s festivals, Christmas festivals, previously [the] procession of flowers, had to be canceled or postponed.

“A lot of people are going to come to Hawke’s Bay and travel to New Zealand primarily to meet up with friends and family.

“People will follow the good weather and Hawke’s Bay normally has plenty of it. We have the best beaches and wonderful hinterland, from a swim in the hot pools at Morere [north of Wairoa], at some of the beaches south of Porongahau, Hawke’s Bay is going to be a great place to enjoy and relax. ”

-RNZ

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