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Arts Festival cancellations

In another blow for Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival, organisers have announced the cancellation of three more performances and three community workshops.

An arts festival spokesperson said due to the impact of Covid-19 restrictions the events had to be cancelled.

The three performances are Te Wheke by Atamira Dance Company, Double Bill by Pacific Dance Festival and The Haka Party Incident by Katie Wolfe.

“The environment for our artists is a turbulent one right now and one that requires careful thought and consideration,” festival chief executive officer and artistic director Tama Waipara said.

“Every cancellation in our industry has a broader impact on artists, crew, designers and companies who rely on this eco-system to bring amazing experiences to our communities.

“Independent artists are particularly vulnerable as they navigate a massive level of uncertainty.

“Our process of working through these changes is therefore considered and mindful, and one that respects and values the mana of the people involved.”

All three performances were to be at the War Memorial Theatre which seats 500, but at Alert Level 2 the entire venue is restricted to 50 people, including performers and theatre staff.

Workshops by the two dance companies and a third from the White Face Crew have also been cancelled.

Last week the premiere of HIHI - A Song of Place was postponed to February 4.

The opera was expected to draw an audience of 1000 at Waihirere Domain.

Although the larger events face the chopping block, the festival is still going ahead.

“Through lockdown and into Level 2, the festival team have been working hard to deliver a vibrant celebration of the creative abundance of Te Tairāwhiti,” a festival spokeswoman said.

Ticket holders will be contacted directly by iTicket, before September 30 to arrange refunds for the cancelled events.

Festival organisers say they will continue to work with all artists and companies in order to deliver a safe and spectacular festival and will adapt to Alert Level changes and requirements as they arise.