Auckland Arts Festival has cancelled more Festival shows effective from today.
Festival chief executive David Inns said further shows were cancelled following developments of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation and concerns about flight cancellations and border restrictions for international artists.
The affected shows are: Mouthpiece, Limbo Unhinged, and @Peace and the Plutonian Noise Symphony. Black Grace Dance Company’s regional tour of Verses has been postponed to a later date.
“We have been continually re-assessing the Festival shows and events in line with the various announcements being made by Government, and keeping the health and well-being of our artists, staff, crew and audiences to the fore.
“We have a number of international artists who are impacted by flight cancellations and impending border closures in their home countries and we have a commitment to get them home to their families and loved ones.”
Mr Inns added that limits on audience numbers were imposed earlier this week following the ban on public gatherings and events of more than 500 people. Ticket purchases were limited to 300 for the Spiegeltent, which has a total capacity of 700.
“With more than 620 tickets sold, @Peace is affected by the 500 person limit and we have no choice but to cancel the show.
“We have also been very conscious of the need to provide social distancing and ensure we provide our audience members with a level of security about coming to our shows. We believe the actions we are taking to cancel shows and limit attendance numbers where relevant, is the right thing to do to help mimimise the potential for the spread of the virus in Aotearoa.”
A handful of shows are still going ahead as planned. These include tonight’s seated performance of Estère: Into The Belly of Capricorn at the Spiegeltent by Four Points Auckland, Biladurang which has an audience of 15 per show, and Dimanche at ASB Waterfront Theatre, as well as shows which take place under the umbrella of Auckland Arts Festival including NZ Opera’s Eight Songs for a Mad King with a final performance tonight, Babble at Māngere Arts Centre, Auckland Theatre Company’s Black Lover at Q Theatre, Taki Rua Theatre Company’s schools tour of Ngā Manu Rōreka, and Black Grace Dance Company’s regional tour of Verses.
The latest announcement follows the cancellation of four shows, Circolombia – Acéléré, Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus, Watt by Samuel Beckett and Soweto Gospel Choir, earlier this week due to new border control measures, and yesterday’s announcement that the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s Beethoven 250 series as part of Auckland Arts Festival would not go ahead as planned. Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra will be performing its four concerts in the Beethoven 250 series without a live audience and live-streaming to the APO and Auckland Arts Festival websites and Facebook pages.
“We want to acknowledge our wonderful artists, hardworking staff and crew, venues, funders and sponsors, and our fantastic audiences, who have been a part of Auckland Arts Festival 2020,” Mr Inns said.
“The first five days of the Festival were exceptional with thousands enjoying Ballet Preljocaj’s stunning Snow White, the homegrown rom-com Black Ties which saw entirely new audiences come to a Festival show, Silo Theatre’s UPU which brought Pasifika literature roaring onto the stage, the mind-blowing Cold Blood, sublime choral ensemble Los Angeles Master Chorale performing Lagrime di San Pietro and fun in the Spiegeltent at Limbo Unhinged.”
Ticket agencies will be in contact with ticket purchasers to arrange refunds for all cancelled shows. Cancelling these shows has been a major blow for Auckland Arts Festival and the artists. Auckland Arts Festival is asking ticketholders to please consider donating part or all of the value of your ticket to support the Festival. Those who wish to donate can email email@example.com
Ahakoa he iti he pounamu – although it was small, it was precious.