‘Lin­ear’ sched­ule for first fes­ti­val

Otago Daily Times - - Regions - hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

IN its first year, the Waitaki Arts Fes­ti­val’s sched­ule will be ‘‘lin­ear’’, its di­rec­tor says.

Frances McEl­hin­ney said it was ex­pected Oa­maru’s new 18­day fes­ti­val show­cas­ing food, film, lit­er­a­ture, theatre, dance, and mu­sic would evolve in the fu­ture, but un­like more es­tab­lished fes­ti­vals, its sched­ule had been kept sim­ple for its in­au­gu­ral year.

At some arts fes­ti­vals ‘‘there can be up to four events a day’’, Mrs McEl­hin­ney said.

‘‘[Here] there’s pretty much just one event a day — there are days where there are no events — and that’s ab­so­lutely OK.

‘‘I think what will hap­pen, af­ter this fes­ti­val, is a call for ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est, and it just gets so much more com­mu­nity en­gage­ment. ‘‘You just have to ‘start’ some­times.’’

It was planned to hold the fes­ti­val ev­ery two years, in years Arts Fes­ti­val Dunedin, also a bi­en­nial event, was not run­ning.

From the Waitaki Arts Fes­ti­val’s open­ing night on Thurs­day, fea­tur­ing The 7 So­pra­nos at the Oa­maru Opera House, un­til its fi­nale, the Art on Bikes event on Oc­to­ber 8, the fo­cus would be not putting up ‘‘too many bar­ri­ers’’.

‘‘It’s a great way to bring the peo­ple, and the com­mu­nity, to­gether,’’ Mrs McEl­hin­ney said.

Waitaki deputy mayor Me­lanie Taven­dale ap­plauded the fes­ti­val’s cel­e­bra­tion of lo­cal arts prac­ti­tion­ers.

‘‘There’s so much po­ten­tial to grow it and just make it a real com­mu­nity event,’’ Cr Taven­dale said.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

The Oa­maru Opera House.

PHOTO: ODT FILES

The Oa­maru Gar­ri­son Band will open a night of lo­cal tal­ent at the ‘‘Made in Waitaki’’ event next Thurs­day.

Frances McEl­hin­ney

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