Tickets to the re-staging of the Ruby Island Cabaret on the
tiny island in Lake Wanaka in February, after an absence of
80 years, are more than three-quarters sold, and preparations
for the musical event are well under way.
Cabaret on Ruby is being organised by Lake Wanaka Sounz
Incorporated (LWSI) to
bring back to life the Saturday night dances held in the late
1920s and early 1930s on the island, which is about 1.5km
from the town of Wanaka. LWSI director Lynne Christie said of
the 200 tickets available - selling for $200 each - there
were fewer than 50 left.
Many ticket-buyers were people in the 60 to 80-year-old age
bracket who could still recall their late relatives' accounts
of the original cabaret on Ruby Island.
There were also a large number aged between 20 and 40,
including some from as far away as Israel, who had booked
their flights and event tickets.
Public support for the event had been ''fantastic'' and
considerable historic information had emerged.
''Locals and staff at the library have helped fill in the
gaps regarding the history of the events so we can bring to
life segments of the old Cabaret via an AV [audio visual]
zone. Stories have come through from Dunedin and
The organising team have cleared the cabaret site on Ruby
Island and construction of a new stage and dance floor will
begin in the new year.
Ms Christie said there had been a ''fully supportive
response'' from the Queenstown Lakes District Council, and
other organisations and 90% of the required event consents
and licences were in place.
All profits from the cabaret will go to the Ruby Island
A local woman has offered her piano for the event and it will
be flown to the island by Aspiring Helicopters the day