While setting up for tomorrow evening's Cabaret on Ruby
event on Lake Wanaka's Ruby Island, event director Lynne
Christie gives audiovisual specialist Damon Schwalger some
piano-playing tips on the site where the island's original
cabaret dance floor will be rebuilt. Photo by Lucy
One piano, one dance floor, one stage, three Portaloos,
two generators, a pig spit, an industrial-sized bain-marie, and
sound and lighting equipment.
That was the inventory of items airlifted across to Lake
Wanaka's Ruby Island yesterday evening, ahead of Sunday's
sold-out Cabaret on Ruby event - a resurrection of the
legendary dances which took place there 80 years ago.
In just over an hour, Aspiring Helicopters pilot James Ford
travelled the nearly 1km distance between the island and
Waterfall Creek at least 10 times as he ferried the hefty
items across to the spot where 200 people will gather
tomorrow evening for music, dancing and reminiscing.
''It's a logistical jigsaw puzzle,'' event manager Maegan
Johnson said of the preparations.
''If it [the cabaret] was on the mainland it wouldn't be an
issue at all.''
As showers were on the cards during the event, Ms Johnson
assured ticket-holders a marquee would be erected for
Today and tomorrow will be spent putting together the dance
floor and stage, erecting signs, boating across instruments
and musicians and setting up the audiovisual zone, where
people with a historic connection to the island and the
original cabarets will share their memories via images and
recordings. The cabaret - which runs from 5pm until 11pm and
features a jazz trio and a seven-piece ragtime group - is
organised by Lake Wanaka SouNZ Inc, the proceeds going to the
Ruby Island Trust.
Queenstown Lakes District Council harbourmaster Marty Black
issued a warning to those planning to listen to the cabaret
from boats near the island that he would be patrolling the
area and issuing infringement notices to anyone without life
jackets and boat lights.
''No exceptions,'' he said.