Just like being there - online Polyfest under way

Opoho School kapa haka group gave a 20-minute performance as part of the online-only festival....
Opoho School kapa haka group gave a 20-minute performance as part of the online-only festival. PHOTOS: PETER MCINTOSH
 St Joseph’s Cathedral School’s Pasifika Sunrise group wore traditional dress.
St Joseph’s Cathedral School’s Pasifika Sunrise group wore traditional dress.
The St Peter Chanel cultural group takes centre stage at the Edgar Centre to perform a waiata on...
The St Peter Chanel cultural group takes centre stage at the Edgar Centre to perform a waiata on the first night of Otago Polyfest.

It is full stream ahead for Otago Polyfest after the event’s first online-only event began last night.

Six schools and cultural groups performed on the first night in an empty Edgar Centre as audiences followed along at home on their computer screens.

Festival director Tanya Muagututi’a said the challenges of getting the festival set up as a streaming event were different from those the Polyfest team had dealt with in the past.

The popular music festival, in its 28th year, shifted to a streaming format due to Covid-19 restrictions after it was cancelled last year.

Despite this, she thought children would still be ‘‘hyped up and excited’’ to perform the routines they had been practising.

Rules were in place to mitigate Covid-19 risks — school groups were isolated from each other in bubbles, and a one-way system was set up to ensure different groups were not crossing paths.

More than 60 schools and performance groups were taking part.

The festival runs during daily until Friday, with an evening session on Thursday night featuring high school performances. Performances are being streamed live on the Otago Polyfest Facebook page.

andrew.marshall@odt.co.nz

 

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