Polyfest organisers hopeful event can go ahead

Organisers of the Murihiku Polyfest have their fingers crossed the event can go ahead if the alert level drops for the region.

The Miharo Murihiku Polyfest was set to begin last week, but the lockdown announcement meant it had to be postponed.

Trust director Pauline Smith said if everything panned out, the event would be held from September 27 to October 1 at ILT Stadium Southland.

The festival showcased the talent of about 7000 young people across the region, she said.

“We always knew this was possible so we planned for this. It’s sort of taking the heat off, compared to last year where the news was thrown on us and nobody knew what to do.’’

She said organisers were feeling all right about the postponement because they had different plans for all scenarios.

It included a new date later in the year, if needed, or holding the event online, as was done last year.

Mrs Smith said a series of smaller-scale events with fewer than 100 people would also be discussed in case of a move to Alert Level 2.

“The idea is kind of a mini-polyfest in different venues. We are constantly thinking about how we can regroup.

“But we just really hope it will go ahead in September because we know how much work was put into it for the children, their families and their teachers. ”

Another popular event in the region, Rocking with the Stars would also go ahead, but at a later date.

The event, which was originally set to be held this Saturday night, would now be on October 30.

Invercargill Rock ’n’ Roll Club president Karl Herman said the Covid-19 lockdown meant there had to be a shift in plans.

‘‘Initially, back in January when we were planning, we had allowed for a back-up date in case something like this happened.’’

The back-up date was originally in September, but that was not realistic, so it had been moved to the end of next month.

For the dancing couples, it was almost as if they had to relearn their routines, as there were at least three weeks during which they had been unable to dance together.

‘‘It’s like they’re starting from square one again.’’

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