Art Deco Trust's relationship manager Vicky Rope says next year's festival - the event's 30th anniversary - is a heritage milestone. She talks to Mark Story.

What are some of your favourite new elements in next year's line up?
Without giving too much away, as the Tremains Art Deco Festival Programme is officially launched next week, the line-up is outstanding! Festival Director Glen Pickering has focused on music this year showcasing local, national and international talent. I am most excited about a junior event involving local schools and a new free concert on the Friday night at the Sound Shell with an exceptional line-up of acts. And of course my old favourite returning - the Great Gatsby Picnic, a change to dress up, pack a picnic and peruse Marine Parade watching everyone in their Art Deco fineness!

Thirty years is quite the milestone - where do you see the event in 10 years' time?
After 30 years, the event has developed its own heritage and it is important that we retain that into the future. The audience will be bigger and more diverse, the experiences will be even more immersive and impressive, and we will always introduce new innovative elements that add value, but the core of the Tremains Art Deco Festival will remain as it is. Celebrating all the best elements of our rich heritage by transforming an entire city and creating a globally unique event.

Do you think locals realise quite how big this festival is in terms of global recognition?
The global recognition is significant and it certainly puts Hawke's Bay on the world stage, but a significant part of the audience that support this incredible event and have made it possible to reach this milestone, are locals. Art Deco Trust is committed to leveraging the event to deliver significant community outcomes and offer locals a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in their own heritage.

Preparation for the pending year's event must be a fulltime job - what's involved?
Preparations for next year start the day the previous years' festival ends. An event of this size, (Hawke's Bay largest!) and complexity takes a serious amount of vision, planning, detail and commitment. With more than 250 events over 5 days involving an expected audience of 40,000 people, the Art Deco Festival is massive. Glen and the team at Art Deco Trust work tirelessly to ensure every detail is documented, knife, fork and spoon is ordered, band is booked and shoe is shined! We also engage with a number of community groups who assist across many events and of course the 160 volunteers of Art Deco Trust, who we couldn't do without, that act as hosts, guides, ambassadors and assistants throughout the festival. It is definitely a team effort and we have a large, fantastic team to support it.

What's the biggest Art Deco myth?
Definitely that it's all about the buildings. Heritage is really about people, stories and culture, that is what brings the buildings and streetscape to life and that is what keeps people coming back to the Tremains Art Deco Festival and to the region all year round.

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