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Art Deco Festival Napier 2023 has been cancelled due to intense flooding and power outages caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.
The world-famous Art Deco festival has been cancelled just one day before it was meant to take place in Napier, Hawke’s Bay, from February 16 to 19.
Given the extensive damage to the region, Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise said the decision would not likely be a surprise but was still disappointing.
“I don’t think it will come as any surprise to anybody to hear that the festival unfortunately will not be proceeding,” Wise told ZB this morning.
“We’ve had a tough few years,” she added, saying the Art Deco Trust planned to make an announcement at midday.
Festival disrupted for third year running
This will be the third year the event has been disrupted.
In 2021, the Napier Art Deco Festival was cancelled just one day before it was due to start, due to Covid-19 alert level restrictions.
The decision to cancel the event and refund all tickets was made late Tuesday afternoon after events scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday were cancelled.
One year later, in 2022, the event was hit yet again with alert level restrictions following the Omicron outbreak. The region was put under the red setting in the Government’s Covid-19 Protection Framework, which meant the programme went from 200 registered events to just 53 events.
All events followed government guidelines under the red light setting and required a vaccine pass for attendance.
However, with alert levels a thing of the past, the Art Deco Trust were gearing up for an event that was bigger and better than ever before.
In January, several events and accommodation options had already sold out.
Part of the fun included plans to break the world record for the number of people dancing the Charleston. When asked about the attempt, in November, the trust said it would take place on February 16 in Hastings’ Civic Square.
“I understand that the world record is about 1900 people so we’re looking to crack the 2000-plus mark,” Art Deco Trust heritage and general manager Jeremy Smith told the Herald in November 2022. “It will be an amazing sight.’’
Now, the square will remain empty, if not still flooded.
It is currently unclear what will happen to those who have purchased tickets for the event.