Bannockburn Arts Festival
Celia Walmsley. Photo supplied

The organising committee of Bannockburn Arts Festival, “Across the Bridge”, has this week made the difficult decision to cancel the festival for 2021.

In an environment of uncertainty, and with the extra restrictions that accompanied Delta Level 2, with a limit of 50 people allowed inside events, masks and physical distancing, many of the events could not proceed.

Committee member Celia Walmsley says, “We are incredibly saddened, as not only was this quite possibly our best festival yet, it was also the 10th anniversary of the festival.”

They were also very conscious of the hundreds of voluntary hours given not only by the committee, but ArtsCentral, the artists, performers and promoters.

The 10th anniversary extended programme included a Ballet Masterclass and a performance with Loughlan Prior, choreographer in residence of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

They had also programmed a lavish, cabaret-style evening with The Sirens and for the first time, a Salsa Ball with Latin Soul.

The festival team was also excited that Kate de Goldi and Philip Tremewan had again agreed to lead panel discussions on the arts and the writing process respectively.

The celebration of the tenth anniversary has been postponed until 2022.

Of course, the backbone of the festival is the town itself, and the local talents which abound. The Artists of Bannockburn Exhibition, the Bannockburn Ramble with Gordon Stewart, the Wine Masterclass, this year with Rudi Bauer, the Festival Dinner at The Black Rabbit, and the involvement of local wineries were all drawcards.

All ticket buyers will be automatically refunded for the full price of tickets purchased, though, with so many cancellations nationally, the ticketing company may take up to a week for processing.

Celia says, “To all our supportive patrons, funders, sponsors, supporters and ticket buyers – thank you and we look forward to seeing you soon and certainly next year at the 2022 festival.”