Changes to Polyfest in a Covid environment

The revised date for Polyfest is April 14-17. Photo supplied

A change in Auckland’s alert levels and students back at school is welcome news for the organisers of the ASB Polyfest.

This year’s revised format sees this year’s Polyfest taking place from April 14-17, a later date than the usual mid-March timeframe.

There are also changes to the layout at the Manukau Sports Bowls with four cultural stages, instead of the usual six. This sees the Pacific Island and Diversity competitions sharing a stage, with two days allocated to each, while the Maori stage will take place over four days.

Planning Polyfest in a Covid environment includes working closely with the Counties Manukau District Health Board to ensure that measures are aligned with Ministry of Health guidelines; selling tickets online so attendees can avoid queues, putting contact tracing measures in place; and putting QR codes and hand sanitizer stations throughout the festival site.

Polyfest Trust chairperson, Robert Solomone said, “We accept that this will be a transitional year for the festival with potentially fewer school registrations. However, after having to cancel last year’s events due to the initial Covid-19 outbreak, we wanted to provide an opportunity for students to perform on an ASB Polyfest stage and celebrate the festival’s 45th anniversary.

In providing an update on planning for the 2021 ASB Polyfest, Solomone acknowledged event partners.

“I’d like to thank ASB for its commitment the last 36 years to the festival, as well as our strategic partners, government ministries, grant funders, Auckland Council, and other festival sponsors. The Trust is also thankful for the support of the Auckland Secondary Schools Principals Association and the Komiti Whakahaere as we navigate through the current Covid-19 climate, and the challenges it creates for events.”

Festival organisers are looking forward to the 45th anniversary of this iconic festival, and seeing students perform on the festival stages after a challenging year.

The festival theme from last year has been retained, with this being: “Healing the body, mind, spirit and soul with the strength of Culture”