With the Government’s announcement that most of Aotearoa will move to Alert Level 1 tonight, the team at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre can breathe a huge sigh of relief.
It’s been a tricky few months for the team at Hastings’ newest venue, with the yoyo-ing alert levels meaning strict restrictions on events and audience numbers, resulting in a number of postponements and cancellations. But Toitoi Kaiwhakahaere/Manager Megan Peacock-Coyle says the team are all go with today’s announcement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“It’s been a really challenging year for the team, as it has for many locals, but we are all so excited to now swing the doors open and welcome our local audiences back into Toitoi. We have been working really hard to fill the rest of 2020 with incredible arts experiences for Hastings and Napier and can’t wait to share them with you all.”
Megan says Toitoi has a super-exciting few months ahead, with a wide range of shows on offer.
“Part of our kaupapa (purpose) is to ensure we have something for everyone, which is definitely the case for the next few months,” she says.
“In the next month alone we have a screening of local film This Town next weekend, then Floyd Live is on October 3. That show is an incredible light and sound tribute to everyone’s favourite psychedelic rock group, then after that, we’re heading into the Harcourts Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival, from October 12-26.”
Promoters have been great at understanding the need to adapt, Megan says, but no-one more determined to get the show on the road than Floyd Live promoter Layton Lillas, of Showcase Entertainment Group.
“We’d been in conversations with Layton about whether to go ahead on October 3, after his June show date fell through thanks to the first lockdown, but as soon as today’s announcement was made, he fired us through an excited green light email,” Megan says.
Layton says the last time he had a show at the Opera House was in 2013, with a couple of 1960s artists – Gerry and The Pacemakers and The Searchers.
“This year feels like an eternity so it feels even longer since we last promoted a show in Hastings. The experience of being in Toitoi was outstanding for artists and audience alike, even back then, so we can simply not wait to be back with Floyd Live, a true celebration and salute to Pink Floyd.,” he says.
“The band are exceptional musicians, but they’re also passionate fans of the legendary group, so they guarantee the audience a memorable evening out at an affordable price.”
Floyd Live will be the first rock show in the Opera House since it reopened, which has a new world-class sound system.
Then after the Arts Festival’s packed two-week schedule, Toitoi will hold its first horror tours on Halloween, run by Hawke’s Bay’s “mother of dark tourism” Ali Beal.
“We deliberately capped the Stage Fright tours at 10 people per tour, so we know they can go ahead if we end up back in Level 2,” Megan says.
“We’ve also created a comprehensive Level 2 plan, as a venue, so we can continue to safely bring audiences in and give locals amazing arts experiences, no matter what happens in the next few months. If you haven’t visited Toitoi since we reopened yet, I encourage you to come along. Coming to a show is a great way to support local – and it will mean a lot to your local arts community.”
- Tickets to all Toitoi’s upcoming shows are on sale now. Head to toitoivenues.co.nz or go to the Toitoi Box Office on the corner of Hastings and Eastbourne Sts (next to Opera Kitchen) for more information and tickets.