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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 29, No. 14. 1966.

Arts festival complaint

Arts festival complaint

Sir,—I spent a very pleasant first week of the holidays at Arts Festival in Palmersion. However, there were one or two aspects of the Festival which displeased me greatly. On the whole the Festival was extremely efficiently run. But should an Arts Festival be out to make a profit? From the exorbitant charges. of some of the events it was evident that Palmerston was determined to make this Festival pay, no matter how unpopular they became in the process. From the ultrareactionary bouncers who sneered at me from the door of the Training College hall in the final Folk Concert I. gleaned the proud news that they had received approximately £100 in door takings: from this event alone.

On top of this there was the final play. I went to see "Endgame" and "The Maids" but after paying my 4 - (6/- for non-students) entry I discovered that Genet's play had been cancelled. Having paid 4/- for an hour-length play we wanted somewhere else to go. This is where the bouncers enter. For we were not allowed into the Folk Concert (this was a t halftime) without paying the full admission (5/6, no reduction for students). Consequently the people who did go in had paid twice for the same length of entertainment.

After inquiring here about the cancellation of "The Maids" I was introduced to the theatrical controller who glibly pointed out that it had been advertised as cancelled in the paper that night, and anyway it was worth the money, was it not? Indeed in the paper, as I saw afterwards, there was a small notice of cancellation in the advertisements. However, in the same paper there was a preview of both plays being performed that night. I was later told by a member of the cast that it had been cancelled since the previous Monday, yet it had not been announced by Massey.

Finally I would like to put forward some suggestions for future Festivals:

1.That Arts Festival and Tournament take place in separate weeks, thus giving people the opportunity of going to both.
2.That the Ball and Drinking Horn be abolished as these are not artistic events and were to my knowledge the only really unsuccessful parts of this year's Festival.
3.That much less emphasis be given to Folk and more to Jazz. Classical music and poetry.
4.That people are chosen to run the Festival who show a genuine interest in forms of art and not merely in being as officious and mercenary as possible.

John Hales.