• The show must go on: Art Deco inspired events still going ahead

The show must go on: Art Deco inspired events still going ahead

The Art Deco Festival may have been cancelled, but one band, in particular, has decided to put entertainment ahead of profit, and perform regardless. 

The Dave Atkin Group who were due to perform this weekend will instead headline 'The Ritz Street Party @ Market Street' on Saturday evening. 

Comprising of Jess Atkin on vocals, father Dave Atkin on keyboard, brother Joe on drums, and Paul Du Fresne on bass plus Matty Mear on trumpet and Kevin Watson on guitar - the band hopes their free performance will help keep the festival spirit alive.

With their signature jazz and blues crossover sound, the Dave Atkin Group has been a regular at the festival for about 17 years. When the decision was made to cancel the festival, Dave says they held out hope for the region to move down to Alert Level One so they could still play.

"We thought why don't we just do it anyway as a gesture towards the whole spirit of the festival, so we contacted Market St and they were very excited about it." Moments after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the lifting of restrictions, at 4.30pm on Wednesday, they made the call.

"Just thought the heck with it, we'll do it. It's always gone down really well."

Despite going ahead with the performance, they won't be paid as they wanted to give back to the community. But they hope members of the community will get behind them in return with a koha. 

"We're hoping it will be like other years people will come and enjoy the music." Dave said it will be a lot like a "street party".  

The Art Deco Festival which has about 300 events and attracts 40,000 visitors to the region each year was officially cancelled on Wednesday morning. After scrapping the first two days' of festival activities, chairwoman Barbara Arnott called the event off "to give certainty to the hundreds of entertainers, artists, contractors, event venues and suppliers". 

However, the Trust has thrown its support behind a number of Deco-inspired events that can go ahead Alert Level One conditions. 

More than 20 events are confirmed for this weekend, with notable venues such as Mission Estate, The County Hotel, The Art Deco Masonic Hotel and The Urban Winery at the National Tobacco Building all bringing the glitz and glamour of the Art Deco era to life. 

A handful of free events will still go ahead as well, including the Deco Belles bike ride along Marine Parade on Saturday morning, the Army Charter Parade from Clive Square to the Soundshell at midday and The Ritz Street Party at Market St that evening.

Hawke’s Bay Tourism Chief Executive Hamish Saxton said although the Festival itself was cancelled, it was great to see associated and individual events still able to go ahead.

"Hawke’s Bay will celebrate Art Deco this weekend, so dust off the sparkly frocks and striped blazers and let’s get into the spirit of Art Deco!

“We already have guests here ready to have a wonderful time in Hawke's Bay, and with more and more independent events being confirmed, we are confident that everyone, from those who have been before to those who are discovering our Art Deco heritage for the very time, will have a wonderful time.

“The work of the Trust over many years in protecting and promoting our heritage means that celebrating Art Deco can occur all year round, and the reduction in Covid-19 Alert Levels means we can still put on a show for visitors to the region.”

Confirmed independent Art Deco events include:

Not so Common Deco: Thurs 18 February
Prohibition Casino: Thurs 18 February
MacRag Time at the Common Room: Thurs 18 February (Free)
Art Deco Jazz at the Cabana: Thurs 18 February
Down Argentine Way: Thurs 18, Fri 19, Sat 20 February (please phone 027 5829 925 to book)
At the Pictures: Top Hat: Thurs 18, Fri 19, Sat 20, Sun 21 February
At the Pictures: Ninotchka: Thurs 18, Fri 19, Sat 20, Sun 21 February
CAN-Do Deco: Thurs 18 February – Thurs 11 March (Free)
Plus Four Golf Tournament: Fri 19 February
Aunty’s Maara Kai: Fri 19 February
Tom Sainsbury & Dj Corysco at the Common Room: Fri 19 February (Free)
Nicole & High Society Swingers at the Cabana: Fri 19 February
Port O Call High Tea: Thurs 18, Fri 19, Sat 20, Sun 21 February
Brunch with Style at the County Hotel: Fri 19 & Sat 20 February
Ahuriri Dinner: Fri 19 & Sat 20 February
Par2 Mini Golf: Fri 19, Sat 20, Sun 21 February
Deco Belles: Sat 20 February (Free)
Charter Parade: Sat 20 February 12.30pm (Parade from Emerson St to the Sound Shell) (Free)
Madcap Block Party at the Common Room: Sat 20 February (Free)
Hastings Art Deco & Earthquake Walk: Sat 20 February (Meet at Hastings iSite)
‘The Ritz’ Street Party @ Market Street: Sat 20 February (Free)
Nicole & The High Society Swingers: Sat 20 February
The Mission Art Deco Party: Sat 20 February (SOLD OUT)
Napier Municipal Theatre Viewing: Sat 20 February 9am – 3pm & Sun 21 February 9am – 1.30pm (Free)
Lazy Sunday at the Common Room: Sun 21 February (Free)
Tea with the Stars: Sun 21 February