Hastings District Council has today cancelled several upcoming shows at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre in an effort to protect the community against the spread of COVID-19.
Menopause The Musical, which was scheduled for this Sunday, March 22, will be cancelled, along with The Tapeface Show and International Comedy Allstars. The Toitoi Box Office will also be temporarily closed to the public.
Hastings District Council chief executive Nigel Bickle says while the Toitoi team has worked tirelessly to follow Ministry of Health guidelines up till now, any events at the venue in the near future are now not possible.
“As an organisation with community at our heart, we have to put the health of our residents first. The Toitoi team has persevered, in the hope of not disappointing anyone who has bought tickets to see shows at this incredible venue.”
This afternoon the Government announced a ban of public gatherings of more than 100 people in the fight against COVID-19. The cancellation of Toitoi’s shows ensures it meets the new restrictions.
“Throughout this week we have focused on what is best for our residents and staff. Our best and safest option now is to temporarily close Toitoi to the public. It’s simply a matter of being the right thing to do,” he says.
The Ministry of Health website advises that, in addition to bans on indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, individuals should maintain a distance of two metres from one another as a way of slowing the spread of COVID-19.
“These are unprecedented times, which call for swift and decisive action. We are acutely aware that the Hastings District will feel the effects of COVID-19 for months to come and are working hard to support our community through this time.”
Toitoi manager Megan Peacock Coyle says the team is gutted to close to the public, having only reopened at the end of February, however they will continue to work both in the Toitoi office and remotely as required.
“The team is really disappointed, but the safety of our audiences and staff is paramount. Many locals have waited years for Toitoi to open, so we can only hope they will continue to support us through this time,” she says.
“We had an amazing line-up for the next few months, which has now been decimated. Some of our promoters are still hoping to go ahead in May and June or shift to dates later in the year, so we’ll keep everyone updated about those once we have confirmation of changes.”
All tickets to cancelled shows will be refunded via Ticketek.
“We do ask our community to be patient with the process, as the Ticketek team is facing thousands of cancellations and refunds across the country at the moment,” she says.
“We are doing everything we can to support our community, so if you are facing real hardship and need your refund immediately, please phone our Box Office between 10am and 4pm and we’ll do our best to help you.”
Ms Peacock-Coyle says they are unsure how long the closure will last as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are constantly changing.
“He waka eke noa – we are all in this together. We will keep you updated as things change and hope to open again soon.”
To obtain a refund for any purchased tickets, please phone 0800 842 538 or go to ticketek.co.nz
19 March 2020
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