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Live blog: Auckland Writers Festival

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1 comment


aliceabout 3 years ago

Hello, just wanted to make a few comments on the Aotea Centre being too small for the festival. It's really not! The ASB Theatre isn't running at capacity for most of the events in there - the balcony (the top level) is closed for most of them. Saying that, the foyers can get pretty crowded, and one way to solve this would be by staggering starting and finishing times, so that there's not three venues expelling their audience members all in one go.

Also, there's only one venue in Auckland of a comparable size, which is the Auckland Showgrounds, and apart from being much more barn like, that doesn't have the same level of backstage space that's also required for a festival like this.

Mz8u 8z6 bigger

Charlotte Grahamabout 3 years ago

Fair point, Alice. I was asking about venue with less of a view to the common spaces (although definitely my feelings on the common spaces were skewed by my dislike of being in a very crowded space with a lot of people who are loud and moving very slowly - but that's my problem).

It was more about how many people the rooms seat. When you have the headliner, Murakami, who's only doing one session, selling out the day tickets go on sale, and when a week out from the event (when we got our tickets) it is actually difficult to find any ticketed events at the weekend that you want to attend because so much is sold out... And when queueing 30 minutes ahead of a free event is not necessarily enough to get a seat... I guess I was just wondering whether it's ideal for people to not actually be able to get IN to a lot of things.

I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad thing - or that it's the Festival's fault. They should rightly be overjoyed that there's that much interest! But going forward, I guess they have a few options...

1. It becomes accepted knowledge that you should not expect to get tickets to/seats in things. People get way more organised about buying tickets the second they go on sale, show up an hour early to free events, and it becomes accepted that if you don't get there early enough, you don't get to complain. This is exactly how the Edinburgh festivals work.
2. Get a bigger venue.
3. Better space use, as you rightly suggested.

And you're SO right that there's not an easy alternative. Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

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