High school musicians and artists who find it difficult to perform or exhibit due to the Covid-19 crisis are in the limelight of Dunedin.
Not only were children between the ages of 14 and 18 enthusiastic about playing live again, but tickets for the first Auaha Rangatahi (Creative Youth) festival were sold out in a few hours. The audience was multi-generational.
“I really missed playing live. It’s great to be able to play the gig again,” says musician and singer-songwriter Keira Wallace.
Ryan Kenton, founder of Strawberry Jam Records, said the blockade of Covid-19 reduced the number of gigs and limits the venue’s capacity.
These available venues are often used for national music and events. That is, young people have no place to play.
We are pushing, pushing, pushing, and trying to push, so that the young people in the city can recognize what they are doing. “
This first October 13-16 festival will feature 55 teenagers performing, theater sports workshops, and 15-20 static artists exhibiting paintings, photographs, drawings, tapestries and poetry. Did.
Blake Armstrong, 18, chairman of the Dunedin Youth Council, states that Covid-19 has reduced the music industry and audience.
“We put the whole festival together and gave high school artists a little post-Covid boost so they still have the opportunity to play with each other.”
Festival of sound
During the festival, the audience was gratefully silenced and applauded when Angela Lou played Beethoven on the piano at the Otago Pioneer Women’s Hall.
The atmosphere was bigger and more electrical when four rock bands played during a light show on the dive the night before.
Keira Wallace enjoyed the live performance again. In the past, a 15-year-old kid has played at an inch bar, a two-tailed dog, an open mic night, and regularly takes a bus at the Fairfield Community Market.
Students at Taieri University play original and cover songs on guitar or ukulele and have an “indie” style with thoughtful and thought-provoking lyrics.
“Music is for overthinking, garden bugs, and those who are confused but in favor of it.”
Keira wrote three songs last year, recorded and produced with renowned Dunedin musician and singer Molly Divine, and released this year.
Asked which music contributes to these Covids-19 times, Keira answers with serious simplicity.
I want music to make people understand and help them overcome difficult times. “
The best youth artist
Ryan (17) says Auaha Rangatahi has fascinated some of Dunedin’s best youth artists.
“We have a really wide selection of really talented artists.”
The music event was sold out, with 70 tickets sold in 6 hours at Dive One and 70 tickets sold in 4 hours at the Kaikorai Rugby Football Club on Saturday night.
Covid-19’s physical distance restrictions forced them to move from their original venue to a larger club room.
The venue was really helpful, he says.
Ryan played in a band at Neal’s Beach on the dive. He describes it as a great environment.
“As with most kids, it’s really hard to book a nice venue because you’re a broken young man in Dunedin.”
He states that the Dunedin audience may not respond, but the youth band was having fun on stage, which was communicated to the crowd.
This was despite the Covid-19 face mask, physical distance, and the need for the spectator to be seated.
“People were fluttering in their seats.”
This was the first such festival, but talented teens hope it’s not the last.
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