Youth festival cancelled; new event in Oamaru

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The one-of-a-kind Ote Fest has been cancelled.

The event was scheduled to take place during Labour Weekend at Loch Laird in Otematata, but was struggling to attract the interest organisers thought it might have, and have decided postponing it indefinitely was the best result.

It was a three-day non-alcoholic festival organised for 16-20-year-olds who could take part in a range of different activities.

Festival organiser Eugen Dupu said it was disappointing that registrations hadn’t been as popular as they were hoping.

“It is with regret that we have made the decision not to go ahead with the event at Otematata next weekend. This decision was made due to a low number of registrations making the event nonviable.”

Slow registrations may have resulted in the first ever Ote Fest being cancelled, but there will still be something for youths to enjoy.

“There is a lot of energy and goodwill for providing young people in the Waitaki with an opportunity to enjoy performers such as Moorhouse, DJ Asher, Jordan Edwards and Clutha Dance.  So we have organised an alternative event to take place in Oamaru on Saturday, October 25,” Mr Dupu said.

Local band Kudos, who won the battle of the bands, will also be playing on Saturday night.

Waitaki District Council community safety and development facilitator Helen Algar said she hoped people would support this new event.

“While we are disappointed with the uptake of Ote Fest registrations, we can see the positives in this. We are taking the opportunity to offer an event that will be available to a wider audience. Eugen and his team have worked hard to make this possible and it would be great to see as many people as possible enjoying the event,” she said.

Mrs Algar said it’s unfortunate that Ote Fest has been cancelled.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge and thank all of the people, both in Otematata and Oamaru, who have contributed to the development of what would have been an amazing youth event. We hope to see plenty of people enjoying themselves on October 25. It will be a great night and one the kids will remember.”

Mayor Gary Kircher would love to see the community get behind the new event and make it a success.

It will be held at the Loan & Merc, starting at 8pm. It will be open to the entire community with tickets costing $10 and available from Soul Surf and Skate. There will also be door sales on the night.

BY BRAYDEN LINDSAY