Move Over for APEC, World Invitational Hula Festival

The World Invitational Hula Festival will celebrate its 20th year starting November 10, during the APEC conferences. That’s right, during APEC; so, as you guessed, it will have to be moved. The festival was scheduled to be held at the Waikiki Shell, where it has been held for over a decade, but because of parking restrictions during APEC event organizers were forced to find another venue for their event. The event is a big event for the industry of Hula, it hosts thousands of hula artists from 16 different countries around the world, and it is a great opportunity for anyone interested in Hula to learn more about its beginnings and share their love and understanding of this ancient tradition with other enthusiasts from around the world. Although the city has known about, and been making plans for the upcoming APEC conferences for well over 22 months, they neglected to inform World Invitational Hula Festival organizers until just about a month ago. They were told they would have to move their event due to parking restrictions for the Waikiki Shell parking area during the APEC leader’s conferences which are going on simultaneously. The event will be moved to a smaller, indoor venue, The Neal S. Blaisdell concert hall. The City department of Enterprise Services worked with event organizers to change the venue. The cities website states that the organizers agreed to move, but it sounds more like they had no other choice.World Invitational Hula Festival organizers are still in a bad position. Organizers reported to KITV that the move will cost them about $10,000. Costs in changing the venue ran up quickly when organizers had to re-print promotional materials as well as other logistical costs. Another problem is transportation for dancers staying in Waikiki hotels, which would have been find if the event was at the Waikiki shell. As APEC approaches the list of closures, reschedules, and restrictions keeps growing, proportionally to the angst of residents. Hopefully the conferences will bring enough benefits to Hawaii offset all of the things residents have had to deal with, and will have to deal with during the controversial week.

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