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EDITORIAL: Despite Venue Change, Let’s Support Our Hibiscus Festival

EDITORIAL: Despite Venue Change, Let’s Support Our Hibiscus Festival
August 03
10:57 2018

Since the announcement of the new venue of the ‘Mother of All Festivals’ – the Hibiscus Festival, Fiji’s social media space has been inundated with comments (some hilarious), opinions and analysis about the move.

The Hibiscus Events Group (Inc) HEGI on Tuesday announced that the Hibiscus will be hosted at the Valelevu grounds in Nasinu, home of the Vodafone Millennial Sinu Festival.

Some wonder what the fuss is all about. It’s just another festival, relocated to another venue.

But for those who have a special bond with Suva proudly hosting its own festival, the move is like a slap on the face.

Seen as the apex of all municipal festivals, the Hibiscus on the first week of the August school holidays was an event marked on many calendars.

For one week, it brought together people of all races, young and old. There was something to look forward to every day.

Different cultures and traditions were showcased.

The float procession on the final day of the Festival brought awe and delight on many faces.

It brought Suva to a standstill.

Since 2015, as a result of a $16m redevelopment of the traditional home of the Hibiscus, Albert Park, the Festival has been held at the Suva foreshore and the Vodafone Arena.

The Council had also emphasised that after the redevelopment, the Park can only host sports events.

It is understood that HEGI had looked and exhausted all possible Suva venues in their attempt to host the Festival within the Suva municipality.

Both the Suva foreshore and Vodafone Arena have been ruled out because of developments. The grounds which will see the construction of the Melanesian Spearhead Group complex opposite the My Suva Park was also considered.

However, a unanimous decision could not be reached by the Group.

Another venue that was considered but ruled out was the Bidesi and Buckhurst grounds.

While countless accusations has been levelled at the Hibiscus Events Group (Inc) on social media, those commenting should really cut them some slack.

True everyone is entitled to their opinion, but like any organisation, HEGI would have looked at all the possible Suva venues before moving the festival to the Valelevu Grounds.

Sure it would mean that some festival-goers will have to fork out more money to get to the grounds, limited parking spaces and other inconvenience.

But Fijians also have the choice of watching most of the main events live on television.

Let’s get behind our Hibiscus Festival and make it a memorable one.

Feedback:  rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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