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Loud and proud: Winter Pride 2020 volunteers David Dewhurst, Mary Horan, Mini Watson and Aaron Ravenwood

By HUGH COLLINS

Airlines’ self-interest is causing ‘‘huge disruption’’ for events, Winter Pride festival director Martin King says.

The 10-day festival’s starting today with only three of its events scrubbed because of Alert Level 2 rules.

But the response of Air New Zealand and Jetstar to recent Alert Level changes has caused the ‘‘biggest frustration and impact’’ on the festival, King says.

All Air NZ flights into the resort next week have sold out, while Jetstar has cancelled all operations until next Friday.

“Which just causes huge disruption for people, whether it’s Winter Pride or a whole lot of other reasons.

“Domestic travel was totally possible at Level 2 … so why they’d go ahead and cancel all their flights right through till then I don’t really understand.”

When the country came out of the first lockdown, the festival’s events were rejigged so they could go ahead under Alert Level 2, if necessary, although it would’ve been easier to have cancelled the festival entirely, he says.

“But then if all event organisers do that, then what events are going to exist into the future?

“We have to remain resilient, we have to remain optimistic and we have to be able to plan things.

“People need events to look forward to — holidays to look forward to.

‘‘I think it’s a struggle for all of us on how we navigate this new world we live in.”

Meanwhile, the extension of Alert Level 2 means Queenstown’s Mardi Gras, which was set to run next Saturday, has been postponed.

A new date’s yet to be announced.

hugh.collins@scene.co.nz