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2010 Rock Eisteddfod cancelled

After 30 years the future of the iconic Rock Eisteddfod is in doubt, with organisers cancelling the 2010 event due to a lack of funding.

After 30 years the future of the iconic Rock Eisteddfod is in doubt, with organisers cancelling the 2010 event due to a lack of funding.

The nationally-renowned music event sees high schools performing king-size dance acts as they compete for national glory. Last year around 345 schools and the event screened on Channel Nine. The event is arguably as legendary as Blue Light discos and Gang shows from the Scouts.

But Rock Eisteddfod Challenge Foundation producers said South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and New South Wales had reduced their support, with Queensland the only state offering more, committing $165,000.

“We know that there’s a lot of passion out there,” executive producer Peter Sjoquist said.

“The teams can be anything up to 120 in size, so it’s large teams of students across different age groups, so you’ve got the situation where lateral thinking, problem solving and all those sort of issues as a nation we need to be encouraging.”

Mr Sjoquist says it had been costing $4 million to stage the schools performance event. The event was still getting a federal contribution.

The concept began in Sydney, Australia in 1980 known as The Rock ‘n’ Roll Eisteddfod, a NSW Arts Council sponsored-event, in conjunction with Sydney radio station 2SM. Rock Eisteddford events have since been staged in New Zealand, Germany, the U.S., United Kingdom, Japan, Dubai and South Africa.

Source: news.com.au, ABC

15 Responses

  1. Government must act swiftly and quickly – not make an issue but act on this now, they can make issue and political mileage of it when it works – or maybe they dont care enough about culture and the social benefits of it ?

    An event like this does so much for so many individuals, if there is question regarding who pays fopr what – it must be published along with who earns what from the events.

  2. I was absolutely disgusted when I heard the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge in 2010 had been cancelled. I had had two of the best experiences in my life, when my school was a part of the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge, in 2006, and 2008, and although because I’ve finished school it won’t affect me, because I would not have been able to enter even if I wanted to, I feel really sad for the other high school students who will now not have the opportunity to be a part of one of the best experiences in life; the chance to meet new friends, interact with students from other schools, and stay active. My little sister is in grade 8 this year and was really looking forward to the Rock Eisteddfod experience, and when she found that it was cancelled she was not impressed, and that was when I realised the real impact the rock eisteddfod challenge had had on my life.

    I really want the Rock Eisteddfod to continue, and I really hope that the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge can raise enough money to keep the event alive, for the high school students of tomorrow!

  3. The Rock Eisteddfod Challenge. A chance for High School students to perform an 8 minute performance in front of thousands of people at world class arenas. As much as I think this is a great concept and should be encouraged. I’m afraid to say that the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge have bitten off a little more than they can chew. As a worker in the production industry. I have a bit of an idea of what it takes to put on a tour of this magnitude. The 2010 tour was to take on 50 dates at some of Australia’s best arenas and theatres. This along with the top of the line production gear and crew, a tour of this size is risky enough to make an overseas artist lose money, let alone a not for profit organisation such as the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge. Sorry guys but as much as i’d like this tour to return, i don’t think the problem is solely in the hands of the Governement. I think the whole tour needs to have a fresh start.

  4. I have been waiting for my chance to be leader since I was in year 7 and I was involved in our first rocka. My school is involved in the event every second year and a production every other. I am currently in year 11 and this is my final opportunity to participate in rocka and I got voted leader/choreographer which was a dream come true for me! Along with 5 other leaders we have put in many hours and timeless effort to come up with a final theme and storyline for our schools rocka idea. All of this has gone to waste. This was all I ever wanted to do ever since I was in year 7! Now the 30 Year Tradition has been cancelled, just like that. This is a disgrace and it is absolutely unbelievable.

    This was also, for many, a way to keep students at school at school with come enjoyment. Something to be involved in, something to make them feel wanted, part of a team. The whole reason rocka is promoting no drugs and alcohol, it is a great enviroment. This makes me so very angry and my school will not go down without a fight, we are going to make ourselves heard and make the government realise they can’t just do this to things that mean so much to many, many people.

    If rocka wants to look at cutting costs, discuss alternative plans of action instead of just banning it staight out-perhaps venue change? Somewhere more affordable? This is the worst possible outcome.

  5. Sorry everyone but Rock is getting over a million dollars in funding and they are still crying poor! Boo Hoo! Where does all their money go? The schools pay for everything, ticket prices and Merchandise are expensive and every kid who enters has to pay a fee. Rock pays for the venue only and makes TV (which they probably charge for). Don’t blame the government.

  6. both channels 9 and 7 after airing the story on their news both said that the NSW government was going to put in some money towards it so it may be back next year
    I was quite surprised to hear that it began in 1980 i was still at school then and I had never heard of this event until long after i left school which was in 1985

  7. I’m in Year 12 at a Rock Eisteddfod school and it’s a disgrace to watch our opportunity at it disappear, i’m not just interested in saving it for me but for the rest of the kids in the junior years at my school. I don’t dance or act outside of school, neither do most of the kids that perform in our 8-minute pieces. Rock Eisteddfod gives those who don’t perform a chance to experience not only the spotlight, but working together as a team, communication, leadership and learning skills that could not be learnt in a classroom.
    Last year alone i learnt how to construct sets, i painted sets, i cut out and sewed costumes and was part of the choreography process. Without Rock Eisteddfod, many kids would not have these chances.
    Rock Eisteddfod is to promote a drug-free high, no drugs, no alcohol and it works. Kids are too scared to do drugs or alcohol because it’s not just themselves they are letting down but the whole school because if they are caught, the whole school risks disqualification.
    I urge everyone to get behind Rock Eisteddfod and to help us lobby the government so we can have our Rock Eisteddfod back.

  8. This news is unbelievable.This is exactly the kind of institution that is fading out in this country due to pathetic governments & money being spent on others that are not necessarily here legally or the bums that sit at home all day while we the hard workers pay for it.What a viscious cycle it has all become.These wonderful concerts keep our youth on the right track instead of them having nothing else to do & turn to drugs & alcohol.
    I watched the highlights of 2009 & was absolutely amazed at these kids.Australian Idol showcases our best?What a load!!
    I have seen at last the last 10 years of concerts.
    Special mention to John Foreman for his contribution to the arts,a worthy contender for Australian Of The Year 2011.
    Very very sad,Rudd.Do something about it.Do you politicians not understand why you are in the positions you are in.Stop with the procrastinating & get on with the job you are paid for.And fund the arts & youth as well.
    …..that feels better.

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