With the Dubbo Eisteddfod finished for another year, sights now turn to Wellington where a late flood of entries in the closing days have ensured the eisteddfod will feature close to 2800 performances in 2018.
Organisers were concerned as the start of the month as entries for the 142nd running of the event were below expectations but when nominations closed, they found they were less than 50 shy of last year’s 2848.
Entries for the dance and speech and drama categories were both up on last year, to 2050 and 400 entries respectively, while music entries were down slightly to approximately 300, Wellington Eisteddfod dance registrar Naomi Jeffery said.
Dozens of schools, dance studios and hundreds of individual entries made up the final nominations. There was a large group of local entrants, as well as a significant group from around the western region including Dubbo.
The hard work is under way for those tasked with running the Eisteddfod, as they begin putting together a timetable, organise certificates and trophies and get programs printed. before the event starts on July 28.
“I describe it as a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle where all the pieces are the same colour,” Ms Jeffery said.
“That’s what it is like when you are trying to organise classes into sessions that are the same length, it is quite a difficult task.”
The Wellington Eisteddfod has a big reputation for being a well run event and attracting a high calibre of entries. Ms Jeffery said she was sure this year would continue to be a fun spectacle, despite the small drop in numbers.
“It’s hard to say what causes a drop in entries but it’s possible that the drought is having an impact and some people may not be able to afford the entry fees,” she said.
Ms Jeffery said the organisers had worked hard to keep the costs as low as possible, while still being able to cover the costs of running the event.
“It cost about $40,000 to host the eisteddfod so it is quite expensive. We get $10,000 from the community, businesses and service clubs at Wellington that go towards the running. Without that assistance we would have to put costs up.
Dubbo Regional Council has also continued on from the previous Wellington council in making the hiring fees for the hall over the three weeks affordable.
“All of the other costs, such as paying for adjudicators and trophies, comes from the money we make from entries and tickets to performances.”
Ms Jeffery said the eisteddfod would start looking for volunteers to assist with everything from selling tickets to helping with certificates.
It didn’t matter whether someone could help for a single session or for multiple days of the event, all assistance was welcome, she said.
“There is a role available to suit everyone,” Ms Jeffery said.
“We would also encourage everyone to come along and watch some of the performances. Not only do you get to see a great show, but that money helps to ensure the eisteddfod can continue.”
To register your interest in volunteering, please call Pip Smith on 0447 453 665.