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Mixed reviews as Huế fest wraps up

Update: May, 06/2016 - 09:00
Light show: The 200-year Thanh Tòan roof-tiled wooden bridge in Thanh Thủy Chánh with colourful lights. — VNS Photo Phước Bửu
Viet Nam News

THỪA THIÊN - HUẾ — The biennial cultural event Huế Festival wrapped up yesterday, ending six festive days in the former feudal capital city of Huế.

Speaking at a press briefing held yesterday on the closing of the festival, Chế Công Chung, director of Huế Festival Centre said the festival was a sucessful one as its activities received one million visits.

Phan Tiến Dũng, director of local Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said a total of 250,000 visitors arrived in Huế in the holiday days of Việt Nam’s Reunification Day  and Labour Day, making an increase of 23 per cent over the same period last year.

Duõng said the number of visitors increased thanks to the Huế Festival. The previous events were held in early April but this year’s event took place during the holiday.

Observation by Việt Nam News pointed to a conclusion that “Rural market in festive days”, a programme held in Thanh Thủy Chánh village, was the most successful one of the festival.

The 5-day programme attracted the most visitors although it was held in a rural site of 5km away from the city’s centre. There locals participated in the rural games as they feel the re-enaction of games and rural custom were authentic.

However, journalists, who had the broadest access to every of 50 programmes at the festival expressed disappointment on the event shows, saying many of them underqualified.

The street parade, for example, one of the most anticipated activities of the festival, stroke audiences as weak management , leading to mess on streets. The performers could not properly showcase their skills.

Many others felt they were cheated at the baloon show. About 200 locals bought tickets for their first ever flight on hot baloons, but unannounced changes in schedule and short duration on air had let them down.

“I feel cheated because of unexpected changes in time and rules for flights. Safety regulations were not properly enforced as well,” said local Nguyễn Văn Sum about his baloon flight.

Experts called for rethinking by organisers for the preparation of the 10th Huế Festival, which is scheduled to take place in 2018. They emphasised that local participation, authenticity of re-enaction activities, and respect to audience would be key to any future Huế Festival. — VNS




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