High-profile Eisteddfod’s final curtain after 129 years

Jayde Radonova, 8, won the most promising female dancer eight years and under at the Brisbane Eisteddfod in 2013. Picture: Inga Williams / The Satellite
Jayde Radonova, 8, won the most promising female dancer eight years and under at the Brisbane Eisteddfod in 2013. Picture: Inga Williams / The Satellite

The long-running Brisbane Eisteddfod has announced it will fold after 129 years of performances.

The Eisteddfod, which every year provides young performers the chance to showcase their talents in music, dance and drama, has confirmed the closure due to a "loss of relevance".

In a statement on the Brisbane Eisteddfod site, the executive management committee said it "had taken the hard decision to formally close down Brisbane Eisteddfod Inc. as a functioning performing arts competition platform."

Adrian Detar, 19, was awarded the overall
Adrian Detar, 19, was awarded the overall "Most Outstanding Performer" at the Brisbane Eisteddfod and won a trip to New York for classes at the Broadway Dance Centre. Picture: Josh Woning.

"The decision was not made lightly and is not based on financial or resource availability. A discouraged internal level of commitment and energy and a lack of external understanding and appreciation of dedication, along with a demonstrated lack of interest by the eisteddfod and arts community in maintaining Brisbane Eisteddfod as viable, has further exacerbated its demise as a valuable opportunity," the statement said.

Yuliya Shkvarko, 15, of Wavell Heights is a soprano opera singer who was a junior champion at the Brisbane Eisteddfod.
Yuliya Shkvarko, 15, of Wavell Heights is a soprano opera singer who was a junior champion at the Brisbane Eisteddfod.

"Numerous calls for support over social media and the press in recent years has also denied us results.

"Recent rebranding presented Brisbane Eisteddfod with a fresh new look however the anticipated new volunteer interest did not follow.

"From a membership of in excess of 100 some 40 years ago to just 10 over recent years, it's this in the first instance that has contributed to our position.

"We have always ensured that the competitions were first and foremost in our minds as that's the staple of our Constitution.

"For Dance, Speech & Drama, Vocal, Instrumental and to a far lesser extent, Choral and Choral Speaking, it is indeed a sad final entry!"

The Sacred Hearth School junior choir won the Brisbane Eisteddfod in 2009.
The Sacred Hearth School junior choir won the Brisbane Eisteddfod in 2009.

A post about the closure on the eisteddfod's Facebook page has garnered hundreds of responses.

"Blown away by the outcome but understand without the wider community and larger audience support it has to end. Incredibly saddened," Nathalie McGarry wrote.

The Dance Centre-Warwick perform at the Brisbane Eisteddfod.
The Dance Centre-Warwick perform at the Brisbane Eisteddfod.

While Anne Hellen said: "Oh no! the end of an era. so many performers used the Eisteddfod as their performance platform. Social media has taken a lot away from live performance. Parents work so much more now and cannot find time to volunteer."

Anne Taylor, Anne-Marie Guminski, Gabrielle Hourigan, Annise O'Reilly, Effie-Marie Guminhski-Henderson and Robyn Howien performed at the 1963 Brisbane Eisteddfod.
Anne Taylor, Anne-Marie Guminski, Gabrielle Hourigan, Annise O'Reilly, Effie-Marie Guminhski-Henderson and Robyn Howien performed at the 1963 Brisbane Eisteddfod.


Originally published as 'No interest': High-profile Eisteddfod's final curtain after 129 years



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