The Merrie Monarch Festival organizing committee is working to develop a 2021 event without a live audience due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, it will develop the event with recommended COVID-19 protocols and guidelines in place.
“Having to cancel last year’s event was a very hard decision but one we knew was necessary for the health and safety of our beloved dancers, kumu, judges and hula community overall,” said Merrie Monarch Festival President Luana Kawelu in a statement today via the Merrie Monarch Festival’s Facebook page. “Health and safety is still our number one concern and therefore, we have made the decision that if the festival is held, there will be no live audience.”
Ticket requests are usually accepted starting Dec. 1, but none will be accepted for the 2021 event.
“We need to get the word out to everyone who might be gearing up to send in requests,” said Kathy Kawelu, Kawelu’s daughter, in a statement. “We will not be accepting ticket requests for Merrie Monarch 2021. Please do not send ticket requests and payment as you might normally do.”
Organizers canceled the event in March — a month before the festival was supposed to begin — as the coronavirus began spreading in Hawaii.