The Straits Times
Published on Feb 26, 2013

Huayi, Esplanade's Chinese festival of arts, dampened by wet weather


The year of the Water Snake threw a bit of a wet blanket on the recent Huayi festival - quite literally.

About 92,000 people attended the ticketed and free performances at the Esplanade's annual festival of Chinese arts, which ended on Sunday. This is a rather steep drop from the 140,000 who attended last year.

The Esplanade believes the unusually wet weather had something to do with this. It says that while attendance at ticketed performances "remained consistent", it had to cancel 10 performances at the Waterfront Canopy and Forecourt, both outdoor venues, because of the rain.

All the same, this 11th edition of the festival, which started on Feb 15, drew enthusiastic audiences with its strong emphasis on reinvigorated classics from the Eastern and Western canons.