North Bundaberg High School students Taleisha Bennier, Cheralee Horne and Alex Lawson are disappointed the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge has been cancelled.
North Bundaberg High School students Taleisha Bennier, Cheralee Horne and Alex Lawson are disappointed the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge has been cancelled. Max Fleet

Rock Eisteddfod axed

THE CURTAINS have come down on the showbiz dreams of hundreds of Bundaberg students, after this year’s national Rock Eisteddfod competition was cancelled.

Organisers were forced to pull the competition because it could not attract enough funding — leaving students across the country sitting on the sidelines instead of centre-stage.

Bundaberg North State High School Year 12 student Cheralee Horne had hoped this year’s competition would be one of the highlights of her school life.

“It was heart-breaking to hear it wasn’t going ahead,” Miss Horne said.

Her classmate Taleisha Bennier said the atmosphere at the eisteddfod was unlike anything else she had experienced, and she was upset not to have one last chance to shine.

“It’s an amazing experience, to be involved and meet people from all the other schools,” she said.

“You don’t even mind that you have to get up at 4am to be there.”

Kepnock and Isis state high schools had also taken part in the challenge.

Bundaberg North State High School Eisteddfod director Robyn Kent said the school had chosen a theme and was about to hold auditions when they heard the event had been scrapped.

“We are all devastated,” Ms Kent said.

About 100 students, 20 staff and a band of parents were involved for every performance.

Their dedication has paid off with the school taking out the top prize in 2000, and placing nearly every time they entered.

“It has been an amazing journey for our school,” Ms Kent said.

It was yet to decide whether another event could be put on to replace the eisteddfod.

Rock Eisteddfod Challenge Foundation producer Helen Sjoquist said while the Queensland and Australian governments had offered financial support, the event simply could not afford to go ahead without contributions from the other states and territories.

“We are continuing to seek sponsorship for next year,” Ms Sjoquist said.

“At this stage it is looking optimistic.”



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