Family and friends will not be able to watch participants compete in the City of Orange Eisteddfod for the first time in the event's history due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The dance section will start on Sunday and eisteddfod president Carol Smithers said the organisation has worked closely with Orange City Council and Orange Regional Conservatorium over the last two months to ensure all procedures and systems were in place to adhere to the strict COVID-19 guidelines.
"Our primary focus this year is to provide a platform for the competitors to showcase their skills acquired over the last 12 months since our last eisteddfod," Mrs Smithers said.
She said this will mean only a competitor and a parent or carer can enter the venue via a system of pre-purchased tickets and registration.
Mrs Smithers said names will be marked off on arrival at venues where competitors will perform.
In line with social distancing guidelines, all competitors will be separated within venues, and all seats appropriately marked ensuring social distancing.
"Designated entrances and exits to all venues have been put in place with hand sanitizer stations throughout," Mrs Smithers said.
She also thanked the volunteer base which is greatly reduced this year due to the pandemic.
"This has put a bigger load on our remaining volunteers, but everyone is committed to providing a platform for competitors who are just so dedicated to the arts and simply want the opportunity to perform on stage," Mrs Smithers said.
"Our eisteddfod committee has taken on board the disappointment of parents and friends of competitors who will not be able to watch this year but for us this has been balanced by the wonderful feedback we have received so far from competitors who are looking forward to performing, albeit in a way they have never experienced before at an eisteddfod."
Mrs Smithers said Orange Civic Theatre and Function Centre manager Michelle Pearce and Orange Regional Conservatorium director Donna Riles also helped keep the venues COVID safe and she was thankful for the sponsors who are taking part in this year's modified competition.
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