Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings has today advised the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival that he will not be coming to New Zealand next week because of media commitments in the United States.
Hastings was due to appear in three events at next week’s Festival: An Hour with Michael Hastings at the Aotea Centre, Friday 11 May, 2.30pm; The Afghan War at the University of Auckland with Nicky Hager, Saturday 12 May at 10am; and Getting the Story with Sean Plunket and Caroline Moorehead at the Aotea Centre on Sunday at 2.30pm.
“This decision, which was entirely unexpected, is obviously very disappointing for us” said Artistic Director Anne O’Brien. “The first indication that there was a problem came with the decision today and, despite our best attempts, it appears to be irreversible.”
Hastings has also withdrawn from all his Sydney Writers Festival appearances.
The panel events in which he was to appear will proceed, with Guardian journalist Toby Manhire replacing him in the Getting the Story panel, but his Friday session is cancelled.
All ticket holders with individually purchased tickets for sessions in which Hastings was to appear will have the option of exchanging their tickets or claiming a refund from The EDGE box office, in person or by telephone on 09 357 3355. Ticket holders who have selected tickets for Hastings’ sessions with a concession pass will be able to switch that ticket to another session via The Edge box office.
The annual Auckland Writers & Readers Festival’s public programme begins on the evening of Thursday 10 May and will be presenting more than 70 events across three days in central Auckland. The programme will showcase 22 international writers alongside more than 90 New Zealanders in sessions focussed on everything from fine fiction to popular reads, poetry and spoken word performance, science, history, religion and biography, food and wine, film, art, music and fashion.
Early bird ticket prices remain in place until 9am Wednesday 9 May, Ticket prices from as low as $15. For all session information and ticket purchases go to www.buytickets.co.nz
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