Friday, May 22, 2020

How has COVID-19 affected the planning of Santa Cruz de Tenerife carnival 2021?

Fernando Hernández with Marlene Morreau in 2019

In an interview published by AtlánticoHoy, Fernado Hernández, front man of Comparsa Los Joroperos since 1988, talks about the future of carnival beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

For we spectators, the various components of carnival are just something to watch; an exhibition, a show, but for the groups themselves, the contests are important, because where groups place in the pecking order doesn't just determine what order they process in parades, it also affects how much work they get outside the island and how much they can earn ... that goes back into staging their performances, costumes, etc. Of course, the current lockdown has meant that these trips have not been able to go ahead.

"This year is going to be the first time since I have led the group, since 88, we have not traveled."

Hernández says that, "... many performances have been lost (almost 20%)." [These cancellations have generated additional costs for the group.] "When these phases [in the plan towards the new normality] pass, I will meet with the board and we will assess." Hernández is adamant that he is not going to mortgage the troupe nor do a bad job just to perform at all costs. It is also not clear when rehersals can be resumed. "If they tell me that in November we can start rehearsing, I wont take out the troupe," he adds.

Asked if he sees the 2021 carnival as viable, he responds that, "I see it as complicated."

As with everything else currently, we shall just have to wait and see.

UPDATE: There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

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