Art festivals have become precarious in the time of the coronavirus, and Guanajuato’s International Cervantino Festival (FIC) scheduled to be held in October is no exception.
On Monday, Mexico’s Ministry of Culture announced that the 48th edition of the popular event would still take place, but in a virtual manner in order to safeguard the health of all concerned.
El Cervantino, as it’s popularly called, is one of Latin America’s biggest cultural events. Celebrating the life and work of Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, in the past it has hosted plays, dance, concerts, film screenings, workshops, readings, book releases and more.
Performers have included Ray Charles, Lila Downs and Rudolf Nureyev.
But this year, although the show will still go on, no guest artists will be invited. The events will also be condensed into four days, from October 14 through 18.
Although details about how a virtual Cervantino will play out are still sparse, a crew of 50 people has been working on putting this year’s festival together and information and schedules should be forthcoming.
El Cervantino’s director, Mariana Aymerich, said that compensation would be made to the capital city of Guanajuato due to lost income from festival-goers.
El Cervantino will be accessible to virtual concert-goers around the globe through the broadcasting of events on social media, which may mark a new normal on how the public attends major events. The new format will allow audiences worldwide to take part in classes, workshops and performances on the festival’s website.
“The pandemic experienced on a global scale opened new opportunities to explore formats adapted to our reality, not only to transfer cultural expressions to the screen but to adjust digital resources to the needs of artistic expressions and their creators,” Aymerich said.
Information will be posted on festivalcervantino.gob.mx.