The Cervantine Festival closed Sunday, Oct. 18. Photo: Issac Rodolfo García/FIC
The Cervantine Festival closed Sunday, Oct. 18. Photo: Issac Rodolfo García/FIC


While Mexico’s International Cervantine Festival (FIC) looked a bit different this year, festival organizers announced in a press conference on Sunday, Oct. 18, that they were going to do their part to support those affected by the festival’s move on line due to covid-19.

Moving Guanajuato’s famous fest to the digital sphere was quite a feat, but also turned out to be cheaper for everyone, according to the festival’s general director, Mariana Aymerich Ordóñez.

This year’s Cervantine was originally budgeted a whopping 84 million pesos, according to Aymerich Ordóñez, a sum which was slashed to just under 10 million pesos after the pandemic struck. The rest of the money will be used on other projects funded by the Guanajuato Culture Secretariat, she said.

But, to deal with the loss of the income that residents of Guanajuato depend on yearly from the festival, Cervantine organizers announced that employees with more than three years working for the fest will still receive compensation from both the Cervantine and the Guanajuato state government.

This program is in addition to the various other projects announced at the start of the festival, including a tourism program to pump money back into the city of Guanajuato. Several museums in town still held exhibitions for the Cervantine Festival – at limited capacity – and many will stay open through March of next year.

“The streets (this year) aren’t the same, but there’s still plenty of movement,” Aymerich Ordóñez said. “Many people also were able to discover the festival from their own homes.”

Due to the festival’s online success, featuring artists from all over the world, with special invitees from the southern Mexican state of Coahuila and Cuba, organizers are considering a hybrid-format festival for next year.

“We have a strong desire to put on the best festival we can for 2021, in person of course, but virtually as well,” Aymerich Ordóñez said.

…Oct. 19, 2020

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