The Guadaloops perform at the 2020 Cervantine Festival.
Photo: Carlos Alvar/FIC

By KYLIE MADRY

With the International Cervantine Festival’s (FIC) closure Sunday, Oct. 18, organizers reported that over 4.2 million viewers tuned in to the virtual fest throughout its five-day run. The Cervantine moved on line this year due to the covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on in-person events.

“Millions of people, from Mexico and from countries like the United States, Spain, Argentina, Colombia and others, joined through a number of virtual platforms,” said Alejandra Frausto Guerrero, Mexico’s Culture Secretary. “The digital format brought challenges and it also brought us blessings. For example, this was the first time the Cervantine was totally free and easy to access.”

While organizers hope to bring the festival back home to the city of Guanajuato next year, they say this year’s success has motivated them to make it available on line in the future, too. “It allows us to reach more people and more countries,” said Mariana Aymerich Ordóñez. “This festival’s impact is global, and puts the eyes of the whole world on the state of Guanajuato.”

The Cervantine’s primary audience were 25- to 34-year-old women, according to organizers, from Mexico, the United States, Spain, Argentina, Canada and Colombia. Most tuned in from the official website, followed by the Culture Secretariat’s recently launched site “Contigo en la distancia,” which promotes Mexican artists throughout the covid-19 pandemic. Hundreds of thousands more watched the festival through social media and public television channels.

Recordings of the interviews, presentations, performances and workshops will be available on the Cervantine’s website until Oct. 28.

The 2021 festival will be held from Oct. 13 to Oct. 31, with this year’s special invitees from the Mexican state of Coahuila and Cuba being welcomed back along with “the hope that artists and the public can return to the theaters, the streets and the public plazas of Guanajuato.”

…Oct. 21, 2020

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