The 27th edition of this event with Canarian, national and international folklore has meant a return to normality, after two years of curbing face-to-face activities due to the pandemic.

David Castellano directs the Ingenio International Folklore Festival. / C7

It takes stock of an event that brought together some 16,000 people in its last edition and mobilized a hundred volunteers.

FZ The Gran Canarian palms

The 27th edition of this event with Canarian, national and international folklore has meant a return to normality, after two years of curbing face-to-face activities due to the pandemic.

-After two years without performing live within the framework of the festival, seeing the groups in front of the public again in this 27th edition has been a source of satisfaction.

-Without a doubt, live performances give an enhancement and a closeness that in no way could be achieved through other means or resources. It is true that in the last two editions, for obvious and well-known reasons, we have had to devise alternative formulas to give continuity to our project. The satisfaction is immense for all of us who are part of this festival, and it has been a very gratifying feeling to be able to return to the meeting, face to face with the groups, collaborators, institutions and especially with the general public.


-How do you evaluate the result of the change of location of the celebration of the closing show moved to the Plaza de la Candelaria?

-It is obvious to point out that the setting of the Nestor Park with the hundred-year-old 'Paquesito' palm tree as a witness is an incomparable natural setting, but it is no less true that the location of the Plaza de la Candelaria enjoys substantial advantages, basically related to the less difficulty for the organization in terms of logistics, deployment of audiovisual media and other elements necessary for its celebration. Added to this is the ease of access for all residents and foreigners who faithfully accompany us at the closing of each edition.

-Despite the opening of international borders for the movement of people and the improvement in the health situation, what problems has the festival had to face this year?

-The much acclaimed opening of borders does not seem to have substantially improved the problem in relation to the granting of visas, a procedure that seems to remain entrenched and with no apparent forecast of improvement in the short term. Basically we continue to encounter the same problems that we have had years ago. We have come into contact with groups that had little knowledge of the pandemic situation in terms of vaccination. It seems natural that still in the way of interacting between people and groups in general there is a certain objection or an apparent blockage that is not limited to the relationship with different ethnic groups and nationalities at all, but persists even among the countrymen themselves, an aspect This is still the result of learning that guides us towards more prudent behaviors in the use of spaces in respect of health regulations and in interaction with others.

-What would be your personal evaluation of the recently concluded edition this year?

-There has been a great evolution and great achievements in relation to previous editions. Not in vain our great previous experience plus the learning derived from these last two difficult years have led us to propose an environment that is perhaps more comfortable and accessible, thinking fundamentally of the audience that faithfully accompanies us in each edition. Highlight the important audiovisual display that accompanies all the activities of the Festival, including the Campus, but especially, the closing act and the fluidity that experience gives us when it comes to speeding up the intervention and participation of the different groups that are part of the closing of the festival

-What do you consider to be the greatest challenge for the future of this Festival that Coros y Danzas de Ingenio has promoted for the 27th edition?

-We are aware of the need to maintain the essence of the festival as a popular sentiment. On the other hand, one of our short-term goals is to be able to obtain the distinction of Fiesta of cultural and tourist interest at a national level. Now, the main challenge we face is to have an accommodation offer for visiting groups, because the existing conditions are beginning to be a more than important burden for this organization, since the groups that mostly enjoy a certain prestige, they may encounter conditions at the accommodation level that are not in line with the activities and the environment in which the Festival takes place. We should also have a stable budget at the official level by the different institutions. We feel like orphans with the Government of the Canary Islands. The organization needs guarantees that convey stability for the execution of each annual project and not be permanently installed in uncertainty.

Let's go to the numbers. How many volunteers collaborate in the festival?

-In this edition we have had more than a hundred volunteers who permanently work for the organization.

-How many companies in the area?

-On this occasion we have been able to count on the participation of about fifty companies.

-How many meals are served during the days of the festival?

-A total of 40 daily meals are served -not counting snacks- for each of the five participating groups, with each group having an average of 35 people.

-How many people in general linked to the organization do you think this festival mobilizes?

-In addition to the hundred people who are directly related to the organization of the festival, we have to add the groups, parrandas, friends of the festival, as well as unconditional linked directly and indirectly, what would mean around 500 people.

-Do you have an estimate of the amount of public that has followed the festival since it began on July 8?

-If we take into account each and every one of the activities that have made up the recently concluded edition, more than 16,000 people in person regardless of who has potentially been able to follow the festival and the Campus through social networks and reproductions of the official television channels that are still broadcasting.

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