The refusal of the president of the Port Authority, Carlos González, to give up the land on which the Christmas Concert is being held so that Fiestas can set up the stage for the carnival 2022 and thus hosting the contests and galas next June, has not sat well with the City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which has decided to wait a period of 24 hours, as confirmed to DIARIO DE AVISOS by the Councilor for Fiestas, Alfonso Cabello, to find out the technical arguments that support this decision that could be “the definitive blow to Carnival 2022, which is taking place at the moment of greatest uncertainty in history.”
Throughout today, Thursday, it will be known, therefore, what is the next step that the Consistory will take, and the mayor himself, José Manuel Bermúdez, who has been maintaining contacts in the last few hours to achieve a consensus. And it is that it has been a decision, that of the Port Authority, which has generated a “tremendous surprise” to the Councilor for Festivities of the Santa Cruz City Council, who told this newspaper that it is “a lack of will” and “no there is a reasonable explanation for rejecting the proposal.” Cabello explained that the requested area is “underused, as it is barely used for port traffic”, and that in the last six months it has been used for parking and to celebrate the Christmas Concert. An act, the latter, for which the space remained blocked for 45 days. For the Carnival, in June, it would be done for 60 days and for between 12 and 17 acts.
In Cabello’s opinion, “this decision seriously jeopardizes the celebration of Carnival and the economic activity of bars, restaurants, shops, hotels, SMEs and the self-employed.” Reason for which he expressed his desire that the Port Authority reconsider and change its mind. Otherwise, he assured, it would show that “the Port Authority lives with its back to Santa Cruz.” The mayor added that the capital is “in exceptional circumstances” and asked that the technical reports be taken into account in which it is recorded that this esplanade, in front of the Cabildo, is the ideal one to celebrate the carnival due to its extension. The City Council would assume the costs of security and cleaning.
While an answer arrives, Fiestas is looking for possible alternatives for the stage, such as the esplanade of the Parque Marítimo or that of the Plaza de España, which already hosted some competitions in 2010 and where the Juan Luis Guerra concert was held in 2019. Places, however, that Alfonso Cabello describes as “inadequate for security and space reasons”, both for Carnival groups, who need spaces to change and place their materials, and to maintain the necessary distances to prevent the spread of the virus. COVID-19.
“I don’t want to think that the decision of the Port Authority is a political trip so that the Carnival is not celebrated,” said Alfonso Cabello. “Santa Cruz is capital because of its port and we do not boycott its activity. At this time there is no need to put yourself in profile. The port belongs to the chicharreros and you have to row in the same direction. It’s just a matter of giving up a space”, sentenced the mayor, visibly affected and angry. And it is that they are not being easy months for Fiestas, which has seen impediments, from the first moment, to celebrate the Carnival. The municipal area had to raise the economic item for the tender of the stage after declaring itself deserted, it has faced a change in the date of the festivities, it must resolve an appeal filed because the selection process of the poster is questioned and now it must deal with the Port Authority for space.
According to the technical report that assesses the conditions, from the artistic and safety point of view for the celebration of the Carnival, the esplanade of the Santa Cruz pier is the ideal one for the acts of these festivities that are planned to take place from 4 to 26 of June. And it is that it has an area of 10,700 square meters, compared to 9,170 of the Avenida Marítima-Teniente Grandi Giraud, and 9,781 of the Parque Marítimo car park. It is therefore, the Santa Cruz wharf, the one that comes closest to meeting the basic needs for the proper functioning of contests and galas, which require 11,320 square meters.
In addition, a Carnival stage in the port would have a capacity of 4,300 people, compared to the Parque Marítimo, which would have 3,500, and the Avenida Marítima, 2,200. Likewise, the port is the only one of the areas that has the minimum width for the stage, which has electricity, which would not cause an environmental impact on nearby homes, and in which it would not be necessary to remove street furniture or cut off traffic, as with the other options.
The Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife announced on Tuesday that it will not be able to assume the celebration of the so-called official Carnival in the port esplanade proposed by the Capital City Council “as it is a plot in which port operations are carried out and whose availability is a priority for this use. The occupation of said plot would last for practically two months, a period unaffordable by the port entity, which must guarantee the provision of services in the Dársena de Los Llanos”.
As explained by the Port Authority, the proposal of the Santa Cruz City Council was not known in detail until Tuesday afternoon, during the course of the Port-City Commission, “meeting in which the representatives of the Corporation made known for the first time their celebration proposal, with certain and immovable conditions, unknown until then and not agreed by Puertos de Tenerife and that have been revealed in principle as unaffordable”.
The representatives of the Port proposed to explore all the possibilities of other more appropriate venues for the celebration, such as the Fairgrounds and the esplanade attached to the Plaza de España, even if this means a resizing of the stage or a readjustment of the dates.
The Port Authority emphasizes that “this proposal to occupy the port for 60 days for 12 continuous events completely deviates from the agreement that had been reached with the City Council.”
New meeting between Fiestas and Carnival groups
Today, Thursday, at 5:30 p.m., the meetings begin between the Councilor for Fiestas and the artistic direction of the Carnival with the representatives of each of the disciplines to analyze the contests and the planned galas, as announced last week, between the 4th and the 26th of next June.