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Wednesday, 13 May 2020

FiraTàrrega redefines its activity in a special edition that adapts to the consequences of the pandemic


The festival's usual format has been postponed to 2021 (from 9 to 12 September) and is being replaced by a special edition.

The Support for Creation programme will stick to its goal of guiding scenic creation and constitutes the corpus of coproductions funded by FiraTàrrega, with a total of 18 shows. The residencies and open rehearsals in Tàrrega will be postponed until more ideal health and occupancy conditions can be guaranteed.

The professional activity scheduled for 9 and 10 September will be maintained, but online, with a programme of meetings, presentations and talks centred on creating market dynamics in the national, state and international sphere.

A travelling show tour, under the FiraTàrrega label, is soon to be launched, with a street performance art programme that will take shape in the first trimesters of 2021 in conjunction with activities designed to catalyse the market.

The Board of Directors of the Street Theatre Fair of Tàrrega has approved a plan to redefine FiraTàrrega's activity on the basis of the circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The purpose was to find an alternative formula for making FiraTàrrega happen, with four main goals. First, to guarantee health security, preventing the massive and uncontrolled presence of show-goers in the city. Second, to mitigate the limitations which will probably still be affecting the international mobility of professionals and artists in September. Third, to find a formula that preserves the revitalisation of the artistic sector, in terms of both creation and hiring, and to contribute to the resuming and normalising of the activity. And fourth, to offset the more-than-likely loss of revenue linked to patrons, sponsors, advertising, street presence and ticket sales, which supply a significant portion of FiraTàrrega's budget. The administrations represented on the Board of Directors have promised to guarantee public contributions to the extent possible, provided these four goals are preserved.

Thus, from the first moment of the pandemic's expansion and realistically analysing the situation, the fair's organisational team has been working on plans for possible scenarios for maintaining the activity, with the understanding that none of them could possibly allow for the optimal conditions for the realisation of a "normal" edition of the event.

The Board of Directors has opted for a special format of the edition which will require the event to transform itself and which, in the absence of more detailed specifics to be determined in the coming months, is based on three pillars of action:

- Support for Creation. The unfurling and follow-up, throughout 2020 and 2021, of the packet of coproductions for the accompaniment of 18 scenic creation projects which will receive financial and strategic support from FiraTàrrega and from around forty partners, including performance venues, festivals and municipal governments, from around the country. When lockdown restrictions ease enough to allow it (fall 2020), FiraTàrrega will explore the viability of establishing dates for residencies and a programme of rehearsals open to the public.

- La Llotja Online. An international digital event for performing arts professionals, from 9 to 10 September 2020, which will include --pending accreditation-- a packet of talks, presentations, speed meetings and systems of interpersonal communication, through the use of FiraTàrrega's professional web app, video conferencing and chat tools.

- FiraTàrrega Tour. The planning, management and funding of a street arts exhibition tour, under the FiraTàrrega label, to be performed in the first three trimesters of 2021. A significant portion of the artistic content to nourish this tour will come from the shows in the Support for Creation programme, supplemented by other shows which the artistic direction will propose

From here on, the organisational team of FiraTàrrega is getting down to work, starting now, on determining the ins and outs of all these activities to make a special edition come into being, without on-site artistic activity in the city of Tàrrega, on the scheduled dates from 10 to 13 September and adjourning the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the event, envisioned for this year, until 2021. However, the essence of public service for the performing arts sector will be reinforced, and the event will serve as a preview for certain lines of action, already imagined in the festival's strategic and transformative plan (in a process put on hold by the effects of Covid-19) for the coming years.