Tarraco Viva is like Laporta’s Barça. It has everything to be at the top of the classification and to be one of the favorite teams to win the Champions League, however, economic problems mean that right now the qui dia passa any empeny has been established. The only difference is that the Roman world’s historical re-enactment festival par excellence has been trapped in this groundhog day for so many years now, that it is beginning to have the tics of RCD Espanyol, whose only incentive is staying year after year.
The festival receives praise from all over. No one questions that it is a benchmark in the dissemination of heritage at a national and international level, which has been copied elsewhere. But no one is a prophet in his country and these praises do not translate into financial support. Tarraco Viva has this year a budget of €220,000, which represents a reduction of 50,000 euros compared to last year. Pulling from the newspaper library, one can see how in 2004, for example, the contest had 270,000 euros, with a program of a hundred acts. This year there will be more than 350, however, the available budget is far from the 410,000 euros that had been invested at times.
At the budget level, it has gone back almost twenty years, on the contrary, the organization has always tried to pull the bandwagon and make a festival of the highest quality, adjusting to the current situation. This year has not been easy. He himself recognized Councilor of Patrimoni, Herman Pinedo, on Tuesday as part of the presentation of the twenty-fourth edition. «The 220,000 euros of total budget that we have is not what we wanted, which was higher». And he added: «Until two months ago we didn’t know if we would have money for the festival and this has conditioned us».
There are items in the budget that are shielded and nobody dares to question. Why is Tarraco Viva not one of these? Why don’t we believe that culture should also be in this sphere?
It is clear that a scenario of no budgets does not make things easier. However, it is incomprehensible that until December an idea was being worked on and in January the system had to be restarted and started again. With this improvisation Tarraco Viva will never be able to place itself in the position it deserves, because if we want to promote the festival, betting on internationalization and the participation of schools, this cannot be done overnight.
There are items in the budget that are shielded and nobody dares to question. Why is Tarraco Viva not one of these? Why don’t we believe that culture should also be in this sphere? What role should the festival play now that it is about to turn 25? Perhaps it would be time for a deep reflection.
Tarragona is lazy to fly high. Let us remember that in 2011 the possibility of holding the biannual contest was even put on the table to cut the current expenditure of the City Council. In the end the accounts had to be negotiated and the Popular Party did not jump through the hoop.
How many times have we heard that we must ensure that Tarraco Viva is present in the city’s monuments throughout the year? Do you remember the Colònia Tarraco project? It proposed a permanent venue for historical disclosure in the fairgrounds of the Palau de Congressos. An ambitious macro-project with an investment of between six and eight million euros, which was planned to be developed in phases, and which we saw through some renders that have remained at this, despite the fact that it was even announced that there would be a game in the 2016 budget.
Something is wrong in this city. You just have to see what happens with other festivals to verify it. As an example, Les Santes de Mataro have a budget of 750,000 euros for this year or the Vic Live Music Market, that before the pandemic he had more than 826,000 euros. The High Season of Girona is already another league, with a budget of 3.3 million euros, of which more than 59% are obtained through box office income and sponsors. They have managed to do well in the north, taking into account that they started in 1992 with 46,270 euros. Although here it is worth making one last point. And it is that in this case the contribution of the Generalitat is around 700,000 euros, while the Catalan administration also contributes about 360,000 euros for the Mercat de Música Viva de Vic. In the case of Tarragona, participation is based on collaboration , through the organization of activities in the venues managed by the Catalan administration.
There are the teams that fight for the Champions League and those that do it so as not to drop in category. And here whoever has two minutes should look for the report of the Department of Culture on The Impact of the Music Festivals of Catalonia 2019. It only refers to the musical field but the map of intensity that it collects clearly shows a country with two rhythms. It is a clear example of the cultural situation in the southern regions of Catalonia and Ponent. If we don’t believe it from here, poor Tarraco Viva.