When in February 2020 they had to interrupt the most anticipated event of the year in one of the most visited cities in the world, due to the pandemic, most people thought “we’ll make it up next year”. Then February 2021 came and, although with slightly brighter prospects thanks to the arrival of the vaccine, Venice is still not ready to host the millions of tourists it used to welcome for its Carnival.
There are many people involved in the organization of the Venice Carnival. It is not just a city festival, it is also a very important event for the economy of the city. CNA Turismo e Commercio (the Italian organization representing craft enterprises) had estimated a turnover of 260 million euros for the year 2020, many of which went up in smoke. Last February there was no time to reorganize everything. This year, after having hoped until the very last moment to be able to see Piazza San Marco full of people in masks, they decided to transform the Carnival into a streaming event.
The Municipality of Venice has in fact organized a series of live streams that will be broadcast between 6 and 16 February 2021. They will be held in Palazzo Ca ‘Vendramin Calergi, which is home to the Venice Casino. Several virtual rooms will be set up and poeple will be able to access only after registering. Among these there will be that of the Kids Carnival, dedicated to the little ones, in which there will be workshops, interactive stories and a competition for the most beautiful baby mask. In the Teen Carnival room, there will be contests and tutorials with some of the influencers of the moment. La Machera più Bella room will instead host the traditional competition to vote the most beautiful mask.
La Fenice theater, which has been closed to the public for a long time, was excluded from the streaming event. In fact, at the end of January, the theater workers decided to launch a petition on the website Change.org, where they asked the Minister of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Dario Franceschini, to be able to participate to the Carnival with their live streaming shows.
“During the first phase of the pandemic, theaters were closed for more than three months, two of which without even the chance for workers to access them for activities that didn’t involve an audience. Live events have continued to be suspended since 24 October but there is a chance (which should be increased, by the way) to work through streaming”, say the workers, underlining their utmost attention to safety. “The Carnival of Venice can and must be an opportunity to relaunch Venetian culture with streaming events featuring the Foundation’s workers” they say. A few days before it begins, however, ther has been no confirmation on the possibility of seeing the amazing shows that have always been organized in the ancient theater during the Carnival.