[Festivals Stories] Varaždin Baroque Evenings
Varaždin Baroque Evenings are amongst oldest festivals in Croatia, as well as one of the most renowned festivals of early music in the world. It has been going continuously for the past 50 years in spite of changes happening in Croatia, even war. The coronavirus pandemic was a challenging time for everyone in the events industry, as well as for our festival but we are proud to say that we managed to organise our festival successfully even in 2020 and we celebrated its 50th anniversary during the pandemic year. To make this happen, we enforced four safety measures.
Measure 1 - helping Croatian music industry and avoiding complications while crossing the border.
Of course, just like the rest of events industry, we also had to make changes to our usual way of operating. Even though Varaždin Baroque Evenings usually host musicians from various countries, because of the pandemic, the 50th edition of the festival consisted exclusively those chosen from the best Croatian early music performers. While making such decision, we ensured the safety of all performers and visitors, but also helped local performers to continue playing and making a living from their work during the year of struggle for all.
Measure 2 - lowering the risk of spreading the disease while ensuring enough space between visitors and performers 2020.
This was also the first year Varaždin Baroque Evenings had the opening ceremony outside, right next to the old town castle to allow everyone who was attending to feel safe and avoid the risk of spreading the disease. During the whole festival, we had our faithful audience in mind and wanted to make sure that we ensure they still had the festival experience while keeping them safe.
Measure 3 - using modern technology to ensure safety for all
Special attention was put on disinfecting all areas, making sure everyone had a mask available, if not, one was given to them for free, making sure no one had higher body temperature (temperature was measured with AI devices). Tickets were sold and checked exclusively online and with applications so there wouldn't be any lines at the entrance and to ensure as little human contact as possible.
Measure 4 - availability and visibility of the Festival
To make sure everyone had a chance to enjoy performances during the festival, we also live streamed concerts to our social media channels.
More information: https://vbv.hr/en/
(General Editor: Simon Mundy)
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