The ritual was born just two years ago, after the government of Xavier Trias and Turisme de Barcelona responded to the request that hoteliers in the city had been making for many years. Many of them complained that they did not know what to respond to their clients when they asked for information on where to celebrate the arrival of the new year. In the end, Barcelona, its neighbors and the thousands of visitors who arrived in the Catalan capital on Christmas dates were able to say goodbye to 2013 on Maria Cristina Avenue, in Montjuïc, where the Millennium Being , a giant 15 meters tall, created in the factory of La Fura dels Baus on the occasion of the city party premiere of the new millennium, starred in a pagan ceremony that would repeat on December 31, 2014. But what was on its way to becoming a tradition, a hallmark of New Year’s Eve of Barcelona, has already passed into history. The new municipal government and the organizers of the party have decided to retire the resident colossus in a Gavà park.
Various sources involved in the assembly of the New Year have confirmed to La Vanguardia a change of format in the public celebration of this date so indicated. The change will go in line with the modifications that the Government of Ada Colau wants to introduce – especially starting next year – in the Christmas program that the City Council organizes and finances. Colau wants a “more participatory and decentralized” Christmas and, although a public verbena will be held on the same Montjuïc stage and at the same time (from 23.30 to 0.15 hours), the format will be different from that of the previous two years.
In the absence of Barcelona City Council specifying which of the proposals
the table you choose, what is clear is that the government of BComú, also in this aspect, wants to set distances with respect to the Trias model. To this will is added the perception, shared by some of the parties involved in the organization of the party, such as Turisme de Barcelona, of which the protagonism of the Millennial Being, after the initial surprise and the repetition of the show the following year, had already shortly traveled and showed symptoms of exhaustion, although it was, precisely, the differential element with which Barcelona aspired to make a hole in the New Year’s summaries of television news programs around the world (almost impossible mission) and in social networks (something that had already achieved in the first two attempts).
If the one for the first New Year’s Eve party -the one from 2013 to 2014- was already a montage against the clock, this new edition is on a similar path. The fact of maintaining Maria Cristina Avenue as a stage directs the celebration towards a festival of light, pyrotechnics and water, taking advantage of the framework created by the Font Màgica, the backdrop of the Palau Nacional and the replica of the Quatre Columns by Puig i Cadafalch . Turisme de Barcelona has presented several proposals to the municipal authorities, which seem willing to impose, not so much in this as in future editions, that this show will be carried out by one or several local creators. It is confirmed that La Fura dels Baus and its Millennial Being will not participate.
The protagonist of the two previous Barcelona’s New Year’s Eve was a loan from the City Council of Gavà to Barcelona. The agreement of cession of the figure involved the Consistory of Baix Llobregat and La Fura dels Baus, which in turn signed the corresponding agreement with Barcelona. Gavà did not receive any financial compensation in return and it was the theater company that was in charge of the dismantling, transfer and subsequent return to the Mil·lenni park, which takes its name precisely from the doll installed in the city since December 5, 2001, when La Fura ceded it to the City Council -also free of charge- maintaining the intellectual property. The agreement was annual, from December 14 (local holiday in Gavà) until the beginning of January, and in no case established future commitments. Among the clauses of the agreement signed both last year and the previous one, it was pointed out that if the structure suffered any damage during its stay in Barcelona it would be La Fura who took charge of the repair.
Gavà took advantage of the event and turned the cession of the Millennian Being into another attraction of Christmas, with a farewell party that included performances by La Fura and various local entities to accompany the works to remove the iron structure. The then mayor, Joaquim Balsera, expressed his desire for the sculpture to become “a fixed symbol” of the New Year’s Eve party in Barcelona, although now the City Council of Gavà prefers not to value the decision that the government will take now of Ada Colau.
In the two previous years the Montjuïc festival has had the intervention
the Corporació Catalana de Ràdio i Televisió. TV3 broadcast the party live, breaking its tradition of emitting bells every year from a different population. On May 20, the government commission of the City Council, four days before the municipal elections that gave the victory to Ada Colau, approved the renewal of the agreement between TV3, the Consistory and Turisme de Barcelona to collaborate again in the dissemination of the show. According to the City Council, TV3 will continue to broadcast the Barcelona party, although sources of Catalan television said yesterday that, after the change of government, the terms of the agreement are not entirely closed. On October 28, the government commission authorized the current first deputy mayor, Gerardo Pisarello, to sign the new agreement.
One issue that is on the air is the search for private sponsors to help finance the show
Various sources consulted by La Vanguardia have ensured that, for the moment, no one from the City Council has contacted the companies that usually collaborate in this type of event to contribute also this year. Although the little willingness of the BComú government to resort to this model of intervention by the private sector is well known, the municipal sources assure that, as in previous editions, sponsors are jointly sought to minimize the costs of the soiree.