The 2023 edition of the Mérida Fest consolidates the city as a cultural reference point

Cultural diversity, creativity, talent, and citizen participation were elements that made the 2023 edition of the Mérida Fest “Felices los Felices” an international festival with good results reflected in the more than 150 thousand people who attended the different activities.

This year’s Mérida Fest included 25 days of activities, during which from January 5 to 29, the talent of 850 artists was experienced in 98 shows and 248 presentations in fifty venues in the city and some police stations, according to a press release from the Directorate of Culture. It was a celebration for the coexistence and development of the city.

The Mérida Fest, organized by the Mérida City Hall headed by Mayor Renán Barrera Concha, is the first festival to kick off the year, and in addition to celebrating the city, which celebrates its 481st anniversary, it also celebrates the people, cultures and identities of other countries that are still present in the local dynamics.

Those who visited the city during the festival showed great interest in the artistic activities. Eight out of ten visitors attended to at the tourist modules requested information on the program of shows.

Out of 10 countries invited, the festival ended with artists from 16 different latitudes sharing their talent and captivating Meridanos and visitors with their voices and musical instruments. There was art from Cuba, Senegal, France, Venezuela, the Holy Land, Spain, Colombia, the United States, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Argentina, Ecuador, Canada and China.

The experience of those who joined in celebrating the city’s festivities was enjoyed in Dance, Music, Traditional Events, Gastronomy, Children’s Gambling, Theater, Cinema, as well as in the Regional Tandas, Visual Arts, Fashion, Circus Arts, Literature, Conferences, Digital Experience, Tributes and the Dance Marathon. Music was the art form with the largest audience at the festival, as the shows in this discipline brought together more than 71,000 people of all ages.

For those who could not attend in person, live transmissions were offered to show to almost 30 thousand spectators the different artistic gifts of the invited artists, such as the concerts of the band Aterciopelados, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Viaje de Ida y Vuelta (with the Spanish duo El Mantel de Noa), Sara Correia, Ara Malikian, Alborada, En las Nubes (with La Sensacional Orquesta Lavadero), Espiral. Circo Joven de Cuba, Afrique en Cirque, La Alborada and the presentation of the Orquesta Infantil y Juvenil del Ayuntamiento de Mérida.

According to the social media report, during the month of January, the accounts of the Directorate of Culture remained active, with photographs and videos of the different activities, reaching more than two million users, who interacted more than 34 thousand times, leaving more than seven thousand comments and 42 thousand reactions.

Mérida Fest was also an inclusive, sensitive and supportive festival, as 10 young people from the Centro Recreativo y Ocupacional La Ceiba and the Casa de la Cultura para Personas con Discapacidad del DIF Municipal joined in the activities by being hosts at the doors of several theaters and forums where musical shows and plays were presented.

Mérida reaffirmed its commitment to universal art with the collection “Matisse. Art in balance” in the halls of the Olimpo Cultural Center: The exhibition, which arrived from Spain and is the largest one exhibited in the country so far, shows through 114 works the creative capacity and mastery of the French artist, especially in his stage as an engraver. A week after its opening, the collection has been visited by three thousand people and will remain on display until April 30.

Thanks to the call issued by the Mérida Fest, local talent was also applauded with premieres in international production, such as “Exilia“, and others such as “La boxita patrona“, “El enfermo imaginario. Diálogos para curar el alma“, “El Ramayana, de Valmiki“, “Nicte Ha Jazz” and “Gotham Yardbird Sanctuary-México 2023“.

Mérida also received gifts from Venezuelan sonero Óscar de León, Vocalité, Tawfic Amencor, Duo Ablaye Cissoko (Senegal) & Cyrille Brotto (France), Josh Cohen Jazz Fussion, cellist Carlos Prieto, Al Anwar Haifa en Concierto and Ana Cirré.

Literature was also one of the disciplines that demonstrated a taste for the genre through the II Encuentro Nacional de Cuentistas (ENAC 2023) and the presentations of books by selected writers from the Fondo de Ediciones y Coediciones Literarias del Ayuntamiento de Mérida (Literary Editions and Coeditions Fund of the Mérida City Council).

The festival included shows for children such as “Cumbiando Andamos“, “Sin miedos“, “En busca de la abeja melipona“, “Pimiento Morrón” and “Forofo. In search of lost talent“, which brought together more than 7,500 attendees.

The talent of popular artists conquered with their rhythms in the presentations of the groups Censurado, Los Liberarios and Paleto “La voz de la cumbia“, which made more than 20 thousand people of all ages dance.

Regional theater, one of the signs of Yucatecan identity, was also applauded by more than 5,300 people who attended 10 Tandas Regionales and the play “Me llamo Melo y me quieren volver loco“, with actor Melo Collí, who celebrated three decades of artistic career.

The birth of the Orquesta Infantil y Juvenil del Ayuntamiento de Mérida, an initiative of Mayor Renán Barrrera, was another of the surprises of the festival, which contributed to the formation of new values, the approach to new audiences through music and the enrichment of the city’s cultural offerings. The group, directed by music educator Malú Farías, has already given two presentations and is preparing its next concert at the end of February with a new repertoire.

The Chamber of the Restaurant and Seasoned Food Industry (Canirac) Yucatán Delegation was also present at Mérida Fest in the II Gastronomic Interpretation Contest in which six teams of students, chefs and local restaurants took part.

Likewise, a great event for the fashion industry and Yucatecan talent was experienced at the “Amanecer” (Sáastal) fashion show with the new collections of designers and brands such as Indumental, Gerardo Torres, Abito, Valerosa, Alejandro Carlin and Mora Ruiz. The fashion show was held in conjunction with the National Chamber of the Clothing Industry (Canaive) Yucatan Delegation.

All activities were free of charge, with shows aimed at children, youth and adults. During this month of February, some shows will return to the Merida billboard under the concept of Los imperdibles del Mérida Fest, in support of the artists, some of which are ticketed.

TYT Newsroom