Baroque Music Festival canceled
By Jade Arroyo
After seven years, the yearly Baroque Music Festival has been canceled. On September 27, its director, Rodrigo Treviño, offered a press conference to explain the causes of the cancellation.
On March 17, 2011, during the last Baroque Music Festival, an unfortunate event marred the festival’s reputation. A special concert was offered at a former Augustine convent in the city of Yuriria. A group of tourists were driven to the concert in a bus hired by festival staff. On the way back to San Miguel, the driver suddenly stopped on the highway between Celaya and Salvatierra, refusing to continue and prohibiting the passengers from leaving the vehicle until money supposedly owed to the transportation company was given to him. This supposed debt was 60 percent of the total agreed upon, and according to Treviño it had not yet been fully paid because the payment was still being processed.
Although there were no injuries or threats to the passengers’ safety, they were extremely upset, and the incident was called an “express kidnapping” on some Internet blogs and other communications forums.
Treviño said that this unfortunate incident tarnished the festival’s image and generated expenses that have consumed the festival’s funds, hindering him from producing the festival this year. According to Treviño, the Baroque Music Festival generated tourism and income for the city.
The Baroque Music Festival was created to increase and promote cultural tourism by paying tribute to music from the past featuring some uncommon instruments and forms such as opera and the cantata. The concept was to present baroque music within the framework of a city like San Miguel, which is baroque in itself, having been built between the 17th and 18th centuries, and to use the music as a bridge between countries and cultures.
The festival was held at the theater, open-air theater and chapel of the Cultural Center Santa María del Obraje; the Angela Peralta Theater; and in public spaces such as the Jardín, where free concerts were given. Over the years, other special events were held in conjunction with the festival. It is not been decided whether the Baroque Music Festival will be held in San Miguel in 2014 or be moved to another city.