Traditional Carnaval kick off is on, but smaller than usual

Carnaval kick off
Image courtesy: Omroep Brabant

After long deliberation, a decision has been made: the traditional Carnaval kick off event ‘3 Uurkes Vurraf’ (three hours in advance) will continue this year, with an audience. But there are fewer people at the start of Carnaval where dozens of artists perform.

“This year we opt for an unadulterated, modest party in Eindhoven”.

“We’re not going for the traditional ‘3 Uurkes Vurraf’ (three hours in advance) with three thousand people in a tent and a large stage,” says Arthur Marres from Omroep Brabant Event Productions. “That is unfortunately one step too far because of the many corona infections. But we are very happy that we can still kick off Carnaval in the purest way. That way, we have the best of both worlds.

Actually, everyone assumed that the ‘3 Uurkes Vurraf’ would be cast in a digital format, just like last year, with a home audience. “That audience is still there,” says Arthur. “They turn their living room into a cosy pub and watch the broadcast cheerfully dressed up. The home celebrants can be seen behind the stage via a fifteen-metre LED wall.”

“So some lucky people can actually be there.”

“The response to follow the Carnaval spectacle digitally has been massive,” says Arthur. “We have received three thousand registrations. Some lucky people can actually be there and we are giving those tickets away via radio, TV and internet. We are currently calculating exactly how many revellers will be able to attend.”

The artists are also very happy to be able to perform in front of an audience again. “It is, of course, very difficult for a Carnaval artist to stand in front of a bare room, while normally you are welcomed by a frenzied crowd in a steaming marquee.”

“When the number of infections skyrocketed, we thought, this is never going to happen.”

For a long time, it was very uncertain: will ‘3 Uurkes’ go ahead or not? “It was a rollercoaster”, the event manager recalls. “On 11 November, we decided that the party would be held in a tent on Stadhuisplein in Eindhoven, and three days later the omikron variant surfaced, which called everything into question. In December, the number of infections skyrocketed and we were heading for a lockdown again. Then we thought: this is never going to work.”

“And when we finally heard that it might go ahead, after all, it was very exciting whether we could get it all sorted out in time to put on such a large-scale event.”

The fact that the party can now go ahead really touches Arthur. “It is the best day of the year for me. ‘3 Uurkes’ is so much fun. I wake up in the morning in a jubilant mood, put on my outfit and in the car on my way to Eindhoven I put on some loud Carnaval music, singing along at the top of my lungs. The smile on my face couldn’t be bigger.

Source: Omroepbrabant

Translation by: Simge Taşdemir




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