Manga Barcelona faces the covid with a face-to-face edition

  • The show will open doors this Friday with sold out tickets, capacity adjustments and the physical absence of Japanese authors, who will connect in ‘streaming’

In 2019, 152,000 visitors stepped on the Manga Barcelona in a record 25th edition. So nothing suggested that two years would pass before the ‘otakus’ and any lover of Japanese comics and culture could once again enjoy a classroom. The covid forced to celebrate the 2020 exclusively ‘online’. But this Friday October 29, and until Monday, November 1, manga fans will return to the pavilions of Fira Montjuïc with renewed eagerness even if it is incorporating the Mandatory mask to popular ‘cosplay’ outfits. Test of the desire to face classroom are the tickets for the four days, which They’re sold out last Monday in just a few hours. Although there is still hope for those who have been left without.

In the presentation of the program for this 27th edition, Meritxell Puig, director of Manga Barcelona, announced this Monday, together with Oriol Estrada, responsible for content, that this Tuesday or Wednesday (they will announce it on social networks) will go on sale a remnant of tickets that will be the result of having finished solving the incidents that occurred during the purchase process (there were times when 1,500 tickets were being sold per minute and more than 15,000 users were trying to buy them at the same time). And for those who, even so, are left without, they can wait for the days of the festival: since the entrance is a single access (if they leave, they will not be able to enter again), if someone leaves, they will generate a vacancy in the capacity and therefore a new possibility of acquiring the tickets, always on sale ‘online’ from the web (there will be no physical lockers).

Vaccination point

Those who have finally been able to enter will be able to circulate through the 70,000 square meters of pavilions 1,2, 2.1 and 5 from the Fira Montjuïc site as well as the Plaza del Univers. There will be one less pavilion, the 4th, which for months has been working as a massive vaccination point against the covid; in fact, inside the room itself there will be a vaccination point that will invite everyone who has not already done so to immunize themselves.

“The ‘covid regulations’ will be followed. We are still in a pandemic and this is an event that brings together many people, and many are young people who have not yet been vaccinated,” says Puig. mask will be mandatory, except for eating [se podrá llevar comida de casa y habrá también espacios de bar y ‘foodtrucks’]. It will be ensured to maintain the safety distance with circuits of people: you will enter a pavilion through one place and exit through another to avoid crossings and possible concentrations will be controlled monitoring the flow of the public even with infrared. There will be various hand washing points with gel & mldr; But above all we hope that the common sense because we cannot forget that we are still in a pandemic. ”

2019 visitors

Without wanting to advance figures or how many people can congregate, Puig predicts that “it is possible that the 2019 numbers will be reached even with one less pavilion.” Although the current allowed capacity is 100%, the organization works with a somewhat lower percentage “to avoid problems and thinking that there are as many people as possible but with all the security conditions.”

Due to the pandemic, this year they will reach 80% of exhibitors, a decrease compared to two years ago that is due to the fact that those who usually come from Japan will not be, as is the Nintendo space, since the instructions from the Japanese Government are not to go to face-to-face events. “There they are a wave behind us and there are much fewer people vaccinated than here,” says the director of Manga Barcelona. The obligation to do quarantine when they return to their country has also influenced the physical absences of the Japanese authorss, which this year can only be enjoyed in meetings and connections ‘online’. It is the case of the ‘mangakas’ Hirako Waka, autora de’My broken Mariko’, y Kohinata Marco (‘Hei no naka no Biyoshitsu’). In person, there will be no shortage of Spanish authors, such as Kenny Ruiz, with a 20-year career behind him and succeeding in the Japanese market.

The programing

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Performances, traditional music concerts, martial arts workshops, drawing, Japanese calligraphy and writing, ‘cosplay’ and karaoke competitions and the Otaquiz, the gastronomic space with recipes and chefs, talks and presentations of novelties and the rescue of the exhibition that could be seen for the 25th anniversary, now updated with the ‘covid year’. Everything will be part of a program whose unmissable can be consulted here and in which the who, in collaboration with Cine Asia and of the movie, with screenings of films and animes in the Auditorium of the hall, including the one of the classic ‘Spirited Away’, who turns 20 years old. A festival that will also move to the city center for some acts at Casa Seat, on Passeig de Gràcia.

Despite masks, gels and safety distances, the great success, and the challenge, will undoubtedly be the recovery of presence in a large mass festival, glimpsing a future return to pre-pandemic normality. And, as the image of the poster for this edition, by Carles Dalmau, in a recognizable Post-apocalyptic Barcelona and semi-submerged in water, the manga returns with the ability to save the world and transmit illusion.

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