A stage in the middle of Sant Cugat central park, decorated with hearts, pink colors and all kinds of romantic imagery. At the moment, the picture is emptier than the Ciudadanos headquarters after the Andalusian elections, but in a few hours not even a pin will fit. People from all over Catalonia will come to this festival to find love… or some substitute. They are on tour Tinder Cat, a digital platform for linking up between Catalan speakers that became famous on Twitter and has now made the leap to analog. Organize blind datingto the ‘First Dates’, but live.
It is still daytime, and preparations continue. All those singles (or in an open relationship) who are willing to play guinea pigs in the «love factory», as they call this live romantic experiment, they approach the organizers and give their names and sexual preferences. There they are distributed in random dates where they will compete for their love without seeing each other’s faces.
As the list of loving volunteers increases, the park fills up with onlookers who, surrounded by ‘foodtrucks’ for dinner, bars to drink at and ‘djs’ to whose rhythm they start dancing, wait for the love auction to begin. The vast majority of expectant attendees respond the same: «I came out of curiosity” either “to see what atmosphere is breathed…», but others are clear: «I have come to flirtI am leaving here married and with the number of children already closed”, jokes Uma, a 25-year-old Argentine who has just added her name to the list of volunteers who will go on stage.
Night falls and the presenters of the event appear, explaining the dynamics of tonight: there will be a bachelor he will sit in a corner of the stage, hidden behind a screen. Four suitors will accompany him, who, although they will be able to see each other, will not be able to see the courted one. Through questions, they will overcome rounds based on compatibility, until the person behind the screen makes the final decision and chooses who he goes with under his arm.
The first single of the night is Ariadna, 21 years old. «I did not come to flirt today, although my friends have set me up. But if something comes up… well better », begins her argument, somewhat shy. She defines herself a bit: she is bisexual, she likes surfing, her ideal partner must like the sea, and she hates smoking. They open the screen and her four suitors appear, two boys and two girls, including Uma. “I am a newcomer,” she explains in her opening statement, something that she corroborates when she assures that her ideal date is in the Carmel bunkers. “She doesn’t lie, it’s clear that she’s a foreigner,” she replies sarcastically Gerryone of the presenters and creators of Tinder Cat.
After the first round of questions, in the purest OT style, Ariadna must nominate two people who will not cross the catwalk of her love. The remaining two, in the next round, have 30 seconds to make a final ‘speech’ with which to seduce her and, then, behind the screen, she makes a decision.
After a speech in which Regina, one of the suitors, says that she is from Mallorca, that she loves the sea and that, for Ariadna, she would stop smoking, the courtee opts for her. Applause, shouts of joy, romantic music and both, with their eyes closed, shake hands. The expectation to see her reactions is as high as when Chanel received 12 points from the jury at Eurovision. “You can open your eyes!” he yells. Gerry while both, seeing each other for the first time, smile and give each other a shy hug.
“He convinced me when he told me about the beach,” says Ariadna behind the scenes. And now? “Well, we’ll have a beer… let’s see what happens”, they say smiling, as they move away hand in hand. It was not the only couple of the night, nor the last on the platform. The next installment of tinder cat tour will be this saturday, 25at 10 p.m.in the central park of Igualada (Anoia). What new love stories will come out of here?