Spanish Events After Lockdown
In this article I am going to talk about my experience of playing flamenco guitar for Spanish events after lockdown.
I am going to try to be a bit of a psychologist, a little or a sociologist and something of a historian.
Of course, I am none of those things, so please laugh with me.
Especially if I say some things which may not be quite right.
Nonetheless, I hope that you find the content a little interesting, even if you do not agree with me.
O.K. so here goes.
This spring and summer of 2021 I think I received more enquiries than ever before.
So, I started asking myself why.
I don’t think it is people thinking that I am an especially good flamenco guitarist.
There are lots of good guitarists.
Spanish Events Before Lockdown
2018/2019 was not a particularly good year for Spanish events.
I wasn’t getting as many enquiries as I would have liked.
Luckily, I still had work so I was not too worried.
I did however, wonder what might be the reason behind the drop in enquiries.
Before the pandemic there was a lot of talk and I would say promotion of the online experience.
I remember that people were very keen on the idea of watching online live performances of flamenco.
The idea being that you could sit at home and watch a show on your computer screen.
No need to go out and get cold and wet or pay for transport.
You could connect your laptop to your massive flatscreen, grab a sandwich, popcorn and as many drinks of whatever you like.
Lounge back on the sofa.
A button on your remote control could give you a pause to grab more from the kitchen.
People could hibernate into their own safe space and life was good.
Spanish Events After Lockdown
Around about April/May of 2021 there was a huge boom of interest.
I have never had so many enquiries.
Not only the weddings that could now start to go ahead or the typical Spanish restaurants.
Spanish themed events were on the increase.
There have been endless private parties.
So, what changed?
What changed was that something which had previously been an option now became obligatory.
All of a sudden, the cold reality of an isolated life started to feel somewhat less attractive.
Isolating yourself and viewing the world from a hand held electronic digital device was once pretty cool.
Now with the pandemic it has started to feel more like a restriction.
I saw people desperate to get out of the house.
They would risk a fine for breaking covid lockdown rules.
Worse they would risk catching covid.
This tells me that humans are social animals.
Looking back at events in Spain
This got me thinking about the period of Spanish history after Franco died and Spain began the transition to democracy.
I had a friend at that time who was very into politics, very pro democracy and very anti dictatorship.
He would go to all sorts of bars, including those which tended to have supporters of the old regime.
I asked him if it did not feel a bit weird or uncomfortable being around people who supported the very ideology that he found so disdainful.
He told me that human warmth is far more important than shared ideas.
That he was politically left and they were right was not going to be an impediment.
He said that he needed to be with people more than the need to be agreed with.
The future of Spanish events in Britain
Now, here in Britain we have pro vaccine and anti vaccine people.
There are those who are deeply concerned about the virus and those who doubt its existence.
The fact is that they all need to get out of the house.
I think that there is an unspoken agreement to avoid uncomfortable conversations because the night out is more important.
Finding practical solutions
If we accept that people need to socialise, I think it is necessary to find a safe way to do that.
Outdoor events are one potentially good solution.
People have always liked to have a summer garden party.
Nonetheless, this past summer I played flamenco guitar these types of events more than I ever have.
Likewise open air weddings became the norm.
In the same vein restaurants and pubs used marquees to provide a larger area to comply with social distancing regulations.
As the winter is now firmly with us such outside events are no longer viable without complicated heating arrangements.
Add to this the fact that Covid keeps mutating and you can quite see why people are choosing to stay at home.
There is no easy solution but I feel very sure that necessity will be the mother of invention.