The organizers of the Viña del Mar International Song Festival, which has been held every February since 1960 in that Chilean city, reported this Tuesday of the cancellation of the 2021 edition due to the coronavirus pandemic, being the first time in 60 years of history that there will be no contest.

The decision was made jointly by the television channels Televisión Nacional de Chile and Canal 13 -which currently have the festival concession through a tender from the Municipality of Viña del Mar- and by the mayor of the town, Virginia Reginato.

This determination “obeys the interest and concern of all the actors to take care of the health and well-being of people, due to the sanitary conditions of the pandemic, which make it impossible to carry out a massive event of these characteristics under the terms established by the current concession awarded, “according to a statement.

The announcement ended several months of uncertainty on the 62nd edition of the contest, which was to be held next February.

The Minister of Health himself, Enrique Paris, said last September that the festival probably could not be held in 2021, even if there is already a vaccine by then because, even if this is the case, not the entire population will be vaccinated.

Blow to commerce and tourism

The mayor, on the other hand, had been shown until now reluctant to cancel the event, despite the fact that the organizers had already asked him to postpone it given the “total uncertainty” generated by the pandemic.

“We will continue talking to have the best solutions especially for the reactivation of trade, tourism, so that Viña del Mar becomes the city we all want as soon as possible, “said Reginato the mayor on Tuesday, according to the local press.

In this sense, the official statement indicates that the two television channels that currently have the concession of the festival by contract “they will evaluate alternatives to promote tourism from the city of Viña del Mar, understanding the relevance of the Festival “for that region of the country.

Emblematic festival

The Viña del Mar Festival is one of the most famous in Latin America And in this year’s edition, artists such as the Puerto Rican Ricky Martin, the Chilean Mon Laferte, the Spanish Pablo Alborán or the American band Maroon 5 participated.

Chile has a total of 523,907 cases of coronavirus and 14,611 deaths since last March 3 the first positive was confirmed.

During the last weeks, the pandemic has experienced a favorable epidemiological moment, with the number of new daily cases around 1,500 and with national positivity rates below 5%.

However, the country is under a state of emergency due to catastrophe and with curfew until mid-December, and it is among the 20 countries with the most infections in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.