The 19th National Meeting of Concertina da Barrenta Players took place last Saturday, September 26, in a different format, as a result of the pandemic by Covid-19.
The day started at 9:30 am in Juncal, where many people were already waiting. Pedreiras, Calvaria and Porto de Mós followed on the stipulated route.
“The balance is very positive, because above all we can touch people. When traveling, many were waiting for us on the streets, on the balconies, at the windows. At the stipulated stops, people awaited our arrival, excited, but always safe, with the recommended distances and masks. We couldn’t see the faces, but we felt that we were able to bring joy in times as uncertain as these that we are experiencing,” explains Ricardo Pereira, responsible for the Centro Cultural da Barrenta.
During the afternoon the itinerary passed through Serro Ventoso, Mendiga, Arrimal, São Bento, and Alvados, as planned, with the support of several local entities, in a total of about 20 musicians, taking music safely.
“It was only possible to realize this idea, with the support of the Municipality of Porto de Mós, and with all the Parish Councils, so that we could outline a path that covered as many people as possible, without the need to leave their homes, but they could still enjoy our music a little,” explains Ricardo Pereira.
The day ended with a visit to Mira de Aire and Alqueidão da Serra.
“We thank all those who somehow made this initiative possible. The objectives were ambitious, but they were achieved with the support and commitment of all. It was important for us to feel the happiness where we were going. We hope that in 2021, all together in our small village, we will be able to celebrate this day in person”, concluded the official.
For those who were outside the Porto de Mós area, the Barrenta ComVIDA initiative also offered followers on social networks, with almost four hours of music.
Around 50 groups, from all areas of Portugal, and two groups from abroad (France and Ukraine) accepted to participate in this online meeting. This musical moment was seen by about 30 thousand people.
This initiative usually takes place on the last Saturday of September, since 2001, and brings to the small village of Barrenta, Porto de Mós, hundreds of concertina players from all over the country. This small place, in the União das Freguesia de Alvados and Alcaria, has about 38 inhabitants, and in 2019 it welcomed more than 500 concertina players and thousands of visitors.
The first meeting was in 2001 and involved about 40 players, with the aim of being able to “give life” to a village that would itself disappear over the years if nothing was done to have some visibility.