...And the city stayed awake
For the third year running, the city of Madrid demonstrated its lively nightlife in La noche en blanco. Once again, the streets were flooded with hundreds of thousands of visitors, who took part both in the outdoor activities and the visits to the city's museums and emblematic buildings.
From 9 p.m. on Saturday 13th September to 7 a.m. on Sunday, Madrid offered a total of 170 different activities, in whose organization over 250 institutions were involved.
The huge ovation Pedro Almodóvar received from the audience on his arrival at the show, Canciones para Pedro (Songs for Pedro), put on as a homage to him by La noche en blanco, was the first indication of the success of an event which was to include the most varied offer of performing, visual, musical and dramatic arts, brought together under the common denominator of contemporary creation and the avant-garde.
This show, along with the other activities which took place there, made Matadero Madrid one of the most important venues of La noche en blanco, other venues being Conde Duque, the Royal Palace, El Prado museum, La Almudena cathedral, Círculo de Bellas Artes, the Santiago Bernabéu stadium and the Paraninfo of Universidad Complutense.
But, yet another year, the biggest crowds gathered in the streets of the city; streets filled with the artistic offerings which the visitors to La noche en blanco would just suddenly "stumble across" in the most unexpected corners of the city. Once again, the areas receiving the main influx of visitors were the main streets of Prado-Recoletos, Gran Vía and calle Alcalá. Over a hundred thousand people enjoyed the activities on offer in these major urban throughways, and in other points of the city including Plaza de España, Plaza Vázquez de Mella and Explanada del Rey, adjacent to the Manzanares river.
One of the major successes of La noche en blanco was therefore, without a doubt, the superb response of the people of Madrid in an event in which, despite the massive influx of visitors, fewer incidents took place than on a normal weekend night in the capital. Once again, hundreds of thousands of people were able to experience a unique, poetical, alternative and interactive night.
As in the other capital cities which form part of the European White Nights, the event in Madrid, in its third year, proved to be a point of reference for contemporary art, with the added value of being free of charge and its capacity to promote attitudes of participation and use of space and public transport among citizens. In short, the event is a night of peaceful coexistence between art, the city and its inhabitants, which will once again take place in September, 2009. See you then!