The invited shamans and witches, who hail from diverse ethnic backgrounds, will come from all over Colombia for the event, one of the largest theater festivals in the world. Visitors will pray that the omens are good as the sorcerers inaugurate the festival with traditional rain dances. “It will be a sunny day. That is what I hope for first,” said festival director Anamarta de Pizarro.
Organizers will hope that a cloud does not hang over proceedings following last year’s shaman scandal, in which it was revealed shaman Jorge Elias Gonzalez Vasquez had been paid $1,500 to keep rain away during the inauguration of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, and $12,000 to do the same at the opening ceremony of the U20 World Cup in Colombia.
Since the festival is to take place during the Colombian rainy season, whether or not it will rain only a sorcerer can tell. What is guaranteed is that the thousands of festival acts — such as George Orwell’s 1984 directed by Tim Robbins — will keep up spirits … whatever the weather.