Rio's Carnival Parade Faces Uncertain Future without Financial Support from City

Rio mayor will not fund samba schools in 2020

Rio de Janeiro

"Carnival is a stunted baby that needs to be weaned and walk on its own legs," said Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcelo Crivella (PRB). Well, a few months ago, he finally decided to wean the baby.

He will not pass on any money to the samba schools that will parade in Marquês de Sapucaí from next year. He had already reduced these funds to a quarter of what was allocated by his predecessor, Eduardo Paes (DEM).

Rio's Carnival Parade 2019 (Foto: Bruna Prado/UOL).

With no municipal money in sight, the samba school leagues are experiencing a period of uncertainty about how they will fund the party. Still not sure, for example, who will pay for services such as cleaning, security, lighting, and medical care at the sambadromo.

As with subsidies to associations, it was the city hall that supported these activities. In July, however, Crivella decided to ban public agencies from investing or providing free services at ticket sales events. Who would have to do this would be the organizers themselves, as already happens with Rock in Rio.

"We are switching from public to private investment. The city is the only one that officially invests in Carnival, while tax collection is shared with the state and federal governments," said Marcelo Alves, president of RioTur, the municipal company responsible for the event.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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