Carnatal 2006

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The "Corredor da Folia" (Corridor of Party)

Out of the 3,800 meters of the Carnatal circuit, about 800 meters are located inside the so called "Corredor da Folia"; the remaining 3,000 meters are distributed around the streets of Natal.

The corridor is the street usually used as parking loot during the sports events in Machadão and Machadinho. During the Carnatal, the street is closed; both sides of the street are taken by camarotes and arquibancadas; in the middle, a corridor is formed.
Bands pass twice along the corridor. The starting point is outside Machadão, near the entrance of the corridor; bands will pass once, then go all along the circuit, then inside the corridor again, and will finish the performance right after leaving the corridor.
The Corredor da Folia is the sector where most TV cameras are installed, and most photographers take their shots; so, most images and photos of Carnatal show the corridor. Also, a special place for "authorities" is located at the very beginning of the corridor; this is one of the best places to watch Carnatal, since bands move slower and even take a break, to perform for the cameras.

corredor da folia corridor of party

Photos above were taken from the arquibancadas sector.
The arquibancadas are like a huge staircase, with a backbone in metal and the seating area in wood. The safety of the arquibancadas is (supposedly) carefully checked by the Fire Dept. before being opened to the public; so far, no accident has happened.
In 2006, a ticket to the arquibancadas costed R$ 15. You should buy the ticket in an specific shop (Swill Color, a photo shop with branches in all major Shopping Centers in Natal), then go to America Club and exchange the ticket for a t-shirt (a kind of abada); only people wearing this t-shirt would be allowed into the arquibancadas. This price was fixed; tickets were available until the last day of Carnatal.
Despite this less than intelligent scheme, the arquibancadas are very crowded. There is no reserved spaces in the arquibancadas. To secure a good spot, get there early.

corredor da folia corridor of party arquibancadas carnatal

The safety must be carefully checked because, besides becoming very crowded, the people in arquibancadas party as wildly as those on the streets. During all the time that a band is passing by and some music is audible, people will be singing and jumping.
Above, photos of the crowd during the passage of a bloco. Between blocos, there are intervals of about 20-30 minutes.

camarotes carnatal

Photos above show some of the camarotes.
The camarotes are like huge scaffolders, divided in spaces by wooden walls; each space is a camarote.
Camarotes are of different sizes, but most occupy a space of 5 x 3 meters. A camarote can be purchased by a family, group of friends or a company. Several companies purchase camarotes and give them as courtesy to their clients (some hotels and tour operators seem to have their own camarotes). It looks like availability and prices of these camarotes change every year; check out the official carnatal page for current prices. Notice that, once a group buys a camarote space, only them (or those allowed by them) will have access to that space.
There are also some commercial camarotes. Some groups get in agreement with the organization of Carnatal and buy large camarote spaces; inside these camarotes, besides a privileged position to watch the bands, there is a full suite of service, including drinks, comfortable chairs, private bands, etc. Unlike the private camarotes, t-shirt tickets to these commercial camarotes are sold to the public; notice, however, that these tickets may be sold out, and a parallel market is created; in 2006, a t-shirt to the biggest camarote was being offered by R$ 150 (which could be negotiated).

carnatal bands

The photos above show some of the bands as they passed along the corridor.
The bands and singers pass at eyes level. This is probably the closest that many fans will get to their idols. Besides singing and dancing, all singers know how to cheer up the public and create a climate of empathy.

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