Bertsozale Elkartea

For the first time, the Bertsolaris Championship will be held in the seven Basque-speaking areas

Sep 12, 2017
According to Iñaki Murua, President of Bertsozale Elkartea, "this is not a symbolic subject, nor a demonstration of strength, but rather the reflection of a reality, since bertsolarismo is alive in all these areas".

Baigorri, Segura, Leitza, Zallaia, Tolosa, Bastida, Irun, Maule-Lextarre, Durango, Amurrio, San Juan de Luz, Pamplona and Baracaldo will host the Bertsolaris Championship, which will start on 23 September and end on 17 December. 

For the first time, the championship will be held, simultaneously, in the seven Basque-speaking areas. "In one way or another, bertsolarism is present in all these areas and we wanted to reflect this in the championship," said Jokin Castaños, a member of the organising committee, in his appearance this morning. The President of Euskal Herriko Bertsozale Elkartea added his support to this statement, saying that "it is the reflection of a reality, since bertsolarismo is alive in these areas". 

Bertsozale Elkartea today held a press conference at the Euskaltzaindia headquarters in Bilbao to publicise the championship. In addition to Iñaki Murua and Jokin Castaños, the Presidents of the regional associations have also taken part: Alaitz Rekondo, Navarra; Asier Ibaibarriaga, Bizkaia, Elaitz Elorriaga, Araba; Saroi Jauregi, Gipuzkoa and Xumai Murua, Lapurdi, Baxenabarre and Xiberoa. 

At that press conference, Alaitz Rekondo said that "the championship, held every four years, is not an isolated initiative, it is the result of the daily work carried out over many years by all of us who seek to promote bertsolarismo in all regions of the Basque Country". He has highlighted several projects that are underway: the initiative to include bertsolarismo in statutory education, bertso eskolas, research projects, Xenpelar Documentation Centre and the channels for the dissemination of bertsolarismo. 

43 bertsolaris, 18 themes and 20 judges

Jokin Castaños has offered details about the championship: "Unai Iturriaga has not entered and as he was a finalist in the previous edition he will not be replaced. Iñaki Gurrutxaga has not taken up the opportunity to participate and will be replaced by Felix Zubia. "The championship will consist of different stages: quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final: "the semi-finals will consist of two stages and the seven bertsolaris with the most points will go through to the final". The seven who qualify from the semi-finals will sing with Amets Arzallus, the reigning champion, in the final in Baracaldo.

The events will begin at 5 pm, except for the final. There will also be different events organised in the municipalities hosting the championship. This includes, on 30 September, the celebration of Euskal Herriko Bertso Eskolen Eguna day (day of the bertso eskolas) together with the event in Segura. 

Tickets are now on sale

Tickets are on sale on the website . Tickets for the quarter-finals are on sale to the general public. Until 2 October, Bertsozale Elkartea's members will have priority booking for tickets for the semi-finals and the final. Tickets will be available exclusively to members. "In this way, we want to thank the members for their contribution and involvement since it is they, the members, who support and sustain the championship that we are publicising, as well as so many initiatives carried out by the association." Tickets are also available at various points of sale. 

Likewise, the President wanted to thank all the bodies that sponsor the activity of Bertsozale Elkartea, as well as all the media organisations which through different agreements promote the dissemination of bertsolarismo.

All the information about the championship is available on the website . In addition to practical information, the thoughts of experts on improvisation will be published. Participating, among others, are the writer Harkaitz Cano, the bertsolari Uxue Alberdi and the lyricist Mateu Xuri.

The website on bertsolarismo will provide extensive coverage of the championship. In addition, 24 September will see the start of the new season of the bertsolarismo programme Hitzetik Hortzera on ETB1, which this season will also be broadcast on Sundays at 3 pm. In addition, during the championship another weekly programme on bertsolarismo will be offered, on Monday nights, on the same channel, called Aulki Jokoa.