The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival is now officially a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest. By a resolution of 8 February, the Secretary of State for Tourism granted the title for which the most important festivity in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria had applied: the order was published in the Official State Gazette on Thursday 16 February 2023. The Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, came to present the accreditation on 25 February. It was a great day for the Carnival, and the announcement was made on the actual stage in Santa Catalina, where the festival’s main events take place.

This distinction is a testimonial to the city and its residents, who see the Carnival as much more than just a festival: they see its effects on industry and how it creates wealth, jobs and enthusiasm.

The new regulations, beyond a mere statement of the Carnival’s track record, require the festival to take place within a setting properly equipped for the tourism sector, with a strong presence in the national and international media and communication duly tailored to visitors. They also demand an international promotion campaign designed not only to highlight the appeal of its programme of events but also to reinforce the prestige of the tourist destination where it is held and the values of its autonomous community and the Spain brand. In addition to all this, evidence of the economic and social impact of the Carnival must be provided.



The theme chosen by the Carnival organisers was Studio 54, a tribute to the legendary New York nightclub. In the year when we returned to normality after years of being on hold or faced with uncertain scenarios due to the pandemic, it had to emphasise the spirit of the festival. Studio 54 achieved just that: it turned the city into an exquisite dance floor that brought those amazing nights of the seventies back to life with music that kept thousands of people dancing for 21 days, just like the celebrities who answered the call of the glamorous nightclub every night.



Carlos Tavío

In line with thise theme, the poster picked up the batontook up the challenge and invited two exceptional special guests from "Studio 54", Liza Minnelli and Andy Warhol, to translate convey the concept of the party fiesta to the world.

The graphic designer Carlos Tavío showcased his evocative creativity, reflecting the aesthetics, fashion, excesses, luxury and transgressive spirit of the disco, but also of the Carnival.

The poster, selected by the Carnival's technical committee (representatives of the eight associations and federations) and by professionals from the world of communication, was praised for its faithful adherence to the theme of the festivities, for providing a design that all sectors of the Carnival can identify with, and for being an excellent image to represent the city both within and outside the islands.


Sergio Macías

Santa Catalina had to be turned into the old theatre that housed the New York nightclub, a touchstone and a meeting point for celebrities from film, music, fashion and art. This was made possible by the magic of interior and stage designer Sergio Macías, who managed to make the legendary club reopen its doors after being closed for four decades.

Gran Canaria’s Studio 54, like the original, had to be a place where anything was possible... And so it was, thanks to the overwhelming presence of innovation and technology. Because this stage, the most technologically sophisticated in the festival’s history, displayed numerous references to the famous venue through an aesthetic reinterpretation of the mecca of nightlife and achieved the most important objective that Macías had set himself: to turn the temple of the Carnival into a huge nightclub.

Carnival Opening Proclamation

Los Salvapantallas

The choice of who would kick off the Carnival festivities was also carefully thought out to fit the time and the theme. The responsibility of opening the doors of Studio 54 fell to the members of the band Los Salvapantallas. Nacho Rivas, Alex Labao, David Campodarve and Daniel Delgado, stars of the Carnival, put on their wigs, and in Bee Gees mode they got 6,500 people dancing while sharing memories and unforgettable numbers from the disco music of the seventies. It was definitely the only possible way to start this Carnival. As they say on their website, “they are the disco of our lives played live”: a wonderful reopening for Studio 54.

Carnival Queen

Lola Ortiz

The influencer Lola Ortiz combines her professional career with a degree in psychology and is also writing about her life experience. Until 2024, she will also take on the task of acting as ambassador of the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival, because on 24 February she ascended the Carnival throne as the undisputed queen of the festival. Her extraordinary costume “Perfidia de amor” (The Perfidy of Love), created by Sergio León and Josep López Martí for Tapicería Peñate, won over the jury, who awarded her the crown and sceptre of the first Carnival of International Tourist Interest.

For the new Carnival Queen, life is not measured by the number of her followers on social media, but by the challenges she sets herself, which include finishing her degree in psychology and publishing an autobiography exploring her personal experience as a victim of gender-based violence. All this combined with her passion, freediving, and her profession as an influencer.

Drag Queen


David Batista is a professional opera singer, countertenor and member of the Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra, a young man who has persevered and who has been smiling since the night of 3 March from the summit of his ambition as the Drag Queen on the 25th anniversary of the most distinctive Gala of the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival.

Shíky is an original drag artist who supplements his shows with his amazing live singing voice. He incorporates novel elements and rethinks his acts for the sake of innovation. His winning piece, “La pesada de la voz en directo este año no canta sola, viene bien acompañada” (That annoying girl with the live vocals is not singing alone this year, she has company), was a fun Olympic Games-based number that began with the live voice of a highly original Montserrat Caballé, who appeared at the gala alongside Freddie Mercury to open the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival Olympics. Afterwards, she took great pains to perform a range of disciplines, including synchro, karate and break dancing, all to end up at the top of the podium of the Olympics... and of the Carnival.

Shíky won in the year of the 25th anniversary of the Drag Queen Gala, celebrated in great style. The first one was held in 1998, before David was born, but he was already on the way, singing and dancing and hoping that one day his turn would come.

Grand Dame

Manuela Tena Nevado

The flamenco touch in her “Sinfonía española” (Spanish Symphony) costume led Manuela Tena Nevado to become the Grand Dame of Carnival. If the design, by Alberto Santana Jiménez and Universo GC for the City Council of Gáldar, was spectacular, no less so was the stage performance of the candidate, who added art and panache as she paraded to the rhythm of the classics of the rock band Queen.

Junior Carnival Queen

Aaliyah Méndez Pérez

Love of the island and references to Canarian culture, all in an appealing design, captivated the jury and won Aaliyah Méndez Pérez the children’s Carnival title. Kevin Rodríguez and Enrique González created the costume “Te llevo en el corazón” (I carry you in my heart), which was showcased at the Children’s Gala and later in the Children's Cavalcade, thanks to the support and sponsorship of Holidayworld Maspalomas.


Los Chancletas, first prize for Performance. Las Despistadas, first prize for Costumes

Many prizes are awarded and received during the unique Murgas Contest, but one of the most coveted is the one for Performance. And to celebrate the return to normality, Los Chancletas, the group from La Isleta who have never missed a single Carnival, relived the dream of returning to the top of the podium. This is their ninth victory, although it has taken them twelve years to regain the title. That’s right: the murga that can boast of its legendary “afilarmónica” status also won first prize for Performance in 1983, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001 and 2011. In the 2023 Carnival, with Antonio Brito making his debut as conductor, they repeated the experience with a standout performance in the final, in which they presented their number “Voy caminando por la vida” (I am walking through life). Los Chancletas, founded in 1980, have been honoured throughout their career with numerous awards and accolades, including the Gold Medal of the City in 2011.

In the Costume category, the first prize went once again to the group Las Despistadas. The fact is that these girls have been regularly appearing on the podium in this category since the very year it was founded, in 2011, when they won first prize, and they did it again in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018, 2020 and 2022. Counting this year, that makes eight first prizes for the best design in the contest.



They did it again. Baracoa, in full disco mode, won themselves another first place on the podium. With their performance and production “Desde lo más profundo” (From the very depths), the group from the Lomo Apolinario district of the capital pulled off a double, with first prizes for Performance and also for Costumes. Their impeccable staging and carefully designed costumes took them to the summit of prizewinners in the Studio 54 Carnival. With choreography by Neftalí Betancor, the 35 members of the group celebrated a title that confirmed their place among the immortal comparsas.


International Body Painting Contest

Yurena del Cano Ramírez - Aythami Vega Trujillo - Francesca Cavicchio

The international contest will once again take its stars to Austria, where the world body painting event is being held. This opportunity has come to the team made up of Yurena del Cano Ramírez, Aythami Vega Trujillo and Francesca Cavicchio for their makeup design “Llévame al éxtasis” (Bring me to ecstasy). Their work, done entirely by hand on the body of the model Jaime Santana Medina and sponsored by Danceit Canarias and Mehron Makeup, was highly appreciated by the public as well as the jury, and according to them it was “risky because they opted for a monochrome look and a grey colour palette”.

Adult Fancy Dress Contest

Individual: Vanessa Artiles. Group: Danza Las Palmas

The Studio 54 disco in Santa Catalina Park held its first competitive event on the night of 11 February, a day on which dozens of participants showed off their sparkle and style. Out of all of them, the exquisite Vanessa Artiles and the 41 members of the Danza Las Palmas group stood out the most. Vanessa came first in the individual category with Iván Artiles’s costume “Espejo, espejo mágico” (Mirror,  mirror on the wall), and the group won with “I Love NYC, la ciudad que nunca para de bailar” (I Love NYC, the city that never stops dancing), designed by Mingo Ruano.

Dog Carnival


By his own merits, or those of his owner Felicia Svensson, the giant poodle Channel is by now a celebrity of the Canine Carnival. This year, once again, he managed to become the winning pet. The “Platinium” (Platinum) costume, designed by his owner, took him straight to first place and he therefore walked away with 100 kilos of dog food by courtesy of Nature's Variety.