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Spanish fests at ‘clear disadvantage’ without gov action

'Spain could be the first country without festivals': Spanish festival assoc says government measures are needed to ensure the sector keeps up with others in Europe

By IQ on 28 Apr 2020

Spanish fests at ‘clear disadvantage’ without gov action

Arenal Sound is a member of Spain's Association of Music Festivals

image © Arenal Sound

The Spanish Association of Music Festivals (Asociación de Festivales de Música – FMA) has warned that the country “could become the first without festivals” if the government does not implement measures similar to those seen in neighbouring countries soon.

“If the adequate measures are not taken, our festivals will be at a clear disadvantage to other European festivals,” reads a statement from the FMA, which includes events including Primavera Sound, Bilbao BBK Live, Arenal Sound, Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB) and Sónar.

The Spanish association states it is expecting “the mass suspension of festivals and music events for the 2020 summer season”, which will “jeopardise the rest of the year due to the unfeasibility of rescheduling every event”.

The FMA proposes measures similar to those put forward by Spanish music federation Esmúsica, in particular, the introduction of greater flexibility around the way consumers can be compensated for a cancelled or postponed event.

Ticketholders should be able to decide whether to hold on to tickets for rescheduled events or exchange them for those for another event or festival via a voucher.

“If the adequate measures are not taken, our festivals will be at a clear disadvantage to other European festivals”

If neither of these options are available, says the FMA, customers should be able to ask for a cash refund that will be delivered within 18 months of the cancellation date.

The association highlights measures put in place in other countries such as Germany, which has introduced a voucher system; the Netherlands, which is running a public campaign encouraging consumers to retain tickets for future events; Italy, which has made the refund process more flexible; and Portugal, where a voucher scheme is also in place.

Spanish festivals including Primavera Sound, Mallorca Live and Vina Rock have moved to later in the year, with organisers of Sónar (18 to 20 June), Mad Cool (8 to 11 July), Bilbao BBK (9 to 11 July), FIB (16 to 19 July) and Arenal Sound (28 July to 2 August) yet to make announcements on the fate of their 2020 editions.

“We are waiting for them to tell us when we will be able to return to activity,” Albert Salmerón, president of Spanish promoters’ association, APM, tells el Periódico. “Or at least until when we won’t be able to return to it. That would help us to plan.”

The Spanish government is meeting on 5 May to approve measures for the cultural industry.


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