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Spanish venues host silent concerts in protest

More than 125 venues across the country hosted silent performances to demonstrate how stages will remain silent without further support

By IQ on 19 Nov 2020

Luis Blanco & The Black Angels

Luis Blanco & The Black Angels


image © YouTube/Luis Blanco & The Black Angels

More than 125 Spanish venues hosted silent performances last night as part of ‘The Last Concert’ (#ElÚltimoConcierto), a campaign which was launched to demonstrate the severity of the situation facing music spaces if further support is not provided.

Apolo Hall in Barcelona and Madrid’s Café La Palma were among the iconic Spanish venues that livestreamed ‘performances’ with the message: “Yes … you are listening well. If urgent measures are not applied, the concert halls will remain silent”.

 

Artists including Amaia, Louise Sansom, Joan Colomo, Núria Graham, David Carabén, La Casa Azul, Miqui Puig, Ferran Palau, Suu, Egosex, Maria Arnal and El Petit de Cal Eril took part, silently expressed their impotence for the absence of live music or wielded signage that read ‘culture does not stop’ and ‘no more taxes’.

‘The Last Concert’ campaign initially launched with venues posting photos on social networks with the year of the venue’s foundation and the year 2020 with a question mark to demonstrate their struggle to survive beyond 2020.

According to the campaign group, 25,000 concerts in Spain will have been cancelled this year, causing a total loss of €120 million for concert halls. These spaces employ almost five thousand direct workers, whose jobs are at risk. Most Spanish venues have reportedly been shuttered for eight months and have received no financial income and/or are waiting to receive public aid and opening permits.

The initiative’s manifesto says “the action of all administrations is urgent” to save venues. “At its three levels, the state, the autonomous communities, and the city councils must listen to the shock measures that are proposed to reduce monthly expenses, commit to allocating financial aid for 2021 to compensate for the losses suffered so far, and guarantee the continuity of this basic and essential sector, such as the concert hall circuit.”

According to the Catalan government’s draft plan, cinemas, theatres, auditoriums and concert halls are expected to open on 23 November with 50% capacity and a maximum of 600 people. So far, the only cultural spaces that have been permitted to open are museums and exhibition halls at 33% of the capacity.

 


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