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Electronic music returns to Buenos Aires

There was live electronic music in Buenos Aires last weekend for the first in almost ten months, following the lifting of the ban in late January.

DJ Dash Berlin performed in Mandarine Park on Friday 17 February, with Eelke Kleijn, Digweed and Guy J playing the same venue the following night. La Nación reports promoters are also seeking approval for two further shows: Armin van Buuren in Mandarine Park on 17 April, and Become One at the 9,000-cap. Malvinas Argentinas Microstadium (named for Argentina’s claim on the Falklands, known locally as the Malvinas) in La Paternal on 18 March.

Local authorities announced last April they were to cease issuing permits for electronic music festivals in the wake of the drug-related deaths of five people at the Time Warp festival on 16 April. The ban was designed to apply to outdoor dance music festivals, but also briefly scuppered a Kraftwerk show before being overturned by a judge.

The lifting of the ban comes with the caveat that festival organisers must dispense free drinking water, and all events will be overseen be a representative of safety agency AGC (Agencia Gubernamental de Control).

“All shows will have new safety requirements, whose compliance will be ensured by AGC inspectors”

AGC director-general Gustavo May explains: “All shows will have new safety requirements, whose compliance will be ensured by AGC inspectors. It is essential that the public take [advantage] of the free dispensing of water throughout the event.”

May says water should be distributed evenly across festival grounds, “in such a way as to enable access [to water sources] from different parts of the site”.

Promoters must also guarantee the available of medical services – which should be properly signposted and commensurate with the capacity of the event – and electronically monitor the number of festivalgoers to prevent overcrowding.

Fines of up to Ar$950,000 (US$61,000) may be levied on those found to be in noncompliance.

 


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Kraftwerk fall foul of Buenos Aires synth ban

The ban on electronic music festivals in Buenos Aires, initially believed to apply only to dance music/EDM events, may lead to the cancellation of an upcoming show by Kraftwerk.

The German electronic music pioneers (pictured) – whose ages range from 47 to 70 – have fallen foul of a temporary bar on events at which “synthesisers or samplers are the primary instrument”, introduced in April after five people died at dance music festival Time Warp.

A spokesman for the city tells Argentine newspaper Clarín: “After the Time Warp ruling, Judge [Lisandro] Fastman banned all electronic music festivals.

The ban applies to all shows where “synthesisers or samplers are the primary instrument”

“So, despite the fact [promoter Move Concerts] presented their paperwork with the necessary 30 days’ notice, we can not grant permission [for the event to go ahead].”

A spokesman for Move calls the decision “surreal” and tells IQ it intends to appeal the ruling.

Kraftwerk are scheduled to play on 23 November at the 9,290-cap. Luna Park stadium. The show is 70% sold out.

 


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Buenos Aires bans EDM festivals

The government of Buenos Aires is to cease issuing permits for dance music festivals in the wake of the deaths of five people at the Time Warp festival on 16 April.

Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, the mayor of the Argentine capital, says the measure will remain in place until the city’s legislature has approved a law to prevent drug use at dance music events.

Larreta – a member of the centre-right Republican Proposal party who is facing calls for impeachment from Trotskyist legislator Marcelo Ramal, who holds Larreta and “a network of capitalist businesses” responsible for the deaths – has also announced the launch of a drug awareness campaign by Buenos Aires’s health ministry, which will focus on “restraint, information and prevention”. “We do not want any more families destroyed by drugs,” he says.

Buenos Aires mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta says the measure will remain in place until the city’s legislature has approved a law to prevent drug use at dance music events

According to local reports, all five Time Warp victims are believed to have taken so-called ‘Superman’ pills laced with the drug para-Methoxymethamphetamine (PMMA). At least another five people, including a minor, were initially taken to hospital for treatment according to reports. Event organisers immediately cancelled the second day of the festival.

Witnesses said that festivalgoers were openly offered drugs including ecstasy pills, doses of LSD, cannabis, poppers and cocaine, reports AP.

Argentine judge Sebastian Casanello has ordered around 30 people, including employees of Time Warp promoter Dell Producciones members of the municipal government and an outsourced security firm, to testify before him as part of his investigation. In contrast to initial local reports which suggested Dell president Adrián Conci had been arrested, he has reportedly been on the run since Casanello ordered his detention.

Promoter arrested as investigators probe Time Warp tragedy

Federal prosecutors in Argentina are continuing their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of five people and the hospitalisation of others at the Time Warp festival in Buenos Aires last weekend.

Three people remain in critical condition in hospital amid allegations that they, and the five who died – who were all aged between 20 to 25 – were victims of illicit drugs taken at the event.

At the order of the lead investigator, Adrián Conci, president of Dell Producciones, which organised the event, has been arrested. “The organised selling of drugs, the regulation of this ‘market’, the overcrowding and the heat put those responsible for the event as also responsible for the incidents,” read a statement from the prosecutor. “The level of this responsibility – as well as the responsibility of any other people – will be determined as the investigation continues, but there are enough elements to warrant [Conci’s] immediate arrest.”

“The level of responsibility will be determined as the investigation continues, but there are enough elements to warrant Adrián Conci’s immediate arrest”

With about 10,000 on site, the deaths all took place on the first day of Time Warp, which was held at the Costa Salguero complex in the Argentine capital. According to local reports, the victims are believed to have taken so-called ‘Superman’ pills that were laced with the drug para-Methoxymethamphetamine (PMMA). At least another five people, including a minor, were initially taken to hospital for treatment according to reports. Event organisers immediately cancelled the second day of the festival.

Despite the fact that the Naval Coast Guard, which has jurisdiction of the venue, said that there were no drugs on site, statements taken by festivalgoers indicate that drugs were widely available, prompting the federal courts to take over the criminal investigation. Elsewhere, a bus travelling to the event on Friday night was stopped in La Plata by police, who found a variety of pills, cocaine, LSD, and cannabis. Witnesses at the event have also alleged overcrowding, high temperatures, insufficient access to water and long queues to purchase bottled water.

A statement on the event’s website reads: “We express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the people who passed away. The cause of this tragedy will take some time to determine.” It adds: “We ask that you keep the loved ones of these people in our thoughts and prayers.”

Time Warp has also had editions in the Netherlands, Germany and the USA over the past 18 months. There is currently no information about any future editions of the event.