The mobilizations of the music sector dye Spain red as a cry of alert

The mobilizations of the music sector dye Spain red as a cry of alert

Mobilizations in 25 Spanish cities are demanding that the institutions rescue the entertainment and events sector.

The mobilizations of the music sector dye Spain red as a cry of alert

September 17, 2020 will be remembered as the day that Spain was dyed red. A red for help. It is the color with which some emblematic buildings of 25 cities have been simultaneously covered under the slogan “Red Alert” to ask the institutions for a rescue of the entertainment and events sector, in almost total paralysis due to the pandemic for now seven months. In Madrid, just before 8 pm, the image could not be more powerful: 550 people (the maximum allowed to respect safety distances) gathered at the Palacio de Oriente to cry out for unity: “SOS”.

The symbol of the march are some 400 flight cases, those huge black and resistant boxes with wheels that serve to move microphones, cables and speakers. Each one is dragged by a volunteer.

It does not seem like a protest, rather a military exhibition due to the discipline of the participants, who all move together (despite the rain); accustomed to organizing events without a single failure, today is just one more day. The plan is to move forward as a single body to Puerta del Sol, the nerve center of the capital. It is a metaphor for the commitment of a sector that, the participants themselves admit, usually “go to their ball”, but which this unprecedented crisis has forced to organize. Today the Spartan troops of Leonidas seem to advance compactly towards the battle of Thermopylae.

The mobilizations of the music sector dye Spain red as a cry of alert

“I had never seen anything like it, we had never managed to have a united and strong voice until now,” recognizes Mónica Merino, with 25 years of experience as a tour manager, one of those invisible professions that makes it possible for a concert to be held and who since before even from the state of alarm in March he has not been able to work. People like her are the protagonists today; They are also the hardest hit by the pandemic in a sector that contributes over 3% of GDP and employs more than 70,000 families, most of them self-employed and with intermittent work phases during the year.

No plans for the sector

“There are many countries in the region, such as France, that have already approved cultural rescue plans, it is not understood why in Spain they have abandoned us,” denounces Kin Martínez, president of the Es Música federation that defends a large part of the sector.

The statements made in April by the Minister of Culture José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes still sting , when he quoted the filmmaker Orson Welles with an unfortunate: “First life and then cinema.” From the organization they insist that this protest is “apolitical”, but Uribes is the most indicated responsible although the competences in health depend on the communities.

“In the culture it happens the same as in the Catholic Church: here our Pope is the minister, he is the one who has to worry about our survival, or else why is he there?” Asks Mar Rojo, who works as a producer for festivals canceled this year as Tomavistas and is a programmer at the emblematic El Sol venue, closed since March as 85% of the live music venues in Spain.

The mobilizations of the music sector dye Spain red as a cry of alert

They were the first to stop their activity and they will be the last to leave. They criticize that they are put in the same bag as nightlife, that they are not recognized as an essential activity and, especially, the lack of interest on the part of the authorities. “When you hear politicians talking about our union, you are amazed, they show that they ignore how it works,” laments sound technician Carlos Grimaldi, who this year had 50 concerts planned with the Fuel Fandango group and most of them have been postponed.

Many affected professionals (as well as anonymous fans or well-known musicians who have given their support on social networks) have not attended the marches today so as not to exceed the security capacity, but as Albert Guàrdia, of the La Castanya label says : “The fight must to continue tomorrow is not a matter of a single day. “

The mobilization of Madrid concludes with a manifesto directed to various areas of the government (culture, but also employment, finance, economy, tourism and industry) to ask for the “immediate reactivation” of the events and the extension of special benefits until the 100% of the capacity. In the background, the cry resounds: “SOS”.

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