Barcelona Beach Festival will sue the mayor of Sant Adrià de Besòs

The City Council has denied the promoter Live Nation the license to hold the festival this Saturday

3 min
An attendee at the Barcelona Beach Festival greeting history.

BarcelonaSant Adrià de Besòs City Council has denied Barcelona Beach Festival permission to hold the event, which was due to be held on Saturday, July 2nd, at the Fòrum beach. As reported by the Council, the festival does not have the mandatory binding report from the Generalitat's General Directorate of Prevention, Fire Fighting and Rescue.

According to the City Council, the festival's promoter, Live Nation, submitted the necessary documentation to request the report after the deadline, on June 22nd, "when the law states that it has to be submitted no later than 15 working days before the start of the activity"; that is, before June 10th. "Despite this, the City Council of Sant Adrià, with the will that the seventh edition of Barcelona Beach Festival could be held, requested the report from the General Directorate of Prevention, Fire Fighting and Rescue, which in the end denied permission," City Council sources add. Barcelona Beach Festival 2022 had programmed twelve hours of electronic dance music, with artists such as Armin van Buuren, Don Diablo and Marshmello, among others.

In a statement, Live Nation does not share the municipal version; in fact, he "flatly denies" it, although he does not specify what day he delivered the documentation to the municipal technicians. "It was the Sant Adrià City Council that applied after the deadline, despite having the project for the activity in its possession well in advance," says the promoter, who considers that the "denial of the licence without just cause causes a huge loss." "Live Nation announces that it has no choice but to file a criminal complaint against the mayor of Sant Adrià de Besòs, Filomena Cañete Carrillo, and against the first deputy mayor Ruth Soto García, and also file a claim of patrimonial responsibility before the City Council for economic and reputational damage as a result of their actions", adds the promoter.

Why is the licence denied?

The point is who takes ultimate responsibility for an event for which 25,000 tickets have been sold. As the mayor of Sant Adrià, Filo Cañete, explains to the ARA, "to revoke the derogation of the licence" "a favourable report from the firefighters" is needed: "the competition is theirs," he adds. The firefighters, that is, the General Directorate of Prevention, Fire Fighting and Rescue, do not issue any report because the documentation was presented outside the "parameters indicated in article 23 of Law 3/2010" (after the deadline).

Even so, the general management itself, which reports to the Department of the Interior, in a statement to which the ARA has had access, informs the Sant Adrià City Council that, "if the technical conditions provided for in the current edition of the festival are the same as those considered and implemented in previous editions", firefighters can "assume that safety conditions are guaranteed in case of fire, given that these conditions were already reported favourably for the latest editions". According to Interior, and as the documentation was delivered after the deadline, "it corresponds to the municipal technical services the documentary verification of the coincidence of all the security measures foreseen in the current edition concerning to those implemented in previous editions, given that for the 2022 edition has not been able to assess any technical documentation by the staff of the General Directorate of Prevention, Fire Fighting and Rescue due to not having enough time to carry out the appropriate review and issue the corresponding report". Joan Delort, general director of Prevention, Fire Fighting and Rescue, in a letter sent to Cañete, assures that "there is no reason" to prevent the celebration of the festival, "except that" the municipal technical services "were aware of serious anomalies not amendable in the planning or forecast of execution".

The mayor, however, does not accept this proposal and insists that the festival can only be held with a favourable report from the Fire Department. "It is true that the promoter has been slow to deliver the documentation and, therefore, has part of the responsibility in this whole process -admits Cañete-. We have tried until the last moment that the festival could go ahead, but we cannot give the licence because we do not have a certainty to guarantee the safety of the users of the festival. If something happens, there are criminal responsibilities and these would be against the City Council and against me".

This Friday night, the promoter Live Nation continued to sell tickets on the festival website and kept the wristband collection point open at the gates of the venue, as if nothing prevented Barcelona Beach Festival from being held this Saturday. Live Nation does not renounce the celebration of the festival. But if they do not achieve "a rectification from the Sant Adrià de Besòs City Council" it will be forced to cancel Barcelona Beach Festival. If it were the case, they ask for "apologies to the artists and assistants", who would receive "the refund of the amount of the tickets".

Public of Barcelona Beach Festival queuing this Friday, July 1st to collect the bracelet that gives access to the festival