Torremolinos town hall has reversed its decision concerning the recent cancellation of all planned live entertainment and cultural activity, with a small-scale agenda now devised for September, albeit not including live music events.
Councillor for Culture, David Tejeiro, explained that part of the reason for the original decision was because of the uncertainty of what can and cannot be done with regards to outdoor cultural events.
"At first, we thought we would have to cancel all of the planned events, but after speaking with the Junta de Andalucía, we were able to work out how to continue.
"We are allowed to present music concerts, but we are not confident we can employ complete crowd control seeing as concerts attract many people, and sometimes problems arise when people cannot gain access. Also, these events must be seating only, and there would be no bar, and smoking would also be prohibited, so we believe it will be better to wait a few weeks to see if these restrictions are eased," Tejeiro explained to SUR in English.
The councillor stressed that he is hoping to reschedule all concerts to the end of September. Plans have been set in motion for the concerts to be staged in several of the casetas on the feria ground, although he said a "final decision was still to be made".
"We are looking at ways of using the casetas. At least we will be able to control it better, but we are concerned because there are still many people who do not want to go into enclosed spaces," he said.
One of the biggest problems faced by all town halls is lack of finance due to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The councillor said that there was "simply not enough funds" to support larger events, although he showed his concerns for the effect this will have on the town's economic situation.
"Obviously, we would prefer to present larger events in the main plazas of the town. We understand there are many bars that need the support of these events at the moment, but our cultural budget has been reduced by 80 per cent. People do not realise this and we are constantly criticised for not offering enough entertainment," he declared.
The councillor pointed out that the rescheduled agenda has cost the town hall just one third of what it would normally have spent for just one day of the romeria. He also acknowledged that the town's expatriate community was disappointed with the variety of events planned, saying he "was doing everything in his power to offer attractive events".
"We understand that the local expatriate community is frustrated at the scale of events offered. We are working very hard, but everything is very difficult at the moment. Everybody is down and fed up, and now the new restrictions are making it harder than ever," he concluded.