Barcelona Beach Festival still hopeful to carry out event on Saturday despite rejected permit

Organizers say delayed paperwork is Sant Adrià de Besòs local authorities' fault and announce criminal lawsuit 

The 2019 Barcelona Beach Festival, on July 13, 2019 (by BBF)
The 2019 Barcelona Beach Festival, on July 13, 2019 (by BBF) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

July 2, 2022 11:04 AM

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Barcelona Beach Festival was still hopeful that the event could take place on Saturday night within 24 hours of its beginning, although Sant Adrià de Besòs local council denied their permit some hours before on Friday, arguing the festival had submitted key paperwork late and this prevented the firefighters from issuing a binding fire safety report.

The electronic dance music festival organizers, Live Nation, said they are using "all resources" they have to make sure fans can enjoy the scheduled concerts.

"We are backed by a majority of institutions and entities in Catalonia, Barcelona, and Sant Adrià de Besòs," a statement released at 8.30pm on Friday read.

Sant Adrià mayor says uncertainty may last 'until the time doors open'

On Friday at 10pm Sant Adrià de Besòs' mayor, Filomena Cañete, said they could not authorize it as of that time, reminding there is still time left for the firefighters to release the report missing in order for the local council to grant the permit.

On Saturday morning, talking to Rac1 radio station, Cañete said uncertainty may last "until the time doors open."

"If the [firefighters'] report is not issued, we are risking a public order problem," she added.

Organizers and local council at odds over who was late to ask for firefighters' report

Live Nation denies the arguments the local council of the place where the festival is set to be held used to explain the permit denial.

Indeed, Barcelona Beach Festival (BBF) had its permit rejected a day before the event was supposed to take place on Saturday night, at Platja del Fòrum and Parc de la Pau, in Sant Adrià de Besòs, the city that borders the Catalan capital to the north.

The Sant Adrià de Besòs local council denied organizers the permit on Friday, arguing that they had submitted some paperwork 12 days late.

The local authority said it had not received the mandatory binding Catalan government fire prevention and safety report – without it, they cannot grant the license.

According to the council, the festival organizer, Live Nation, submitted the documents on June 22.

"The legal framework establishes that the paperwork needs to be submitted at least 15 working days before the activity begins," the Sant Adrià council stated, meaning that it should have been provided by June 10 so that the Catalan firefighters have enough time to issue their report.

Yet, Live Nation said it was up to Sant Adrià to make sure the report was issued on time and added they had sent all details well in advance.

Also, the organizers announced they would file a criminal lawsuit against the town's mayor and deputy mayor, Filomena Cañete and Ruth Soto, respectively.

According to the BBF's managers, 25,000 people have bought tickets to attend, and they will get their money refunded if they fail to go ahead with their plans. 

Firefighters see no problem in festival going ahead

Despite not having issued their binding report, firefighters in principle see no problem in the festival going ahead. 

If the relevant local public servants see "no serious fault" in the organizers' plans, the event should take place, according to the director of the directorate-general in charge of the firefighters, Joan Delort. 

Indeed, he said there is no time for the report to be carried out due to the delay in the paperwork, but also added that other local councils have granted licenses without the final go-ahead of firefighters on previous occasions if they had "enough guarantees in terms of the organization and planning of the activity."

Barcelona Beach Festival supposed to return after Covid hiatus

The Barcelona Beach Festival, which specializes in electronic dance music, was supposed to return after two canceled editions in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19. 

Armin Van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and Vini Vici were some of the artists scheduled to perform, as well as Marshmello, Don Diablo, and Sergi Domene, with tickets starting at €84.

David Guetta and Don Diablo featured in the last edition, held in 2019.