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Barcelona mayor cancels balcony concerts after criticism over costs

City council was to pay €200,000 in the middle of the health crisis, prompting bands to pull out


02 May 2020 05:54 PM


ACN | Barcelona

Barcelona's mayor, Ada Colau, cancelled the rooftop and balcony concerts scheduled for May 9, only two days after announcing them.

This decision comes after criticism that it would cost the city council 200,000 euros in the middle of the health crisis.

Among those against the cost were several bands who had to perform, but who pulled out of the show between Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Some 20 artists or bands were scheduled to play, including the locally well-known Txarango, who on Friday said they were only offered only 1,500 euros. Others declined taking part from the beginning, such as Els Pets, who revealed that they had been invited for free.

The festival was to be broadcast by the local TV station, Betevé, with drone footage moving from the different artists’ homes.

When presenting it, the council said the project was non-profit but that they had invested €200,000 to "cover the technical costs" of the two producers in charge of filming, El Terrat and Mediapro.

Many people on social media, including musicians, expressed outrage at the apparent gap between the money the artists would get altogether and the total amount, adding the producers.

After the criticism, Barcelona's local government said it would be in the end the producers the ones paying for the expenses, but bands continued pulling out.

Subsequently, Mayor Colau announced on Saturday early afternoon they were cancelling the project, which aimed to pay homage to citizens for their efforts in staying indoors and trying to put a halt to the coronavirus pandemic.

Yet, she fought criticism: "We will go nowhere with hatred and lynching. What we need in these difficult times is hear those who think differently and learn from mistakes through cooperation and solidarity."


  • Barcelona mayor Ada Colau at a press conference on March 11, 2020 (by Blanca Blay)

  • Barcelona mayor Ada Colau at a press conference on March 11, 2020 (by Blanca Blay)