No major incidents on the opening night of ‘Saloufest’
The arrival of 5,000 UK students for a five-day festival has put the Catalan coastal town of Salou back in the spotlight. Last year, ‘Saloufest’ had several episodes of drunken behaviour and wild parties on the streets, which caused major disturbances. An ongoing debate has taken place over the past year over how best to combine the five-day festival with Salou’s reputation of a family tourist resort.
Salou (ACN).-The town of Salou, on Catalonia's Costa Daurada (next to Tarragona), has since Sunday been the host city of the latest \u2018Saloufest\u2019. It is a five-day event for students from the United Kingdom. The idea is that they can play sports and enjoy themselves both day and night. However, it appears that some are having a little bit too much fun. Last year there were several uncontrolled parties, which saw loud singing and drunken behaviour on the streets of the town. There were many unfortunate instances and subsequent hospital visits due to the level of drunken behaviour. Last year\u2019s disaster threatened to cause problems for this year\u2019s event. However, the opening night opened without any major incidents and only four ambulance calls. This is what the spokesman of Salou's Town Hall, Ramón Tibau, has assured. Tibau explained that there were no complaints from neighbours or incidents of any significance. He also said that noise levels were those of a normal night at the seaside town despite the fact that all sorts of costumes, alcohol and party scenes could be seen on the streets of the Costa Daurada town last Sunday night. The event kicked off last Sunday April 10th and will end on Friday 15th. Then, a second lot of students will come from Sunday 17th to Friday 22nd.
Although this year's edition of the Saloufest has been more focused on sports rather than night life, the streets of this Catalan town have witnessed a scene that reminded Salou inhabitant\u2019s of last year's event, however to a lesser degree. 5,000 British youngsters came to the Costa Daurada to play sports and celebrate the completion of their studies. And they appeared to enjoy partying wildly.
The Doreen Straatman organisation assured CNA that everything had run smoothly and without incidents. The Town Hall, the local police and the absence of complaints seem to endorse these statements. On the first night, the British tourists behaved more appropriately than at last year\u2019s festival, at least on the first night. Straatman claimed that this kind of tourism is not incompatible with the family tourism model of by Costa Daurada.
As it happened, shopkeepers in the area were pleased with the arrival of the young British visitors. Supermarkets and small businesses have experienced an increase in sales ahead of the Easter break. The Saloufest, will this year last until April the 22nd, and has been more focused this year on sports rather than the social aspect of the event. The commercial slogan is "I Love Tour" shows. The organisation committee hopes that it will become a reference point for this kind of university sport events.
Although numerous politicians and businessmen have defended the event, the fear of more uncontrolled parties has generated a debate on whether these kinds of celebrations may jeopardise Salou's image as a family resort, or transform the city into a tourist attraction for younger tourists. The debate has been ongoing this past year. However, it seems that everybody is attempting to avoid a repeat of last year\u2019s uncontrolled levels of drunken behaviour.