Where is the musical sensitivity? I guess it’s been misplaced among advertising discourses and an agenda that’s too crowded to seriously and rigorously address this subject, not wanting to know (or I hope so) that each sanction affects the future of a lot of people. Young people who have chosen culture over alcohol, combining regulated studies with a musical and artistic education. Hardworking people who, with a lot of effort, have managed to open a small business, which takes part in a great hostelry business network, which represents a fundamental base of part of Granada’s economy.

Here, while walking on the streets, we are used to hear an accordion, a violin, a guitar or a voice in the distance. This is part of Granada, a city that, since its beginning, has been cradle of poets, philosophers, singers and musicians. A city with the charm of the bohemian, a little anarchist as well, but always respectful towards art, and which has been forged with letters and musical notes.

But, meanwhile in Barcelona, Seville, Malaga or Bilbao this is regulated by the city council, and the rules related to playing on the streets don’t bother the neighbors but also benefit the musicians and artists, and let organize small concerts at bars and pubs (if it is allowed to play on the street, why not at a closed and soundproofed place?), in Granada the situation is completely different: the current municipal legislator /until 15th June 2019 /  –Mr. Francisco Cuenca – has created an unprecedented mess. At first, small concerts at this kind of establishments were encouraged. The media proclaimed that music could be played at bars and pubs at this “City of culture”. However, shortly after, inspectors and the municipal police started to sanction these activities.




Laws, decrees and rules must be adjusted to time and concrete moments and, therefore, must adapt to each one. In Granada, they haven’t legislated in order to benefit music and art, but have just improvised and, using an outdated regulation, have seized the moment to say that they were promoting both areas, favoring music festivals. But the street musician, the band who’s taking their first steps, the singer-songwriter who’s trying to make him or herself a spot or just wants to transmit a message, they don’t fit here. What’s going on here is that if a small bar wants to liven a meal up for their clients with the sound of a violin, a piano or a guitar, it will be sanctioned. If a pub wants to encourage music, and give itself a different tone at the same time, it won’t fit in this called Capital of culture, since the mayor and the surrounding people have preferred to use the propositions they were getting for their political campaign and to try to reach political agreements with other groups and organizations and just keep legislating this affair the way they were already doing.

The result of all this is that many people who, with a lot of effort, had started a business such a pub or a bar, who had taken a chance on music (it doesn’t just consist of getting people drunk by selling alcohol) and wanted to take a step forward and encourage culture, have been sanctioned.

Where is the musical sensitivity? Supporting and helping those who start, those who, day after day, combine their studies with work, who work hard for art. Enhance festivals? Of course. But never forgetting that, even if it’s not as good for the electioneering and it might not attract as much attention, the bases, the young people, those who have been fighting all their lives for a project… those are the people who need to be protected: art workers and small businesses which, in most cases, are the only source of income of many families. Both, projects of life. Meanwhile… music will go somewhere else, where it has a good acceptance.


Original post written by Paco Sanmartín


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