Argentina: City mayor suspends all electronic music festivals

Mar del Plata mayor, Carlos Arroyo, issued a decree on 10 January 2017 suspending all electronic festivals in response to drug-related deaths in various Argentinian cities. The measure also reportedly aims at preventing drug consumption and reducing the number of clandestine raves, reported El Marplatense on 10 January 2017.

The measure was announced despite the fact that 17 electronic festivals were already authorised and organised in the city, which is known as a major tourist destination. The programmed festivals, featuring world-renowned DJs, had already started selling their tickets, just as the summer season in Argentina began.

Two days later, in a meeting with the affected businesses’ representatives, Arroyo toned down his announcement and declared that there was no ban: “I will not authorise any, but they are not forbidden.”

Neither he nor anyone at his office clarified the difference between “banned”, “forbidden”, and “not authorised”. They also did not clarify whether the decree applied to events that were already scheduled and authorised; something that caused major confusion at the press conference, reported Clarín on 12 January 2017.

City Hall maintains that, while such tragic events can occur in a variety of settings, electronic music festivals are “inevitably aimed at the sale and consumption” of synthetic drugs. A WhatsApp line has been established so that citizens can report illegal electronic music events or raves.

Mar del Plata is the second city to implement a measure banning electronic music festivals in Argentina.

Following multiple drug-related deaths at an electronic music festival, Buenos Aires authorities decided to ban such festivals and denied a permit to German band Kraftwerk, Freemuse reported on 12 December 2016. Despite not being an electronic music festival, the band’s concert was included in the category given their use of synthesizers, something which according to authorities gave away the event’s nature. After an appeal, Kraftwerk was allowed to perform as initially planned.

Photo: Mar del Plata/Wikicommons


» Clarín – 12 January 2017
Uncertainty about the electronic parties in Mar del Plata: no one knows whether they will be held

» Thump – 12 January 2017
Mar del Plata in Argentina bans electronic music events

» Infobae – 10 January 2017
Mar del Plata suspended electronic parties

» El Marplatense – 10 January 2017
Mar del Plata banned electronic parties

More from Freemuse

» 12 December 2017: Argentina: German electronic band’s concert re-instated after appeal

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