The Balearic Government has opened a sanctioning file against the promoter of the Reggaeton Beach Festival, RBF Travel 2020, for preventing access to the venue with food and drinks from abroad. This festival was held in ten other Spanish cities and FACUA, whose claim has given rise to the resolution of the Balearic Executive, has also denounced these events before the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and before the rest of the consumer protection authorities of the autonomous communities where it has this event has taken place (Andalusia, Asturias, Galicia, Madrid, Cantabria, the Valencian Community and the Canary Islands).
My festival is a “fraud” or how to act in the face of the explosion of changes, cancellations and bad practices
The General Directorate of Consumption has initiated this disciplinary proceeding following the complaint filed by FACUA in July, after verifying that the festival included among its conditions of access a clause that prevented the entry of food and drink from abroad, with the aim that the user I had to buy it on the premises.
The consumer association stressed that the main activity of the festival was “the development of a musical show”, not the hospitality industry, so “the prohibition of consuming food and drinks purchased outside the venue is not necessary for the correct achievement of the activity commercialized, nor can it be prohibited alleging that it is done for security reasons, especially when it is possible to buy food and drink inside the premises itself.
The general director of Consumption of the Balearic Islands, Félix Alonso, has signed a resolution in which he stipulates as an infringing act the limitation of the entry of food or drink from abroad to the show. Likewise, he points out that this clause is imposed “unilaterally” on the consumer, which limits their ability to choose, without the fact that the main activity of the event is the marketing of the products, but rather “the development of a musical show.” The provisional penalty imposed in the Balearic Islands is 11,000 euros for a serious breach of consumer protection regulations.
Rubén Sánchez, general secretary of FACUA, told elDiario.es that this case is the first in which a regional administration has opened a sanctioning file for this type of irregularity: “We have denounced dozens of festivals and there are not many response. In some cases due to slowness, in other cases because they are not transparent in terms of actions. In the Balearic Islands, it is common for the competent authority to notify us of the opening of sanctioning proceedings and the archipelago is standing out in Spain as a whole for being at the forefront of consumer protection, at least in what refers to the eagerness to open sanctioning proceedings and for being transparent.
A summer of festival chaos
This sanction proposal for the Reggaeton Beach Festival comes after a summer in which the festival bubble has burst. After the two-year hiatus of the pandemic and the need to revitalize live music, Spain started the summer with more than a thousand musical events scheduled and with the feeling that there was neither an audience for everyone nor workers to meet the calendar . To this are added the irregularities on the part of the organizing companies of these events, the lack of foresight and management and the cancellations for not reaching a minimum number of tickets sold.
One of the most outstanding examples has been Madrid Puro Reggaeton, a festival that was going to be held on July 15 and that was going to host one of the only two Daddy Yankee farewell concerts in Europe. The festival ended up being canceled with 38,000 tickets sold, a few hours before its celebration. The festival decided to change its location a few days before the event was held and the Community of Madrid denied the permit because it was an application submitted out of time, in addition to “posing a risk both for the security and for the mobility of the people”. Some of the consumers reported having lost up to 600 euros (300 for tickets and 300 for transport and accommodation).