The night of Sant Joan was celebrated again on the beaches of Barcelona two years later, after the cancellation of the 2020 festivals due to the pandemic. After last year municipalities chose to close the beaches due to the risk of a massive contagion of COVID-19, this year music and firecrackers have been heard again, with fireworks as a backdrop throughout the night . Around midnight, hundreds of people have gathered on the sand in the coastal area of Barcelona, where the beach bars were also open and packed to overflowing. On the beach, some groups have not maintained a safe distance or made use of a mask. For its part, the Guàrdia Urbana has ‘shielded’ the Barceloneta neighborhood with fences and tapes to prevent people who were going to or coming from the beach from crossing and bothering the neighbors.
The device of the Urban Guard has assigned 150 agents to the management of this night, most of whom have been located in the area of the beaches, the most crowded. The municipal agents had placed a chain of fences one meter high between the Barceloneta neighborhood and the promenade, with the aim that people who wanted to access the beach did so from both ends, and thus try to protect the area. neighborhood rest. Although in some specific cases some of the attendees have jumped the barriers, most of those who have wanted to commemorate the festival on the beaches of San Sebastián, San Miguel or Barceloneta have accessed the Paseo Joan de Borbó and not through the center from the maritime district.
On the other hand, despite the prohibition of drinking alcohol, its consumption has been quite widespread and there have been practically no controls at the foot of the sand. Some of the groups, many of them made up of tourists who lived the night of Sant Joan for the first time in the Catalan capital, have ended up mixing and dancing, emulating an image that has been seen in recent weeks both on the beaches of Barcelona like other places like Paseo del Born.
In fact, the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, defended at a press conference this week that the beaches are a “safe and airy” place, but that “one thing is the festival and the other is uncontrolled.” Colau also warned that there would be controls of the Urban Guard to prevent the consumption of alcohol or the entry of tents and music equipment.
Excitement for the festival, but divergence of opinions on safety
Many of the people who have wanted to celebrate Sant Joan’s night on the beaches of Barcelona have recently arrived in the city and, due to the pandemic, they were unable to do so last year. Adrián, 25, explains that he came from Asturias two years ago and that it was a real “hoot” to have been able to celebrate the night in Barceloneta.
Luis Díaz, sitting in one of the beach bars that have been open until 3:30 am, explains that he and his friends did not want to miss out on this “opportunity” and appreciates that “everything is very well organized.” In addition, the young man assures that it is much better to celebrate it on the beach, where they are “calmer and safer” than in a disco or an indoor venue.
In a similar vein, Cristian Sánchez indicates that there is a very good atmosphere and that the opening of the beaches is “a good step” after the advances in the vaccination rate: “Taking advantage of this, I wanted to come with a friend to have fun” he added.
On the other hand, Feyza Olson criticizes that the anticovid regulations are not followed, especially the safety distance, although he stated that he would stay on the beach all night. In the same vein, Alice Tregrand said she wanted to attend the celebration because she is “very famous”, but admits that she is “afraid” that there are “too many people.”
The beaches, the point of greatest incidence during the night of Sant Joan
Barcelona decided to open all its beaches precisely to avoid large crowds in a few parts of the city. On the other hand, the beaches in the southern part of the metropolitan area, such as El Prat, Castelldefels, Gavà, Viladecans, Garraf, Sitges or Vilanova, have remained closed. The respective municipalities have chosen to follow the recommendation of the Procicat to avoid large masses of people.
According to the Barcelona Urban Guard, during this night there was also the support of 24 informants, who have worked between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. In addition, the body had announced inspections to the beach bars on the coast and preventive controls for alcohol and drugs throughout the city. If the “bad uses” of the beaches seen in recent days are not corrected, Colau warned, measures will be studied so that in no case the coastline is associated with “lack of control” nor is it filled with garbage.