Apolo and Bóveda in Barcelona and Clap in Mataró, three of the most important concert halls in Catalonia, will soon have new neighbors: a private geriatric residence, a municipal shelter for social emergencies and a private hospital, respectively. “It is creating a potential problem of coexistence where there is none”, those responsible for the three spaces agree. They also agree on the certainty that if the conflict comes they will have to lose and in considering the three exemplary cases of the treatment that city councils dispense to their cultural activity. Of course, they emphasize, no council would think of granting a concert hall license next to a geriatric residence, a shelter for social emergencies or a hospital.
clap, in the Pla d’en Boet industrial estate in Mataró, knows percale. The room opened in 1993 in the Barcelona ring road, an area with an urban plan that made life impossible for it. They understood the promoters who wanted them out and asked the city council where they would not bother. The aforementioned polygon was the answer and They have been there for 22 years and more than a thousand performances without disturbing anyone. Now, in the absence of the definitive license, the council has decided to grant a private hospital the old central offices of Caixa Laietana, which are just opposite Clap.
“And it will be a hospital with admissions 24 hours a day,” says Pau Manté, president of the cooperative that manages Clap. “We are not fools,” he continues, “and we know that sooner rather than later problems will arise, no matter how much we strengthen the control of the exterior. So, will we have to close due to an error by the city council in urban planning?” We’ll see what happens, the councilors tell them.
Clap is the only proper concert hall in Mataró and as part of the network of Casas de la Música de Catalunya it has agreement with the Generalitat, the Provincial Council and the municipality, to which it provides many activities. But not like that. “For politicians, music is keeping people happy with four concerts at the festival,” says Manté.
Of course: Clap also operates as a nightclub. All or almost all concert halls do. Or as a music bar. Because it is “impossible” for a private initiative to subsist only with skittlesagain there is coincidence.
Already underway is the case of the Apolo complex, whose three halls have seen more than 13,000 groups and 7,000 disc jockeys in the Apolo stage as we know it; If we have to go back to its origins almost a century ago, we’ll stay another day. Built a decade ago and unused until now, the building located on the corner of Avinguda del Paral·lel with Nou de la Rambla, on the Poble Sec and Plaza de Espanya sides, that is, on the hills of Apolo, has just opened as a “hotel space in which the resident feels surrounded by experts in his care”, according to the website of the geriatric center. We are talking about what is perhaps the most… bustling intersection of the Barcelona night, and not only because of Apolo.
“We are very concerned,” says Albert Guijarro, director of Apolo. Until now the empire, via fluid communication with neighbors and the district, without forgetting the disbursements in works that neighborhood peace entails, has remained a direct reference in Europe. But a nursing home with almost 200 beds right under their nosesbelonging to a large international group, is ‘Terra Incognita’.
pebble points the “contradiction” between the great cultural plans of the city council for Paral lel (Room Paral lel 62, Molino, Arnau) and a nursing home. The Sants-Montjuïc district refuses to make any comment to this newspaper on how the new tenant has arrived at Paral·lel.
the common good
Although with less presence in the media, equally key in the musical fabric of Barcelona is the Bóveda room, in Poblenou. Here the fear is the imminent opening on the other side of Roc Boronat of a municipal shelter for social emergencies, depending on the location. Boveda has been there for more than two decades, a strictly industrial zone when it opened, supplying high-voltage rock to its parish.
Óscar Martínez, manager of the room, has had two conversations with the city council about the new equipment. In the first, he assures him, he was told that “the common good” had to prevail and that, if necessary, “if Vault had to be closed, it would be closed.” Later, another municipal representative with “more left hand”, told him something already known: we’ll see what happens.
Fountains of the Sant Martí district they postpone until the presentation of the equipment to explain what exactly it will be and they indicate that Bóveda was exposed “that the two activities are clearly compatible” and its owners were ordered to “continue working so that their activity does not impact the rest of the neighborhood in general.”
“We have a loyal and healthy clientele -Martínez boasts-, but this doesn’t make any sense. Sooner or later we are going to have complaints even if we make every effort to prevent it from happening.” “Music is always in a precarious state,” he concludes.
No right to protest
From the Associació de Sales de Concerts de Catalunya (Asacc), with nearly a hundred members, the majority in Barcelona and its metropolitan area, these situations are seen as paradigms of a policy of harassment and demolition against them. Lluís Torrents, president of the entity, puts on the table a figure of protection of live music that is gaining strength in London and Berlin. It’s called an ‘agent of change’ and it means that “if you settle in a place with a pre-existing ecosystem and create a crisis, you have no right to complain.”
Guijarro abandons his initial contention to expose: “From the moment that people dance and chant, it seems that we lose the category of cultural space”.
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A nursing home, a social shelter and a hospital threaten the Apolo, Bóveda and Clap concert halls