MARBELLA may have to kiss goodbye to its thriving live music scene. 

Marbella musicians
Live musicians in Marbella

A political crackdown has left businesses facing fines of up to €3,000 for allowing artists to serenade their customers.

So far 130 residents and businesses have signed an expat-led petition to continue Marbella’s ‘Vesarte’ programme, after it was shut down by the town hall on September 1.

The PP’s scheme was introduced four years ago to encourage the local arts scene.

Vesarte circumvented national laws allowing bars to play without full licences so long as performances ended by midnight and were officially publicised.

But the new socialist town hall’s crackdown means bars and restaurants playing music without a full licence can now be fined from €1,000 on the spot.

“This change will have a devastating effect on virtually all local bars and businesses,” said Tom Jennings, Irish owner of The Golfer bar.

The 36-year-old from Galway added: “Continuing live music is just not a risk I can afford to take.

“This leaves us in legal limbo.”

Jennings has had to cancel numerous events lined up for September for fear of being fined.

The town hall claims an alternative to the Vesarte scheme is ‘in the pipeline’ but have told businesses it will not take shape until ‘at least the new year’.

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