15 Mar, 2024 @ 11:30
1 min read

On a knife edge: Doubts over Spain’s Cala de Mijas Festival in August as town hall argues over who is footing the bill

THE fate of this year’s Cala Mijas Festival is hanging by a thread.

With the festival’s third edition looming at the end of August, the event finds itself in a game of brinkmanship over its finances.

Details about the lineup and ticket sales remain conspicuously absent just five months before it is supposed to go ahead.

An extraordinary town hall meeting has been called specifically to resolve the issue of what has grown to become Mijas’ leading cultural event of the year.

On the agenda will be the matter of a €1 million bill from last year that has reportedly gone unpaid.

The council will also discuss the cosy financial arrangement between the festival organiser Last Tour and the previous PSOE town hall – who the PP booted out and replaced in November.

It is alleged that, under the previous council, led by socialist Josele Gonzalez, the town hall footed the bill for the event’s infrastructure costs without formal approval.

A new team of auditors have suggested that the town hall forked out €2 million to support the project, far beyond the agreed €1.2 million sponsorship.

As such, the town hall has indicated it will look to revise the spending and sponsorship deals it has with Last Tour.

At the same time, finance councillor Mario Bravo has threatened to hike the land rates to the tune of €10 million, spread out across the five contracted editions of the event.

All these moves threaten to pull the financial rug out from under the event itself, which has so far been a huge success, attracting a crowd of 110,000 and bringing in €22 million in 2023.

PP mayor Ana Mata assured that the town hall is committed to ‘bring the holding of the event to a successful conclusion.’

However, the fact that Pedro Sanchez has been such a visible promoter of the event has also not gone unnoticed.

Although no one has been announced for the event, it is thought that acts could be borrowed from another event organised by Last Tour in Portugal around the same time.

Should it finally go ahead, revellers might be treated to a headline of LCD Soundsystem, Massive Attack and Sam Smith.

The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie are also on the ticket.

It is scheduled to take place on August 29 to 31, all being well.

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Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? [email protected]
@waltfinc

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