The promoter The Project, manager of the space, expresses its "strangeness" at the time chosen by Barcelona City Council to present the project.
Barcelona City Council has announced that the Sala Barts, owned by City Council but managed by the concert promoter The Project, will become the Casa de la Música (Music House) of Barcelona. The concession ends in April 2021 and during 2020 an open competition will be held for the co-management of this space in which the same veteran Barcelona concert promoter will also be able to participate.
The new project for the venue is to become a space for the culture and base music of Barcelona. Leaving aside its role as a concert hall for international bands, comedia or theater to be the venue for projects in development without necessarily having a commercial vocation. It could also be the venue for small-format festivals in Barcelona that have to leave La Fabra and Coats venue such as Say It Loud or AMFest.
The Project, meanwhile, notes in a statement its "strangeness" for the time chosen by the council to announce the "programmatic reconversion" of the venue. The Barcelona-based company has managed this space for years, turning it into a reference musical space in the city at the height of its neighbour Apolo, adding “since TheProject we have developed, in just over 7 years and in a space that was practically inactive in the city, a project that has managed to become a reference at the state level, with a transversal, contemporary and quality programming, open to all areas: music, theater - author, musical and children's -, comedy, debate and thought. It is precisely this multifaceted nature that has made the proposals have reached more than 160,000 spectators a year ", also pointing out that Barcelona City Council, as the owner of the space, is free and is entitled to make any decision”, regretting that“ we believe that today was not the time to add more anxiety to such a affected sector or to generate new insecurities for the future of the company's workers. There was no hurry ", and warning that" Barcelona does not have precisely a surplus of concert halls or theaters to give up the exploitation and income of a unique project like this ".
Barcelona City Council has been the protagonist in recent weeks of a major error in the field of music. It wanted to pay tribute to the victims of COVID with a series of concerts on the city’s balconies and patios. When its budget of hundreds of thousands of euros was made public, there was a major uproar on social media, criticizing the size of the expenditure, and many artists resigned from the initiative noting that this money should be dedicated to the victims. There was also criticism that this money could be spent on base culture, which has been hardest hit by the economic crisis since the pandemic, instead of spending thousands of euros on a television production.
A total of 4.5 million euros will be dedicated to supporting the city’s cultural base. With the aim of reactivating the damaged live music sector, the City Council will launch the Sala Barcelona initiative. A series of public spaces open to live music during the summer months: the Large and Small Room of the Forum Auditorium and the Olympic Ring.