EspaÃ ± a de Noche thinks it could have been held if means such as testing, disinfection and geolocation were put in place
New Year’s Eve is going to be the climax to one dose horribilis for the nightlife sector. A night that is “the best of the year” for the business and that in 2020 meant 500 million euros and it employed 200,000 people will not be able to celebrate due to the pandemic.
This cancellation does not surprise anyone and is just another nail in the coffin of nightlife. Just counting christmas the 16,500 entertainment venues in Spain have lost 1,200 million euros in turnover compared to previous years, according to data from the Federation of Nightlife and Entertainment Entrepreneurs (Spain by Night).
To dismiss 2020, only 2,000 locals will open converted into bars and cafes in the afternoons, and only 500,000 Spaniards, 10% of those who were partying the previous year, will go out on the last afternoon of 2020, according to data from EspaÃ ± a de Noche.
All in all, the year that is ending will be for discos and nightclubs a loss of 85% of your turnover compared to the previous year. This has led to 69% of the companies in the sector being on the brink of bankruptcy and, alongside them, the 140,000 jobs that depend on them are in danger.
The situation is due to the health measures taken to combat the pandemic, which have forced local and regional administrations and the central government to close nightclubs to stop contagion. This has meant that many rooms have been closed for more than 10 months.
For EspaÃ ± a de Noche, the sector “has been unfairly sacrificed.” Vicente Pizcueta, spokesperson for EspaÃ ± a de Noche he thinks that those 500 million billings could have been saved if he had opted for “all the health, scientific and technological advances that make it possible to fight the disease, save lives and recover economic activity”.
Pizcueta argues that a rehearsal plan, focused on “disinfection of enclosed spaces, rapid tests and geolocation applications” I would have allowed a New Years Eve in discos. However, EspaÃ ± a de Noche denounces that “the lack of capacity and political will” has caused the “sacrifice of economic sectors that could be developing their activity and contributing to the control of the disease.”
The Federation looks to the future and sees a solution. Pizcueta believes that test and geolocation can be used during the next campaign to save the largest possible number of companies and jobs in the “sector most affected by the crisis” and asks to ensure the next great moment of work that awaits the sector, spring 2021.
EspaÃ ± a de Noche not only denounces the “lack of political will”, it also regrets that the sector is marked and they recall that “the examples of the Sala Apolo, or the Raphael concert at the WiZink Center, far from scandalizing us, should be valued as the first steps that should allow us to guarantee an orderly and staggered exit from this crisis.”
Nightlife is an important sector for Spain, according to Pizcueta, since It is “an important part of the country brand”, which attracts millions of visitors year after year, boosting tourism which before the pandemic was 12.4% of the national GDP.