Saturday, February 5, 2011

Live music threatened in Spain

In the foothills of the Spanish Sierra Nevada and just down the road from where I live, there occurred for 13 years from the late 90s to the 2000s, The Dragon Festival, a free festival of live music, bands, sound systems, DJs, performance, poetry, art, happenings... much along the lines of Stonehenge but with more stones.

From its early days as a local event in a field in a dry riverbed, it grew in a short time to attracting international attention. People were coming from all over the world, numbers grew so that by 2001, estimates of 10,000 people attended. Inevitably this began to cause problems; frictions with affected villagers and police who tried with varying degrees of success to stop the festival. The endgame being a local council initiated spoiling of the site area with large holes and secondly by an enormous natural flood of the river which washed away vehicles, buildings, and roads.

On the last occasion when the festival was staged, the result was to charge  four people, who worked to provide live music and free entertainment on their own land for many years, with holding a musical event.without permission ,which could result in draconian and life destroying fines amounting to 30,000 Euros for each person.

I personally view this as a threat to free expression, the right to gather for a party and to celebrate the Spring Equinox.

A fund has been opened to pay legal fees and other costs in order to fight the cases.

As a contribution to this, we would like to donate the proceeds from the download of the song Dirty Work. As you will see form the Downloads page, you pay a donation for the track, which will go to the legal fund.

Updates on the progress of this fund will be posted on this page now and then. If you want to know more about the Dragon Festival and the fund, click here to go to the Official Dragon Festival Blog.

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