El nightlife is non-existent today in Barcelona. Entrepreneurs are eager to know when they will be able to reopen the more than 400 stores and clubsThat set the Barcelona nightlife and the city's party-goers stay at home, waiting for the Catalan capital to overcome the phases little by little and to be able to enjoy the nightlife again.
Barcelona is one of the European cities with the most offer in discos, clubs and night bars. Thousands of tourists flock to the Catalan capital during the summer to enjoy their party, something that will not happen this year due to the burden left by the Covid-19 pandemic. That is why the self-employed demand an immediate response from the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Barcelona City Council.
A few weeks ago, from the Catalan Federation of Locals d'Oci Nocturn (Fecalon) called on the administrations to review the proposed measures that sought to allow nightlife and musical entertainment venues in Barcelona and Catalonia to open with only one-third capacity.
According to the president of the employers, Fernando Martínez Iglesias, "there was no scientific rigor to put a third instead of 50% or 60% of the capacity", so the Generalitat had to back down and modify "without having any data objective". The Fecalon spokesman has assured Open Metropolis that because of this new dynamic, which could ensure the opening of the premises, the owners of the establishments will not be able to reopen and that they have already demanded that they promote a lockout.
Façade of Razzmatazz, one of the most mythical nightclubs in Barcelona / EFE
FEAR AN UNEXPECTED AD
The sector prepares a program of sanitary hygienic measures to be able to reactivate its establishments in compliance with the sanitary requirements of the Department of Health and the Ministry of Health. The employer's spokesman assures that they are "working on the economic possibilities and considering disinfection machines at a pioneer level", but, although they have already sent a copy of the proposal to the Ministry and the Generalitat, they do not know when they will have to start.
Last Monday at 16.00:XNUMX p.m. the Official State Gazette (BOE) announced that the hairdressers could reopen their commercial activity following some hygienic guidelines. The owners of these establishments received the news by surprise, and quickly, they had to get to work buying all the necessary material to be able to offer their service within the regulations. The nightlife sector in Barcelona fears that the announcement of its reopening is just as unexpected and that they cannot meet the demand for not having been notified with "sufficient notice".
CLAIM FINANCIAL AID
Faced with the possible opening in the coming weeks, the sector is blindsided to adapt to the new measures: “We have made a claim for ICO credits that have not worked due to the limitation of capital and the conditions of the banking entities. The businessman cannot borrow more, ”says Martínez Iglesias. That is why they demand «a helpline for the self-employed and SMEs»Similar to that made by the governments of Germany or Finland allocating between 4.000 and 5.000 euros per self-employed person.
Another proposal that they put on the table to open their nightlife and music entertainment venues is the suspension of collection of municipal fees, "Even more so when some municipalities have spoken in favor," they say.
Terrace of the Opium nightclub in Barcelona, which remains closed due to the state of alarm / Opium official site
A DATE THAT IS "IN THE AIR"
At first, the discotheques of Barcelona have planned to open in the third phase, that is to say on the 8 June, but this date is "in the air." “We still don't know how the capacity will be and when they will inform us that we can open. We want them to specify with what plan of measures the sector should be promoted, also that taxation be reduced ", confirms the president of Fecalon.
The nightlife sector also suffers from Temporary Employment Regulation Files (ERTE's). The employer's spokesman wonders: "How is a self-employed person going to recover 300 staff if perhaps later they overthrow ERTE?" It also puts on the table the impossibility of massive coronavirus detection tests to all the personnel of the sector, since they cannot do it without medical prescription.
Fecalon insists on the importance of recovering the National tourism, which as they confirm "can save the summer" for thousands of freelancers. For this to be the case, they demand that the borders be opened, that there be air traffic and that Barcelona be a "safe city" that attracts this type of tourists.
BUSINESSMEN SEE IT COMPLICATED
Javier Bordas, director of the Costa Este Group, with more than 20 discos and restaurants, among which are names such as Pasha Barcelona, Opium, Bling Bling, Nuba or the restaurants Puppies, assures this medium that the reopening of nightlife in Barcelona "It is going to be fatal" and it's going to be "super lazy".
Popularly known as «King of the night of Barcelona» He confirms that "everything will depend on the size of the clubs", but that with half or a third of the capacity it will be "very difficult for them to be profitable again".
The also member of the board of directors of Fútbol Club Barcelona charges against the government for moratoriums on rentals and not to cancel them completely, confirming that it will be a serious problem for employers: "After a while you will have to pay two rents each month, the one that has been deferred and current."
"MANY CLUBS ARE GOING TO CLOSE"
Bordas predicts that "many clubs are going to close" and that "with how slow it is going to start and the gaps in capacity it will be very difficult to trace the sector". It also confirms that the lack of international tourism It will be decisive for the prosperity of many nightclubs: "In many of my clubs 80% of the clientele is international." He supports the idea of promoting national tourism, but ensures that he will not figure the same: "the foreign customer spends more, has greater purchasing power, in short it is another type of consumption."
Bordas assures that it is important that entrepreneurs who can "Make an effort to open", but that for this "rents have to go down and ERTE's have to be gradually undone." That is why he asks the owners to be more benevolent, since "if the landlords get tough it will be very difficult to cope with the situation."