Segovia: Paid concerts during the festivals reduce the number of visitors, although they discover the CIDE

The Popular Party (PP) team in the Segovia City Council has tried to shake the tree of the San Juan and San Pedro Festivals and Fairs and innovate in some of the program’s proposals. Thus, the government headed by the mayor, José Mazarías opted to introduce paid concerts, a move that broke with the free admission of previous editions. Musical performances are the main course of the capital’s festive menu and until now they had been free, with their consequent outdoor capacity to overflow. They are the events that attract the most public. They mobilize the people of Segovia, but also visitors from all over the province and from outside it, who come to Segovia to enjoy their favorite artist live without paying at the box office.

Orchestras and street parties, radio mini-festivals that bring together a handful of figures who take turns on stage, DJ sessions and, of course, established artists and groups with a greater popular cachet, are the main voices of the programme. At the recent Segovia Festival, the test of alternating two paid concerts has reduced the number of people. The attendance figures compared to the two previous editions reflect this.

This year’s celebrations began with the show ‘Locos por la Música’, with four performances in one go: Seguridad Social, Los Rebeldes, Revólver and Modestia Aparte. The event also had the added attraction of using the esplanade of the Centre for Innovation and Business Development (CIDE) as a stage, with capacity for around 5,500 spectators, a more limited capacity than, for example, the Plaza Tirso de Molina, in the Nueva Segovia neighbourhood, which was too small for the approximately 10,000 attendees who danced and sang to the tune of Camela in 2023. Around 3,000 people went to the CAT.

The Tirso de Molina square was packed for the performance of the Panorama orchestra two years ago.

Oscar Costa

The attendance at the national rock revival is far from the massive attraction that orchestras exert in these parts. The greatest exponent of recent times was the performance of Panorama, two years ago. Their production managed to gather, again free of charge and in the same location as Camela, a crowd of between 10,000 and 15,000 spectators.

For the City Council, ‘Locos por la Música’ is the concert that has cost the most of the fairs. Specifically, 98,010 euros for a show that, although it demonstrated the capacity of the CIDE environment to host this type of event, was also criticised for the distribution of 1,500 free invitations.

The budgets

The second of the paid performances was the new urban music festival, with a trio of artists who are leaders in this artistic genre: Cano, RDFER and Cero, who replaced the Mexican Ingratax at the last minute. Around a thousand spectators, mainly young, gathered in the rain on the CIDE esplanade. The event also has the second largest budget. As revealed by the mayor in May, the original line-up would have cost 68,500 euros, which with VAT rose to 82,885 euros. In this case, the City Council would contribute a maximum of 15,000 euros.

Café Quijano, for its part, gave one of the most highly anticipated recitals of the last festival cycle. And what’s more, it was free and in front of the Aqueduct. The setting and free entry meant that thousands of people were able to enjoy the arsenal of boleros and pop by the trio from León. The cost to the City Council was 53,910 euros, according to the data published in the Contractor Profile.

The same official portal points out that the budget for the two events that have probably attracted the most interest and public, such as the drone show and the fireworks on St. Peter’s Eve, does not reach 15,000 euros in either case.

As for the performances by various artists in the Plaza Mayor, on the occasion of the Canario Disco anniversary party, the municipal coffers have spent 6,000 euros on an event that was also free.

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