Concerts are generating traffic and insecurity

Without a doubt, live concerts are the only sector of the music industry that, despite the economic crisis, has not been affected. This type of entertainment will represent no less than 31 billion dollars worldwide in 2022. Guatemala is no exception.

Good for the organizers and businessmen who benefit from this type of event, but the problem is that they are going over the rights of others, in terms of the place where they are taking place, which to begin with does not have adequate access to Get to the point. Imagine yourself on a narrow two-lane street with vehicular traffic generated by a concert for 15,000 people.

It is extremely important that the Directorate of Public Entertainment of the Ministry of Culture and Sports (MCD) supervise the concerts. From the place where they are held —which should be a space built for that purpose—, the permitted capacity, parking, prices, and ticket distribution —to avoid resale scams—, security within the concert —control of firearms and sharps— and other factors that, today, have already been seen to be putting those who attend these events at risk.

These activities were recently reactivated and they come with more force than ever, and regardless of the exorbitant prices that a ticket may cost, in less than an hour the tickets are sold out. Every weekend they are characterized by massive and endless queues of traffic, which saturate the overpasses —some of which have even been partly paid for by the residents of the sector where these shows are held—, street vendors who pounce on the cars to resell tickets and a road disorder – in which the Municipality of Guatemala washes its hands completely.

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However, no one stops to think about the consequences in terms of risk and discomfort of these events for the residents of the place and for those attending the concert.

By ignoring all these aspects in one event, tragedies can happen. The most relevant was in September of this year, in Xelafer. 9 people died and 20 were injured, due to a human stampede. Testimonials from the attendees indicate that there were no security personnel, capacity controls and the concert organizers simply washed their hands.

It is evident that, in practice, there is no type of regulation for concerts in Guatemala. A reggaeton player recently appeared at a famous “shopping center”, which they usually use for concerts —in an improvised area, not suitable for that purpose, since that site is not a forum, arena or stadium. In the aforementioned event, cell phone and money thefts were reported, by a group of people who jumped and surrounded two people alone and assaulted them, nobody noticed the anguish of the victims, in the midst of the relaxation of the concert. Later, when the news went viral on social networks, almost in real time, it became chaos, since the attendees knew about the incident and beatings occurred for trying to defend themselves.

It is very cosmopolitan that, in Guatemala, the live concert industry is developing satisfactorily. And that the entrepreneurs who participate in this business are generating good profits. But it is completely abusive that they are doing it at the expense of the rights of the neighbors, causing epic vehicular chaos and putting at risk the safety of the public that is coming to those events, making them victims of a possible assault or a stampede where they could even lose life.

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