'Unacceptable demands' see festival organisers abandon Cáceres
Organisers of WOMAD, the world music, arts and dance festival founded by Peter Gabriel, said on Monday that Cáceres will no longer host the Spanish-Portuguese branch of the event after 16 years of doing so.22 January 2008
CACERES - Organisers of WOMAD, the world music, arts and dance festival founded by Peter Gabriel, said on Monday that Cáceres will no longer host the Spanish-Portuguese branch of the event after 16 years of doing so.
The reason for this "painful" decision, said organisers, is the "unacceptable" demands made on WOMAD 10 days ago by the group in charge of negotiating the conditions, which includes local and provincial Cáceres authorities as well as the regional government of Extremadura.
But the mayor of Cáceres sought to downplay the rift. "We are still negotiating and there is no final decision yet," said Carmen Heras, adding that negotiators would return to the table to try to hammer out an agreement.
Heras is particularly keen on keeping WOMAD in Cáceres, which is in the running to be European Capital of Culture in 2016.
"[WOMAD] must stay in our city, because it is a great event that brings a lot of publicity to Cáceres," she said. "We would look pretty silly if another city competing for 2016 ended up getting what we rejected. The city cannot afford to let go of one of its identity signs."
Since the first festival in Shepton Mallett, England, in 1982, WOMAD has presented more than 160 events in 27 countries and islands, organisers explain.
[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]
Subject: Spanish news