Monday, June 24, 2024

Puebla eco-park’s neighbors launch campaign to prevent big music festival

Neighbors and people who love to visit the second largest park in the city of Puebla are waging a battle against plans to hold a music festival there in October.

On hiatus for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tecate Comuna has been scheduled to return to Parque Ecológico Revolución Mexicana on October 22-23. Thousands of people are expected to attend and the musicians will perform from a huge stage constructed atop a grass field.

But concerned citizens say they have collected 3,000 signatures in an attempt to stop the festival. They are also preparing to file an injunction against organizers to get the event called off.

“We must emphasize to the authorities that the Parque Ecológico is not the ideal place to carry out this type of act that damages nature,” the newspaper La Jornada de Oriente quoted the group as saying. “This park is for children. It is a lung of the capital. If we don’t fight for recreational and sports spaces, the new generations will suffer.”

Located on the east side of town, Parque Ecológico covers 58 hectares (the equivalent of about 90 square city blocks) and includes lakes, bike trails, an aviary, botanical gardens, jogging areas, a skateboard park and athletic fields.

Those rallying against the festival — which is slated to include the Spanish group Love of Lesbian, the ska and Latin ryhythms band Los Auténticos Decadentes from Argentina, 22-year-old singer Kenia Os from Mazatlán and California rockers Sublime With Rome — are basing their argument on the damage that was caused during the 2019 edition of the festival.

According to the activists, the result of that event was damage to trees, dozens of dead birds, a lot of trash and debris left behind, and damaged lawns caused by the stage and the festival goers. This year’s event might even include three stages, as well as an area for food trucks. They stated that a soccer or baseball stadium would be better options for such an event.

Plus they brought into question the illogical stance of the state’s minister of the environment for granting a permit to hold an event that “flagrantly violates environmental regulations” and is being held in a space that has “ecological park” as part of its name. They noted that the park was not designed for concerts and massive shows, but for the preservation of flora and fauna, and for recreation.

If they don’t get the response from authorities they are seeking, they said they will file for an amparo, an  injunction, in order to protect the park. Marches and other protests might be organized, as well.

“We already had a tragic experience that should not be repeated,” said local resident Guadalupe Medina Velázquez, referring to the Tecate music festival in Puebla in 2019, which was called Catrina Fest. “It left visible damage to the environment with noise and light pollution, some birds died because of the festival, and within just a few hours they caused damage that still has not been rectified. There was a promise to plant trees and compensate for the environmental damage, but to date nothing has been done.”

The activists also reminded people that when former mayor Claudia Rivera Vivanco granted the permits for the 2019 festival, Governor Luis Miguel Barbosa Huerta promised to never allow a musical event in Parque Ecológico again. Barbosa is still the governor, and the activists are demanding a statement from him on the matter.

With reports from La Jornada de Oriente and E-Consulta

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