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Yesterday, the official Twitter account for General Pueyrredón, part of the Mar del Plata county district, announced the news that the city mayor there, Carlos Arroyo, had signed a decree banning electronic music festivals at the coastal holiday destination, only months after the same policy was applied in Buenos Aires.

According to La Nación, the decision was made after several meetings between the mayor and representatives from local government positions, and has been implicitly supported by the Buenos Aires province administration, particularly following the deaths of five people at the TimeWarp festival last April and two victims at a recent New Year’s party in Arroyo Seco, Santa Fe. These kind of parties are now considered to be “irretrievably destined for drug sale and consumption”.

However, Gustavo Blanco, secretary of the Local Health Ministry, said this morning that parties are not banned, but rather “are not authorized” after staff members met with the events’ organizers. He avoided further questions and suggested reporters wait for the signed decree at around two in the afternoon.

Last weekend, at the event that kicked off the season in parador Mute, four people had to be treated for dehydration and other symptoms corresponding with the consumption of designer drugs’. Several amounts of cocaine, marijuana and synthetic drugs were also seized on site.

Photo via Ticketek.
Photo via Ticketek.

Mute, Abracadabra and Destino Arena have already sold over 50.000 tickets for the 17 electronic music parties authorized by the local government. “Thousands of people have scheduled their trip to Mar del Plata just to attend John Digweed’s show”, said one of the producers of the event, planned for January 21st. Other organisers expressed their concern regarding the economic impact the measure would have and the risk of illegal parties, like private gatherings that take place without authorization and do not undergo the same controls as public festivals.

“The only thing left to ban is young people”, said Iván Torres, from Córdoba, in a conversation with La Nación. He added, “there were more cops than people” last weekend at Mute, and pointed out everything was really quiet inside. Yesterday, many people complained via social networks about Mayor Arroyo’s decision.