Vox achieves its goal: to end the Periferias de Huesca festival, a benchmark of contemporary culture for 23 years | Culture



A little over a month ago, Lorena Orduña, mayor of Huesca from the PP, inaugurated the 2023 edition of the Periferias festival. He did it with the pride that the majority of the residents of the Aragonese city have for this event: a national reference of contemporary culture where Enrique Morente, Niño de Elche, Paco Ibáñez, Antony and The Johnson, Sugarhill Gang, Vladislav have passed through Delay or Digital Mystikz, to name a few. Very little time has passed since that inauguration (October 20), but many things have changed: the festival will not be held in 2024. The reason? A demand from Vox to support the PP budgets in the city with its two councilors.

“This is the end of an era for the city’s culture,” Luis Lles, director of the festival from its first year, 2000, to 2020, tells this newspaper, and totally contrite. “Vox already warned it and it has complied with it.” . They have destroyed a reference in the avant-garde culture of this country. For a small city like Huesca, with about 50,000 inhabitants, having Periferias was a luxury. It is clear that this party does not like a festival that is committed to creative freedom.”

Santiago Abascal’s party had been warning since the summer: “Vox Huesca does not have red lines, but it does have green lines. One of them is the Periferias festival, which only serves to shower progressive culturetas with hundreds of thousands of euros. “Whoever wants to govern with us must put an end to this waste.” Luis Lles reports that in the 20 years under his direction he has included artists of different ideologies in the programming and that the exhibition has coexisted without problems with PP mayors, “until Vox arrived.”

The budget of the last years of Periferias was about 120,000, half of them provided by the City Council. The other half came from contributions from the Ministry of Culture, private companies or from what was generated at the box office. It averaged between 7,000 and 10,000 visitors each year (in a city of 50,000 inhabitants). “I estimate that in 25 years about 200,000 people have been able to attend,” says Lles, who says he feels “a certain pride” in seeing that Periferias is so important as to make it a condition for the extreme right party.

Periferias is a thematic and multidisciplinary festival. Each year is dedicated to a different theme: exiles, cosmos, shake propversion, party, earth, future, outsider, horror, new comedy, fake, roots, altered states,…. This year he has dedicated himself to gypsy culture.

The City Council is now studying to replace Periferias, “a youth festival based on citizen participation, which does not yet have a name, focused on a segment of 14 to 25 years old, with events in one week and also spaced throughout the year ”.

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