Lesbian Weekend Cancelled After Sitges Official Says “We Don’t Want More Gay Events”

Published Date Author: , March 14th, 2014

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After more than a year of conversations and negotiations, the Sitges local government has turned their back on the OlaGirls Lesbian Festival.

OlaGirls aimed to offer an event for Lesbians in Sitges and started working with the local government in January of 2013. The Tourism and Beach Councilman at the time provided the information about what was possible and explained the process to request the permits to host part of the event at a local beach.

WHAT HAPPENED?

On March 25th, 2013, the Sitges government sent a proposal to host the Festival the weekend of June 6-8, between the “Corpus” celebration and Gay Pride. The date was accepted an in April; the Festival was added to the Sitges event calendar. After the date confirmation, the team started working on making the necessary arrangements, reservations, activity planning, partnerships with hotels, bars, discos, bands, DJs, celebrities, etc. During the following months, OlaGirls and the Tourism department were in contact by email and via meetings.

At the beginning of December, the local government confirmed that everything was on the right track and we should start the formal request. The necessary paperwork was submitted and the team continued to invest time and money on the production of the event.

In January 2014, the Tourism department team supported our requests by, providing photographs of the town, and continued to work on the details. However, by late January, communication was at a stand still and OlaGirls was ready to start selling tickets. An urgent meeting was requested. The reply was a date in late February.

“WE DON’T WANT MORE GAY EVENTS”

After multiple attempts in February to contact Ignasi Garrigo, the Tourism & Beach Councilman, OlaGirls was informed by phone that Sitges would not grant the beach permits. The reason given was “…there are too many gay events in Sitges and there is no room for another one”. Garrigo suggested that OlaGirls host the event the same weekend as Gay pride, a date summarily declined the year before due to the fact that Gay Pride Sitges is aimed at and primarily attracts men, leaving little, if any room, for women. At this point it was too late to change dates. Agreements and contracts with hotels, bands, DJs, dancers, a celebrity, etc. had been signed and booked.

In spite of OlaGirls attempts to help the government understand that Lesbians offer a diverse tourism stream, permits to host some activities at a local beach have not been granted. OlaGirls is still waiting for an official communication.

The discriminatory and non-professional communication from the Sitges government has not only negatively affected the OlaGirls credibility but has caused significant expected losses to local businesses, artists, bands, DJs, and the celebrity, whom OlaGirls had signed contracts.

OlaGirls is saddened that the Sitges local Government has come 180 degrees in their original support and despite the revenue the gay MALE population provides, is not interested in opening the town to the lesbian community as well.

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