The 6th annual World Salsa Championship in Cali is in danger due to the fact that directors of the Plaza de Toros decided not rent to space to the event this year, reported El Tiempo news on Wednesday.
Hundreds of salsa dancers and supporters marched though the streets of Cali, asking for a space for the salsa festival, planned for October 8-15. Past years have all been at the Plaza de Toros, but this year it’s a different story.
“It is a lack of consideration for thousands of dancers from the city, we have given happiness and international recognition to Cali, it is impossible that they will leave us without a stage for the World Championship,” stated Monica Cataño, Swing Latino dancer that has traveled all over Latin America and Europe.
The event participants feel as if there is a discrimination against their event, since the Plaza had allowed a private event with an local orchestra to rent the space out over the weekend. Also, the Inspector General’s Office indicated that the Pascual Guerrero stadium would not be able to be used for non-sport events, although this year the Pacific Music festival was held in that very space. Other local venue, the Teatro al Aire Libre Los Cristales has a sound restriction after 9PM because of neighborhood opposition.
“There is a crisis of venues. In addition to the [World Salsa] Championship there is the inauguration of the Cali Festival and the Super-concert [upcoming in Cali]. There are more than 15 dance, music, and design groups, among others, that use salsa as a cultural and economic space,” said event coordinator Pablo Sevillano.
However, the manager of the Plaza de Toros Foundation, Alvaro Tabon, responded that “there is no exclusion or discrimination, the Plaza de Toros is an icon and we have always been available for what could benefit the city.” He went on to explain that there would be a meeting of directors of the Plaza to re-conceptualize and analyze the situation for the last minute possibility of hosting the event in their venue.