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Media Newspaper library Presidency Approval for live music regulations at island locales and picks for honorary awards

Approval for live music regulations at island locales and picks for honorary awards

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Today's one-off plenary session saw approval for two extremely important issues on the island: the granting of honorary distinctions for the Festes de Sant Jaume – Diada de Formentera, and the approval of a set of regulations that will serve as a basis for officially-authorised live music performances at island locales.

As for the honorary distinctions associated with the Festes de Sant Jaume – Diada de Formentera, the Council plenary voted unanimously in favour of naming Erró, an artist residing in Formentera since 1958, Adoptive Son of the Island. The distinction, in recognition of the esteem and generosity demonstrated by Erró toward the people of Formentera, dovetailed with the awards that marked the day of Formentera's patron saint: Sant Jaume. One such Sant Jaume Award was granted to Isidor Torres Cardona in recognition of his many years of social and cultural work, and the same honour was also bestowed upon the El Pilar Neighbours' Association, for its implication protecting and maintaining the cultural heritage of the island with recreational activities like the Olimpiada Pagesa. Another to receive the distinction was Jaume Verdera Verdera, honoured posthumously for the active role he has taken in strengthening the social fabric of the island, starting with education. The Gold Medal will be granted to the Col·lectiu de la Pagesia de Formentera (Country Farming Collective of Formentera), in recognition of all the individuals throughout the island's history who have demonstrated binding ties to the countryside. These awards will be delivered by the Council at the Sala de Cultura (cinema) on 24 July, in an event whose relevance and symbolism on the island are particularly high.

Decisions regarding the awards were debated and approved by the Honorary Distinctions Commission on 8 July 2013, a group comprised of representatives from the island's political parties and the Council's own technical specialist on cultural heritage.

The Honorary Distinctions Regulations were born of a desire to render homage to the illustrious citizens of Formentera. The intention being to publicly recognise not only the values that these individuals represent but also and in particular their attitudes of service and contribution – conscious or unconscious – that have impacted local island society. Over the course of their history, the Balearic Islands have forged a particular identity out of the energy and contributions of many generations, traditions and cultures, all sharing a single point of convergence in their adopted homeland. The islands have, in this way and thanks to the confluence of a great number of peoples and civilisations, become a dynamic land rich in both tangible and intangible cultural and social heritage and singular among their counterparts in the Mediterranean and in the world.

Formentera Gold Medal                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Col·lectiu de la Pagesia de Formentera                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In recognition of all those over the course of the history of Formentera who have felt tied to the countryside, the majority linked by a common connection of labouring the land. This union of stockbreeders and country farmers whose objective it is to defend and maintain local agricultural and livestock production, is hereby recognised for the importance of its work in the protection of our island's rural landscape.

Premis Sant Jaume                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
    Jaume Verdera Verdera (Formentera, 1951-2012 posthumous)
                                                                                                                                                                                                 In recognition of Verdera's active implication in education on the island at both the social and cultural levels. In the social sphere, Verdera was secretary of the Coordination of Civic Entities and of the Stockbreeders' Association of Formentera. On a cultural level his contributions included various studies on Formentera immigration to Latin America in the XIX and XX centuries, in addition to the position he occupied as local coordinator for the redaction of the Enciclopèdia d'Eivissa i Formentera. 

Isidor Torres Cardona (Formentera, 1951)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               This distinction serves to recognise the far-reaching trajectory in the social and cultural spheres of Isidor Torres Cardona, a teacher and politician celebrated for his defence and promotion of the Catalan language and for his role in cultural manifestations on the island, defending his positions on the social, educational and political plains.

Associació de Veïns del Pilar                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           In recognition of their role in the recuperation of cultural heritage through recreational activities like the Olimpiada Pagesa, the Sant Joan and El Pilar de la Mola local celebrations. The Associació has brought local heritage to the forefront by implicating even the island's youngest residents in the most forgotten of Formentera's local traditions. Such traditions as the construction of siloes for coal, the annual slaughter of pigs, the fabrication of traditional crafts, and other immaterial aspects of local culture like traditional glosses and the so-called 'doubled songs', form the kind of heritage that the Associació de Veïns del Pilar endeavours to protect.

Fill Adoptiu                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
    Guðmundur Guðmundsson (Erró) (Ólafsvik, 1932)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In recognition of Guðmundsson's generosity and the esteem in which he holds Formentera, a place which he himself has called home since 1958. Considered one of the first post-modern artists, Guðmundsson was absorbed by the (precursor to Pop Art) Nouvelle Figuration movement. His résumé boasts installations in the world's greatest art galleries and has had his work on display in Formentera's own Exhibition Hall. Additionally, proof that despite his international success the artist has maintained his local ties, Guðmundsson has made numerous donations of his own pieces to the art collection of Formentera. 

The second and final item discussed at the day's plenary session dealt with the regulatory ordinance on business hours of operation, entertainment, live music performances, equipment conditions at local businesses, public performances and recreational activities, and was approved with an absolute majority despite the abstention of the Grup Independent de Formentera.

This ordinance, initially approved at the plenary held last 26 April, is an expansion of the regulatory ordinance on operating hours that was first approved in 2008. It establishes a set of opening hours for different businesses in order to prevent unfair competition and, simultaneously, provides a legal framework for every business activity and its corresponding hours of operation.

The expansion leaves untouched the hours of operation established by the previous ordinance and, in a change, includes the possibility of hosting live music at different business establishments during determined time slots. This possibility is dependent on the completion of a set of previously-established conditions and criteria, among which exists the requirement that a locale remain open a minimum of 6 to 11 months a year. Under this provision, the more months a venue remains open the more favourable the ranking it receives, thus promoting a longer tourist season on the island. Also included in the ordinance is the possibility of requesting permits to hold weddings – as well as celebrations at the opening and closing of the summer season – as long as these events favour a longer tourist season by their placement on the pre- and post-season calendar. Finally, the measure establishes a series of facility minimums for local businesses, something that had occupied a grey area in previous regulations.

The new regulations came as the result of the joint work of the offices of Tourism, Activities and Cultures, which required first a surveying of sector representatives, both from restaurants and bars as well as individuals from the local music scene. These sectors had voiced discontent over the dearth of locales with authorisation to host live music and asked for a more flexible set of regulations, especially with regard to winter performances. A meeting was held between the Council and these representatives in which various ideas were proposed and a new set of regulations – adapted to the needs expressed by the island's musicians and restaurant and bar sector – was approved.

The goal of the new regulations was to give added value to those businesses that remained open more than six months a year, without incurring unfair competition with other local businesses like discos or café-concert establishments that possess all of the necessary permits to host live music performances. In this way, music is promoted at the same time that noise pollution limits established by the law are upheld. Such performances must adhere to specific timetables, preferential to those local businesses that choose to remain open more months in winter. It is also an essential part of the ordinance that the live performances that receive authorisation are not converted into macro-parties and that they respect the tranquility of neighbours. In short, musicians can organise musical entertainment while local businesses can simultaneously give added value to their services. The ensemble thus effects a livelier ambiance in Formentera during both the winter months and the beginning and end of the summer season, and regulates the island's live music programme.

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