It took a while to confirm this, but finally everything points to Muse, the English trio that wowed Europe with their epic glam rock ten years ago, will eventually play in Galicia this year. There is no doubt that his name has become the main weapon in the 100th battle of the war between the Vigo city council and Xunta de Galicia, this time for organizing a concert of the group under the patronage of Xacobeo. “We managed to get the mayor to bend the pulse cornered by his own lies,” boasted a Galician government delegate in the city, as if it were a strategic victory. It was the preliminary climax of a two-week long argument. The next day, he announced the date: September 8, Muse will take the stage at Balaídos.
The prehistory of the struggle, of course, is electoral. The election campaign has begun: municipal elections will be held in 2023, and the People’s Party, drowned in the city, is looking for any way to attack Abel Caballero, who won 70% of the vote. And thus, it is explained that the dispute from the very beginning became the business of the state. From state to regional level. The President of Galicia Alberto Nunez Feijoo himself announced on April 21 a mysterious “important” action in Vigo. And he added: “If they let us.” He did not specify more and passed the details to Alfonso Rueda, then already his obvious successor. No one seemed surprised that Feijoo used the pulpit from which he held post-cabinet press conferences – this Thursday he gave his last after 13 years – for rather local news, with little to no information. He did this for several weeks in relation to all the cities of the community. He even moved government meetings into motion related to municipal elections and the weakness of his party in the Galician urban area.
Just a day after Feijoo’s intervention, Rueda retained the intrigue. He stated that this “important concert” in Vigo “was practically closed”. But he also didn’t mention Muse’s name. The disclosure of this corresponded with the Xunta delegate in the city, Marta Fernandez-Tapias. The Galician leadership of the PP instructed her to restore the local party. The Socialists monopolized 20 of the 27 seats in the plenary session, the popular four, Marea the United We Can alliance and the Anova nationalists two and the BNG one. Fernández-Tapias spoke on 27 April, six days after Feijoo, and reported that the already famous “important concert” had been organized by Muse, but this was not actually the case as the Vigo City Council refused to provide the Balaidos stadium for the event. Caballero warned even before he knew about the musical offer: the works make it impossible, despite the fact that Celta played their games there. The alternative, Castrelus Park, has not worked: only the city council organizes events there, he said. And besides, the mayor without fail represents them, on the stage and loudly.
“Bad faith and institutional disloyalty”
“We will need the most capacious site in the city. Mayor Abel Caballero had to accept the offer to have it in Vigo, or alternatively keep his boycott strategy. His veto unfortunately results in us losing the concert,” said Fernandez-Tapias. He also said that the band had only confirmed two shows in the state, Mallorca and Madrid. I forgot Malaga, there are actually three dates. An hour later, the local government responded with a statement denying it had received any requests from Xunta to use Balaídos. Alderman accused Xunta of bad faith and institutional disloyalty. A new conflict broke out between the two administrations.
Less than 15 days have passed since the previous, in fact, a small brawl, due to the institutional advertising of Xacobeo in a Vigo taxi. He was criticized by Abel Caballero for understanding that the Holy Year is “a celebration of Santiago” and that the LED lights that flood Vigo’s town hall at Christmas “attract more people than the entire Camino de Santiago.” They have to spend money to promote them.” In addition, he added, Christmas is a historical tradition that is already 2,000 years old. But the Muse affair was more than a taxi run-in. Because a new factor has come into play: Real Club Celta de Vigo.
It was the team that petitioned the city council – the owner of Balaídos – to use the stadium and hold “events and concerts” to celebrate the club’s centenary. In alliance with the Galician government, they looked for a ruse to avoid the Caballeros. The relationship of this with the presidency of Celta is clearly improving. Don’t say it’s bad. Knowing this, the mayor returned to accusation and then attacked Xunta and, above all, its vice president, future president and politician in charge of splendor and Jacobin programming: Alfonso Rueda. He only says “lies and slander against the city” and wants Muse, which is being performed in Spain by the production company Zircozine, to play somewhere else in Galicia. And that was just the turning point in history.
Coruna appears and Caballero retreats.
On May 2, Abel Caballero, with an unusual gesture, began to slow down. He changed his mind and assured that an agreement that Xuntha would take Musa to Balaidos was possible. Or even in Castrelos. And he asked to meet with Rueda “or some adviser” to correct the mistake. What happened? That A Coruña and another municipal stadium, the Riazor Stadium, intervened was the Galician government’s second option. And in the city council, run by the same Socialist Party to which Caballero belongs, the attitude seemed to be better. Two days later, he insisted: “The Muse concert has to go to Vigo because they want to move it to A Coruña. I’m meeting tomorrow and we’re closing the Muse concert in Balaidos.” Jobs were no longer a hindrance. The city council will stop them for as long as it takes. “I won’t let them take him to A Coruña,” he insisted. The situation was unblocked by the alleged rivalry between the two largest cities of Galicia, food for local politicians. Xunta, through his delegate in the city, sang the victory.
“Abel Caballero was cornered by his own lies and his own strategy of opposing the junta solely and exclusively for political gain and attacking the people” – Marta Fernández-Tapias, whom the Galician government, and therefore the PP, have given up all leading roles in opposition. Feijoo, in his last appearance since his last Council as President of Galicia, returned to the issue and stepped up his criticism of Caballero: “What is happening with Jacobeo in Vigo is a permanent boycott.” At a press conference on Friday, Fernández-Tapia read a piece about Vigo’s adviser’s defeat, Europa Press told Europa Press: Muse will perform at Balaidos on September 8, and the local government “became an example of how not to waste time and put the concert in jeopardy.”
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