The Stormzy 2 day festival not only created challenges in San Antonio but also created much debate about the right and wrong type of tourist for San Antonio.
Stormzy brought the mighty Glastonbury to its knees only 2 days previously and, in the words of a friend of mine who was in the crowd he was “un-f***ing-believable” seamlessly crossing over to mainstream without so much of a hiccup. There’s no doubt he is a talented entertainer but he wasn’t the only one performing at the ‘Merky’ festival and the crowd that is associated with this scene seemed to be seething with attitude trying to make there stay memorable for all the wrong reasons.
I don’t know enough about that scene to make an informed opinion but I do know what I saw with my own eyes in my little town and it wasn’t pleasant. San Antonio has often been accused of not knowing what it wants but I can safely say that we don’t want big sinister groups roaming the town with attitude even if they have got a few quid in their pockets. We already get that for a few weeks in August and that’s more than enough thank you.
But can we afford to be choosy as to the type of tourist we attract? All tourists bring spending money with them and there’s no such thing as bad business right? Wrong! When your little town is getting headlines for all the wrong reasons then you are walking on a tightrope. Some of us still remember the boom after the ‘Ibiza Uncovered’ years followed by a resounding bust.
The organisers of Stormzygate (as I’m now named it) were called before the Mayor to explain themselves so expect an imminent announcement on whether the festival will be repeated in its current format. I have some sympathy with the organisers as this was their 3rd edition and the previous 2 were a big success before being hijacked by the testosterone brigade.
What Stormzy and his amigos have done is present a nice little test for new mayor Marcos Serra who has always been an advocate of live music but who has also been vocal about improving the image of his town in the wake of the previous councils much maligned strategic plan.
Life is nothing if not a learning curve and the Mayor is already at the sharp end and as Stormzygate becomes a mere distant memory San Antonio has other pressing matters to focus on, namely peak season where the heat will rise and other challenges will rear their heads. That’s just how it is on the White Isle. Watch this space.