Municipal authorities in many Spanish towns are preparing for what thousands of youngsters hope will be the biggest ever street party held in Spain.
These kind of improvised street parties have become more and more popular among young Spaniards. Called “botellon” (big bottle), youngsters take their drink and music to a park, open wasteland, beach, main street or wherever, and improvise a party which usually lasts all night and, in some cases, several days.
Problems arise when numbers get out of control and the partiers remedy the lack of facilities (toilets, bins and ashtrays) by using the floor, leaving a smelly mess for neighbours to contend with the following morning. A farmer was interviewed on Spanish television just after Christmas when a botellón was held on one of his fields for three days and two nights (police tried to break it up twice but only suceeded on the third attempt, with the help of reinforcements) and ruined his recently-planted crops.
This weekend has apparantly been hailed as the “macro-botellon”, and parties are being organised by youngsters in more than 20 Spanish towns and cities.
Their aim is to break the attendance record for a botellón, currently held by Sevilla when 5000 students gathered on the streets of the Andalucian capital last month.
Town halls have been alerted, and members of the police force, health services and street cleaners are expected to work overtime to try and stop this nationwide botellon from getting out of control. It is against the law to drink alcohol on the streets in Madrid and Barcelona, where 300 police are expected to patrol the streets to enforce the prohibition. In other towns and cities where drinking is allowed, police will limit their presence to making sure no incidents break out while the partying is going on.
Parties have been organised in the following towns: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Granada, Huelva, Jaen, Almeria, Ciudad Real, Malaga, Oviedo, Vitoria, Murcia, Valladolid, Leon, Salamanca, Segovia, Zaragoza, Teruel, A Coruña y Pontevedra.