La implantación del Alcalde de la Noche en España prevendría tragedias como la de Murcia, según Ariel Palitz

The recent fire on October 1st that affected several nightlife venues in the city of Murcia, a tragedy resulting in the loss of 13 lives and injuries to 24 others, once again highlights the need for the implementation of a specific municipal authority within the nightlife sector to 'help prevent safety issues' and 'avoid tragedies like the one that occurred in this capital city.' This was expressed by Ariel Palitz, former Nightlife Mayor of New York City, in a recent interview. Palitz will specifically address this issue as a speaker at the 9th International Nightlife Congress, to be held alongside the 4th National Nightlife Congress on November 27th and 28th in Barcelona. These congresses will focus on one of the key pillars shaping the current agenda of this sector: fire safety prevention advocated by the Spain Nightlife association and the International Nightlife Association. Various national and international experts in this field will convene during these days in the Catalan capital to tackle the current challenges and future objectives to prevent such incidents.
'I believe it is absolutely essential for all major cities to establish the figure of a nightlife mayor to truly emphasize that cities and economies function 24 hours a day,' highlighted the first person to hold this position in New York City. 'Having a figure that promotes a supportive relationship between the sector, the city, and institutional bodies allows venues and communities to emerge from the shadows and benefit from accessible guidelines and fair regulations that improve safety conditions in these spaces,' stressed the expert. She also emphasized the importance of 'acknowledging that tragedies and safety issues can occur anywhere, at any time, and in any industry,' and not to 'stigmatize and criminalize' nightlife venues as primary 'danger zones.' According to her viewpoint, having an office dedicated to nightlife facilitates 'rapid response and action' by municipalities when safety issues arise, 'as they can provide comprehensive support to businesses, communities, and cities for a swift recovery, learning from mistakes to prevent similar situations in the future.'

'Redefining the relationship and perceptions between nightlife and cities' with the aim to 'find mutually beneficial solutions for different factors' are the main functions of this office, explained Palitz, highlighting the importance for candidates applying for the nightlife mayor position in major Spanish cities to have 'full knowledge of the sector, as well as bureaucracy.' This figure, she asserts, is essential to contribute through their work to 'promote the development and business recovery of the sector; improve the quality of life of the community; and strengthen relationships between venues and neighbors by proposing solutions through noise management programs and policies, reducing traffic congestion, improving waste collection, mediating conflicts during police interventions, and promoting the safety of workers and sector customers.' Additionally, Palitz emphasizes the 'need to work on raising awareness about mental health.'

Aware of the significant benefits brought about by the establishment of this figure in New York, fostering reconciliation between nighttime and daytime spaces in cities, and understanding that there might be certain hesitancies among some authorities who may see this 'night mayorship' as 'competition,' Ariel Palitz emphasizes that it is simply a 'commissioner, like any other, to assist them as a liaison and representative of this vital industry, not to be considered in any way competitive but rather as an asset and partner demonstrating an understanding of a city, its economy's 24-hour values, and historically, in most cases, neglected culture.'


The potential implementation of the Night Mayor figure in various Spanish cities will be discussed in Barcelona during the 9th International Nightlife Congress and the 4th National Nightlife Congress. These events will serve to explain the responsibilities related to this 'nightlife control' figure, whose objective is 'to ensure the preservation, innovation, and improvement of safety aspects in the sector,' as well as 'put an end to unauthorized nightlife, including: street drinking, unfair competition, illegal sale of beverages, underage alcohol consumption, incivility, noise, and public disorder,' as explained by the Congress organizers. The implementation of this figure has been a long-standing request by the national nightlife association Spain Nightlife, as stated by their Secretary General, Joaquim Boadas, as it 'would represent an advancement in terms of quality, safety, control, and professionalization of the sector, thereby strengthening the links between the City Council and nightlife businesses, ultimately benefiting the entire city and its inhabitants and transforming nightlife into a more vibrant, attractive, safe, reputable, diverse, and inclusive sector.'

The Night Mayor is an initiative that originated in Amsterdam in 2014 with Mirik Milan, who became the world's first Night Mayor. The following year, according to data from the Dutch capital, reports of violence decreased by 25 percent and noise complaints by up to 30 percent. This figure has already been established in over 80 capitals like New York, London, Tokyo, Berlin, or Paris and is responsible for mediating between city councils, nightlife representatives and entrepreneurs, and residents, 'resolving conflicts that may arise within the nightlife sphere,' as specified by Boadas. Spain Nightlife emphasizes the importance of Nightlife as one of the country's most significant sectors and as a decisive proposal for visitors choosing Spain as a destination.

Additionally, the implementation of measures to prevent sexual violence; the sector's commitment to innovation and sustainability; or the role of women within Nightlife will be among the other topics at these established meetings.