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Posted by portugalpress on January 04, 2018

Dear Editor,

Why is it so hard to help people? In December, I had the idea to hold a music day outside, in the fresh air, at the park near Silves’ swimming pool on the morning of Christmas Eve, where all people could come, play and sing Christmas songs and carols – the same way as an ‘Open Mike Night’ works in a bar or club, and everyone could come and sing along or listen.

Everybody I talked to said it was a great idea, so on Monday, December 18, I went to the câmara (town hall), to get permission to hold the event. They said: “No problem as long as you pay €90 for a licence and €34 for use of public space” – €124, not bad for a year, I thought. But I was told this is for one day!

So I thought I would go to the bombeiros (firefighters) as they have a space that I understood was used by the theatre group.

I was told the director would contact me. I heard nothing.

The musicians are not paid, there is no charge to those who want to listen, just a hat for donations to the bombeiros.

I’m sure I speak for the other musicians: we don’t do it for money, we do it because we love music and want to share it with others. I provide all the amplification equipment and the power is from solar batteries, so no cost to the câmara.

I have not given up. In the new year I would like to run such an event twice a month in the park.

Keith Basham
Algoz

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