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Could sleazy Salamanca be the next Magaluf?

Fiona Govan · 21 Jul 2015, 09:47

Published: 21 Jul 2015 09:47 GMT+02:00

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Authorities are concerned that the city is gaining a sleazy reputation after a series of videos of organized bar events of a sexual nature made headlines after going viral on social media.

The city in the central Spain, two hours northwest of Madrid, boasts Spain’s oldest and most prestigious university and is hugely popular with foreign students on study abroad programmes.

With its dozens of bars located within the old city, the town has long held a reputation as a party destination.

But tourism chiefs are concerned that its reputation is being sullied by "sexual" parties being organized by some of the city’s most popular venues.

Promotional poster from one of the Salamanca bar's facebook page.

Two bars in particular have come under the spotlight for organizing sexually inappropriate parties. The Irish Theatre and Gatsby which both regularly publicize events involving wet T-shirt competitions, striptease nights and twerking contests.  

A video of one such party in which scantily-clad girls are seen dancing in a giant paddling pool while men grope and kiss them has spurred authorities into action.

Video uploaded by A Horse with No Name / Youtube

The police on Friday said that they had begun investigating after the video was made public.

The footage, which was uploaded onto Youtube and has been viewed more than 32,000 times was taken at a wet T-shirt party were revelers are encouraged to strip off with a view to winning €100 and a bottle of champagne.

The video has sparked an outcry that echoes that caused by a video from Magaluf last summer. The downmarket resort on the island of Mallorca came under scrutiny after a woman was videoed giving oral sex to more than 20 men in return for drinks at an organized pub event.

A reportage broadcast on Telecinco last week compared Salamanca to the party destinations of Magaluf, Ibiza and Salou, all resorts that are battling to clean up their tarnished reputations.

"Magaluf, Ibiza and Salou are known to be the favorite destination for young tourists to run wild. But now Salamanca is on the map. Wet T-shirt parties, naked women being groped, free drinks in return for kissing and touching ...This is what some clubs in the city are using to attract young tourists," said the report.

Julio Lopez Revuelta, the councilor for tourism urged partygoers to act more responsibly.

"Salamanca is for fun, not to get inebriated. It’s a place to enjoy its heritage, culture and night life but not to commit excesses," the PP councilor told El Mundo.

The city's association of bar owners has this month published a code of ethics with a view to discouraging the sort of organized student drinking night that is giving the city a bad name.

It advises a ban on "promoting the consumption of alcohol through prizes, offers, sweepstakes, competitions, contests or massive price reductions".

Story continues below…

A manager at the Irish Theatre told The Local that such parties had been going on in Salamanca for years without any fuss and dismissed the latest controversy as something cooked up by the media.

"We don't have anything to say because there isn't anything to say," he said by telephone when asked for a comment.

"Nothing illegal has occurred here, there are no police complaints from our clients and the council has simply asked the police to investigate if a crime has been committed," said the employee.

"The kind of events being talked about have been happening for years without any complaints at all," he insisted.

But he admitted that for the time being no such parties would take place. "There has been a big fuss stirred up by the media so we have not planned any such parties for the time being," he said.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Fiona Govan (fiona.govan@thelocal.com)

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