The Cromañon effect in Argentina has not only destroyed the capital’s nightlife but also threatens to dampen the development of underground arts and culture. Cromañon was the disco of Rock…

The Cromañon effect in Argentina has not only destroyed the capital’s nightlife but also threatens to dampen the development of underground arts and culture. Cromañon was the "disco of Rock concerts" in the Once neighborhood. On December 30th 2004, 192 people died and 700 people were hurt during a “Callejeros” concert when fire burned the club down. The fire was caused by a sparkler that set fire to plastic hanging from the ceiling.

The backlash against the Governor of the City of Buenos Aires, Aníbal Ibarra, made him react quickly by imposing severe controls. He closed down every disco in the city for two months then changed the rules about the security of clubs. New requirements included the preparation of plans of evacuation in case of emergency; new emergency exits; ambulances, doctors and firemen in every club; a contract with an insurance of civil responsibility; the removal of inflammable material inside discos (changing the presence of the promotion material for drinks and cigarettes inside the shops), and the introduction of flameproof paint.

By February 12 2005, only 22 out of 129 discos in the city managed to present the papers to get a new nightclub license. The capital has witnessed the mass closure of discotheques, instrant inspections and
strict security rules forcing young people goes from town to town
looking for an open disco. With little luck. Ex-staff remain without job. 

Cromañon has not only changed Buenos Aires nightlife, but also impacted society itself. Since Cromañon, not only have discos been targeted with strict controls, but also have pubs, restaurants, cinemas, shopping malls, theatres, etc. The places where the underground and alternative culture originates are being restricted. Artists, musicians and other members of the alternative community in Buenos Aires have been is paralyzed.

Contributed by Hernando Gómez Salinas

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