Entertainment crackdown

Crackdown on illegal entertainment in Spain. 

Spain used to be such a laid back country, turning a blind eye to many practices and where the word Cash reigned supreme! However that is certainly not the case now, things have changed, they are forever cracking down on people working for cash! The Latest crackdown targets the entertainment industry, where both venues and artists can be fined, if money is exchanging hands and the entertainer is not paying into the Spanish social system, or paying income tax!  Venues are also being fined/closed for not having the correct license for entertainment, be it live, a dj or just background music! 

Costa del Party don´t write the rules, if we did it would be utopia out there! However, here is a run down of the law and the problems entertainers and venues may face. 

Lets Start with Venues and Event Planners. 

When the Guardia Civil or Spanish Polica visit your venue, they will want to know firstly, do you have the correct license for the type of entertainment you are hosting, be it live, a Dj or even in some cases background music. If you do not, they either offer you a warning, or may simply fine you, the latter seems to be the more common approach these days!

They will also check that your staff are legally working for you and not getting paid "cash in hand", however this now includes any entertainers or third party staff you may have hired in! Entertainers performing for money in Spain must either be self employed and paying into the Spanish social security system, or you must be paying the tax for them! It is now your duty to check that anyone you hire in, is either legally self employed or employed by you! If they are not, large fines (Multas) will be issued to both the establishment and the entertainer! In the past few months, all kinds of venues throughout the province have been visited by work inspectors, usually with police, asking to see papers for singers and musicians and demanding that their situation be legalised.

There are special provisions for hiring entertainment, where you pay a contribution of approx 20 euros per person, to cover social payments for one off gigs. However this temporary contract must be set up in advance, preferably using a Gestoria (Spanish Accountant), which also has costs involved!

Private events using outside services are also targeted and police have been know to turn up even at private villa functions, to check for people working illegally at them! As an event planner in Spain, wedding planner or someone responsible for organising entertainment and outside services, it is again your duty to check that the entertainment is legal and invoiced in the official way. Again, failure to do this, or hire an act not registered as paying tax, will result in a fine!.. Scary stuff! 

As an Entertainer working in Spain.

Sadly working for cash in Spain has it´s days numbered, you may get away with it in the more remote areas, or small country bars, but hit the mainstream venues and you risk an inspection. If music or entertainment is your profession and you intend to make money from it, then you will need to register as Autonimo (Self employed), or risk a large fine if you are caught!  You could also ask the venue if they are able to pay the tax on your behalf, or if it was a regular gig, go onto a part time contract with them. 

A "hobby" musician or entertainer who is not getting paid, should, in theory have no problem, in theory I say, because how do you prove that you are not getting paid during the inspection? That could be the difficult part, expecially during a crackdown, when the Guardia Civil and work inspectors are hungry for fines!  Charity events will need to keep records to prove no earning were passed onto performers. 

Buskers getting it too! 

In some parts of Spain, especially Malaga city, there has also been a crackdown on Buskers, busking for money requires a license, as do many things in Spain. If you are Busking for a living, you should also be contributing to the social security system and paying tax, as the Spanish see it!

Making a Noise!

So you fancy a bit of a party or some entertainment at your Spanish villa, but one grumpy neighbour objects to your musical tastes. It used to be a little more "live and let live" here in Spain, but of late, that has also changed. Even if your neighbours are quite a distance away, it is considered the respectable thing to switch off outside music by 12 midnight and that is always a good rule to follow.

The Police would have rarely been called to complaints of music before midnight, however, now that is not the case!  If the Police are called, due to a complaint they will visit the venue, no matter what time it may be, normally warning you to turn the music down, or to stop it altogether! A second complaint in that day/night and you will be presented with a large fine! If you are hiring a venue, it is a good idea to check they have help celebrations there before and had no previous complaints!


There are many opinions and thoughts on the current situation and indeed, once the "crackdown" is over, things will probably settle for a while, but be sure they will be at is again next year! Whatever your opinion, or how you bend any rules, it will have to be a good enough opinion to satisfy a "multa hungry" Spanish work inspector, or Policeman on the day they introduce themselves! It sometimes seem´s earning a few euros in cash is a more important crime than the mass property fraud and corruption that sweeps the country!.. It is certainly better policed!

Spain is still a wonderful country, especially Andalucia and all this does not mean you cannot have a party here or enjoy some live entertainment, it just means we now have to play by the rules more!

Need fully legal entertainment in Spain?

Costa del Party can provide Mobile Dj´s with quality sound and lighting, theme parties, wedding entertainment and a range of fully legal entertainers, for all types of venue, or event, throughout the Costa del Sol region  So if the event is rudely interrupted by officials,  we can still crack on with the party!

Costa del Party - There are alternatives, but there is no compromise!

This information is from local new sources and advice by our Gestor, (Spanish accountant), to the best of our knowledge to be true at time of publish, however, always seek up to date professional advice and note that rules can change very quickly in Spain!

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