The Spanish tablao is an iconic part of flamenco culture. It’s where it first exploded into public consciousness – and where it still thrives today.

But tablaos are in trouble. They have not been able to open their doors since March, and the survival of many – and flamenco in Spain as it’s known today – is threatened.

In response, artists, technicians and employees of the flamenco tablaos, created the National Association of Flamenco Tablaos of Spain (ANTFES). “Flamenco tablaos employ 95% of the flamenco artists in our country. If tablaos disappear, the 95% of artists disappear and flamenco disappears ” said Juan Manuel del Rey, president of the Association. “Only 10% of the tablaos have been able to open sporadically since they closed in March,” he added.

To raise awareness, ANTFES recently performed in front of the Ministry of Culture in order to demand a meeting with the Minister of Culture and Sports, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, after several months since the first requests. The performance by Inmaculada Aranda and Jonathan Miró, began with the sound of nine bells, symbolizing (at the time) the nine months of “mourning” that flamenco tablaos have carried since March 2020.