San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in jeopardy after venue denies permit

The Costa Rican Sports and Recreation Institute (ICODER) has denied a permit for celebrated funk rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers to play at west San José’s National Stadium on Sept. 12.

José Cañas, spokesman for event organizer Evenpro, said the concert is not canceled.

“ICODER is arguing technical issues, but the show will go on,” Cañas told The Tico Times. “The date is the same. The problem is not the site or the group.

“We do not understand why ICODER is denying the permit if this stadium is completely capable of holding the event. We are in negotiations and are not considering another location.”

Luis Pereza, director of the government-run ICODER, announced Monday morning that the installation of the band’s stage and equipment would be “too much for the track and field” of the recently inaugurated stadium to handle. The decision to deny the permit was made by ICODER’s board of directors. The National Stadium, a $100 million gift from China, opened in March.

“The board decided that there would be only six concerts a year,” Pereza said. “The last confirmed concert is Pearl Jam in November. [The Red Hot Chili Peppers] would be the seventh. Sports is the top priority in the stadium, and commercial events are second. The National Stadium’s field cannot handle three concerts within a month’s time. We don’t want to deteriorate the field or the track, which would be affected every time materials for a concert are transported into the venue.”

Three concerts have already been held at the stadium this year. Pereza said the three remaining concerts are Juan Luis Guerra on Aug. 25, Judas Priest and Whitesnake on Sept. 27 and Pearl Jam, tentatively scheduled for Nov. 20.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers last played Costa Rica in 2002. The band will release its 10th album, “I’m With You,” on Aug. 30.

Tico Times reporter Debbie Martínez contributed to this story.

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