While the Spanish music industry is in the economic doldrums, music events remain popular - especially if they are free, of course.

Spain is one of a handful of European countries that celebrates European Music Day every June 21, but this year the event was stretched to include June 20. Not only that, many independent bodies such as small venue association The Night Live began free European Music Day-branded concerts on June 18.

Indie label Subterfuge Records has organized a European Music Day six-hour festival for next Saturday, June 26, with five of its acts in a central Madrid square.

Thousands of people attended dozens of concerts across eight cities June 20 - Alicante, Bilbao, Burgos, Madrid, Malaga, Murcia, Seville and Tenerife. Six bands who played in the 1,500-capacity Circo Price were from other European countries, such as France's the Popopopops, and some of them were making their Madrid debuts.

The initiative was launched by the French government in 1982, to celebrate music on the day of the summer solstice, and has since expanded to other European territories.