The president of the Nerja Caves Foundation says no more concerts should be held within the historic caverns. María Gamez, a government sub-delegate, says that all events should be held in the new outdoor auditorium which this year has doubled its capacity.

The proposal comes as experts and researchers in the underground complex say that the annual series of concerts, which began in 1959, is threatening the fragile environment. Conservation of the natural features is also the principle finding of a study by the Research Institute.

Gámez says the concerts connected to celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the caves’ discovery should be the last to be stage underground. She added, “The most important thing is to preserve a heritage that is unique.”

The new auditorium outside the caves is the ideal location for the annual festival of music and dance, she says, describing it as, “the best open-air auditorium on the Costa del Sol.”

Only two concerts were held inside the caves during this year’s festival, and capacity has gradually been reduced to just 450 seats. However, experts say that the logistics required to stage such events run counter-productive to conservation concerns.

“The most important thing is to preserve a heritage that is unique.”