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The New Bosses 2020: Camila Salinas, Primavera Sound

Continuing a series of interviews with IQ's 2020 New Bosses, we speak to Camila Salinas, a booker at Primavera Sound in Spain

By IQ on 22 Oct 2020

Camila Salinas, booker for Primavera Sound in Spain

Camila Salinas, booker for Primavera Sound in Spain

The New Bosses 2020 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 93 this month revealing the twelve promising promoters, bookers, agents, A&R and production experts that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cream of the crop a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2020’s New Bosses, to discover their greatest inspirations and pinpoint the reasons for their success. Catch up on the previous New Bosses interview with Kedist Bezabih, a promoter at FKP Scorpio in Norway, here.

Our next New Boss is Camila Salinas (26), a booker for Primavera Sound in Spain. Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Salinas moved with her family to Madrid aged five, leaving Spain 15 years later to seek her fortune in London.

“I started flyer-ing, doing doors, repping shows for different companies,” she explains, “which led me to do a few internships. However, it never really led to a job with a decent salary, so when I couldn’t handle the economic instability I moved back home.”

Back in Spain, Salinas started doing production work for a management and booking company. Then, one day, the call came from Primavera Sound: they wanted her to join their booking team.


What are you working on right now?
We’re working on rescheduling the headline shows we had confirmed for the autumn and winter, and finding creative ways to be able to do shows until the venues can open like normal.

What are some of the highlights of your career to date?
It might sound pretty basic but working with bands that I love with all my heart is the biggest reward of them all, and seeing with your own eyes that a bunch of people are having the greatest time because that band is playing in front of them and you helped to make that happen is the best. Big Thief playing my favourite venue in Madrid, the city I grew up in, would definitely have to be a highlight.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt working in live music?
Patience. It didn’t come naturally to me but over the years I learnt the great art of patience in every aspect of my life.

Did you always want to work in the festival business?
Not really, because when I started to feel like music was something that I wanted to dedicate my life to, I wasn’t aware of that entire universe… [but] once I [had] spent my first summer going to festivals, obviously that changed.

“We used Primavera’s amazing space to put on around 60 shows with national bands this summer”

When I started to develop a bigger interest in music, when I was around 14, and I started to pay attention to all the soundtracks from the shows I was obsessed with – Grey’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill and The OC – I definitely decided that I wanted to work with all these bands that made me so happy, and help them to go to places. And, if it was possible, to go to those places with them!

What impact has Covid-19 had on your job?
A big ugly one. Our job is to put a lot of people in the same place at the same time to enjoy and see someone on stage, so it’s been difficult, but at the same time we’ve had to think other ways to keep doing our job. We used the amazing space we have for the festival to put on around 60 shows with national bands this summer and all the security measures to be able to do it.

It’s been a really nice oasis in the middle of this drought and it kept us active – not just the bookers or us as promoters, but all the people that are behind a show, the bands, production team, logistics team, sound technicians, tour managers, the people behind the bars…

Do you have a mentor in the industry?
I have more than one, but a person that I’ll always look up to is Clemence Godard, who runs Bird on The Wire along with Tim Palmer, a promotion company based in London. When I arrived in London I started an apprenticeship there and it was my first proper step into the industry.

I truly admire her because in London she’s one of the few women who runs a promotion company. The heads of the promotions companies (or any company really) tend to be men and the other plus for me is that she’s not from the UK, which might seem a silly detail but as an immigrant with a clear accent I tell you, it’s really not.

“I truly admire Clemence Godard because in London she’s one of the few women who runs a promotion company”

I also have learnt so much with my colleagues at Primavera – Ivone, Arnau and Abel on our booking team. It was my first time working for at the core of a festival with this dimension and since the minute one, they have been the best colleagues to do it with.

What can the live music industry do better?
It needs more diversity in every aspect. More open doors for women, for people of colour, for the LGTBQ+ community, for people who are not wealthy enough to do hundreds of internships for free in order to get a real job. That is something that really needs to change.

What advice would you give to someone who’s new to the business?
To persist, to ask questions, and to be a sponge everywhere you go.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a festival booker?
To be original and fast, and to deal with the egos.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
It changes every day since the pandemic started. These circumstances make you change your perspective depending on what might happen with our industry. So right now I’m not able to think far ahead, the only thing I can think of is that in 2021 the whole festival season can go ahead normally. If that happens, everything could be possible again.


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