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Move Concerts’ Rodriguez talks LatAm challenges

The region’s biggest independent promoter is partnering on the second edition of Primavera Sound Buenos Aires next month

By James Hanley on 13 Oct 2023

Phil Rodriguez, Move Concerts

Phil Rodriguez

Move Concerts CEO Phil Rodriguez has broken down the ups and downs of the South American touring scene as the company prepares to co-promote next month’s Primavera Sound Buenos Aires.

The LatAm region’s biggest independent promoter is partnering with Primavera alongside PopArt Music and Dale Play Live on the festival, which returns to Parque Sarmiento in the Argentine capital from 25-26 November, headlined by The Cure, Pet Shop Boys, Blur and Beck.

“Argentina at the moment is very challenging,” Rodriguez tells IQ. “This is the first year we are involved with this event, and it will be the second edition in Argentina. Our objective are not only to grow the numbers but as important to deliver on the experience for the punters and consolidate the brand in the market.”

Rodriguez describes the situation in certain countries in the region as “politically delicate”.

“The elections in Argentina [later this month] will be historic in terms of what direction that country will go,” he says. “Right now, the country is essentially broke.”

In general, Rodriguez reports that Move has recorded “more hits than misses”in 2023. Recent successes include a 13,000-cap sellout with Ghost at Buenos Aires’ Movistar Arena on 24 September, and the debut of its Legends in Concert series a week later, when it presented Rod Stewart and Brazilian singer-songwriter Ivete Sangaloat at Allianz Parque, São Paulo, Brazil. The latter show grossed more than US$3 million.

“We sold out – 31,000 tickets sold,” says Rodriguez. “It was a reserved seating configuration at the Allianz Stadium. Rod Stewart and Ivete Sangalo sang two songs together at the end of the show and the chemistry between them was fantastic. It was definitely a case of 1+1=3 and we will definitely repeat this concept.”

“We’re seeing local talent/Latin artists doing stadium tours. This was extremely rare before”

The firm also sold 16,000 tickets for a Bad Bunny “listening party” this week at Puerto Rico’s José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum. Back in March, it teamed with Bunny’s manager Noah Assad to stage Karol G’s history-making Puerto Rican shows, which saw the Colombian star become the first artist ever to sell out three nights at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, drawing more than 100,000 fans across the trio of shows.

“She’s incredibly hard-working and focused and has unquestionably taken her career to the next level – stadium level, superstar level,” reflects Rodriguez, who points out the market is especially strong for domestic artists.

“In many cases it is as strong or stronger than most international/Anglo artists,” he adds. “We’re seeing local talent/Latin artists doing stadium tours. This was extremely rare before.”

He continues: “In general, well, we cannot complain, but the audience is being more selective. The ‘after Covid boom’ is tapering off. I feel the increase in the cost of living has impacted the fans to as certain degree. For the [top] acts and top-tier festivals, business is strong. In the case of the smaller acts or festivals, there are more challenges.

“Costs certainly have impacted everybody – artist, promoters and fans. Everything is more expensive. There has also been more difficulty in venue avails as local artists are now selling more than in the past increasing holds on venues. Also, the demand for stadium dates availability is butting heads with football schedules more than ever.”

Move Concerts is headquartered in Miami, Florida, and has offices in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Puerto Rico. Since 2019, the company has operated a joint venture with US entertainment and sports company Loud and Live, whose CEO Nelson Albareda was recently named Billboard Latin Power Player Executive of the Year.


PHOTO: GHOST with Fabiano de Queiroz, VP touring MOVE Concerts (Credit: Gabriel Sotelo)


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