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Ocesa spearheads Colombia’s first drive-in shows

Colombian promoters Ocesa Colombia and Páramo Presenta have announced the country’s first drive-in concerts.

The shows, staged in partnership with Live Nation, will be held in the car park of the Salitre Mágico theme park in Bogota. Organisers expect the first concerts, which will include a range of artists and genres, to take place in early October, Páramo Presenta’s Sergio Pabón tells radio show La W.

Initially only open to cars, the shows will be opened up to motorbikes towards the end of the year, he adds.

In Colombia, concerts and other large events are excluded from a loosening of coronavirus restrictions scheduled for 30 September.

“We want fans to enjoy the music and have fun from their vehicles”

Ocesa Colombia’s Luz Ángela Castro says there will capacity for 290 vehicles, “with a minimum of two people in the car and a maximum of four”.

The promoters expect to announce dates and an initial line-up next month. “We have complied with what the public asks of us, and that is also what we want: That fans enjoy [the music] and have fun from their vehicles,” adds Ángela Castro. “Now the public must help us” by buying tickets, he says.

The first drive-in shows in Latin America took place in Puerto Rico in July, courtesy of Move Concerts, closely followed by similar events in Mexico.

Ocesa Colombia’s Mexico-based parent company, Ocesa, was supposed to have been acquired by Live Nation this year. However, the deal was controversially called off in May after LN, reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, said it could not agree revised terms with Ocesa owners CIE and Televisa Group.

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Henry Cárdenas acquires new Arena Bogotá

Henry Cárdenas, president and executive director of US-based promoter Cárdenas Marketing Network (CMN), has acquired Arena Bogotá, a 24,000-seat entertainment and sports venue under construction in Bogota, Colombia.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Colombia-born Cárdenas says he has made a “multimillion-dollar investment” in the arena, which will occupy a million-square-foot (93,000m²) site on Calle 80 (80th Street) in the Colombian capital.

Founded in 2002 and based in Chicago and Miami, CMN produces tours by Latin stars including Marc Anthony, Bad Bunny, Maluma, Nicky Jam, Chayanne, Becky G and Sech, as well as ¡Viva Latino! Live, the package tour based on the Spotify playlist of the same name. Cárdenas also leads Cárdenas Entertainment and Marketing Group (CEMG), founded in 2018 to manage the Arena Bogotá project.

According to Cárdenas, Arena Bogotá will have a number of unique features, including a 131’ (40m)-high roof which can support 110 tons – allowing for bigger production than is currently possible in Colombia – and over 40,000sqft (3,700m²) of storage space, allowing ten trucks to load in simultaneously (more than anywhere else in Latin America).

“I am very proud to be able to become the entertainment ambassador in my native country, and to be able to welcome everyone to Arena Bogotá, which will be the home to all Colombians, businessmen and promoters, artists and live music events, business conventions and sports that our country deserves,” says Cárdenas.

“It’s about time that Colombia had a building that was able to offer more and better shows”

“For the first year of operations we plan to perform between 130 and 140 shows, which means about three events per week, including family events, corporate, live music, sports – for example, motocross, Olympic sports, indoor soccer, boxing, volleyball, tennis, basketball, et cetera – esports, parades and equine events, among others.

Cárdenas says there is no space in Latin America comparable to Arena Bogotá. “There are some similarities with Arena Mexico [16,500-cap.], but even so there are none that have the qualities and grandiosity of Arena Bogotá.

“As a way to compare the relative size, we can look to the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, which includes 17,000 seats, whereas Arena Bogotá will have 24,000. This great space gives us the flexibility to perform events and shows that we otherwise may not have been able to do.”

A percentage of the arena’s profits will go the Maestro Cares Foundation, founded by Cárdenas and Marc Anthony, to support charitable projects in Colombia.

“It’s about time that Colombia had a building that was able to offer more and better shows,” concludes Cárdenas. “In the second half of 2020, we will have access to a dream venue to enjoy shows like Marc Anthony, Carlos Vives, Maluma, Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny, Becky G, Silvestre Dangond, Wisin and Yandel, Ricardo Arjona, Maná and Romeo Santos, among others, with our family and friends.


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LatAm associations draft gender equality declaration

Musicians’ unions across Latin America have drafted and signed a declaration pledging to work towards gender parity in their memberships.

At an event hosted by the International Federation of Musicians (FIM) in Bogota, Colombia, before Christmas, local artists’ union Ormúsica, as well as its counterparts in Uruguay (Audem and Fudem), Argentina (Sadem), Peru (SIMCCAP), Panama (Sitmas), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Sindmusi), Mexico (SUTM), Cuba (UNEAC) and Costa Rica (UTM), put their names to a document committing to achieving a 50-50 gender split among their members, with 30% women by 2025.

The declaration, entitled Declaración sobre equidad de género en el sector musical sindical (Declaration on gender equality in the musical union sector), also commits the signatories to undertaking an annual census of their memberships to assess the progress made towards gender equality.

In a statement, FIM, which represents some 70 musicians’ unions globally, thanked Ormúsica “for their warm welcome to a successful event”.


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