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Latin music execs share bullish 2023 forecasts

A handful of Latin music executives have shared their 2023 forecasts, off the back of a seminal year for both the market and its homegrown stars.

“Latin America has seen historic record-breaking ticket sales in 2022,” Bruce Moran, president of Latin America at Live Nation, tells IQ.

Coldplay alone has set sales records in Colombia, Peru, Chile, Costa Rica, and Argentina. The pace of sales, the number of shows and the multiple-show engagement have never ever been seen before in the region. The success of the concert industry in Latin America has been unprecedented, spectacular and, for me, career-affirming.”

Moran says only time will tell if 2023 will exceed the stratospheric success of 2022, but he’s certain it’ll be another fantastic year for the Latin American business.

“Live Nation Latin America is poised already to have a strong 2023,” he says. “The unfortunate postponement of Coldplay’s 2022 sold-out Brazil run unexpectedly resulted in significantly greater sales for the rescheduled dates in 2023, as we moved into a larger Sao Paulo venue due to availability and also to the addition of two Curitiba sellouts to the run.

“The pace of sales, the number of shows and the multiple-show engagement have never ever been seen before in the region”

“In addition to the Backstreet Boys, Imagine Dragons, Coldplay, Motley Crue/Def Leppard all confirmed and on sale, we are poised to add a whole host of other events to the 2023 concert calendar.”

Move Concerts CEO Phil Rodriguez, meanwhile, is bullish about the continued growth of the market and the genre in 2023, adding: “Without a doubt, this genre is here to stay and grow and expand, just like hip-hop did.

“We will be announcing various tours for 2023 within the next month but so far what we have on sale is doing great – we just went up with Jack Johnson dates in Brazil for January and it is selling stronger than the last time in 2017. In Puerto Rico, we have seven arena dates sold out with Arcangel plus two sold-out stadium shows at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium with Karol G.”

Both Rodriguez and Moran recently told IQ that Karol G would be Latin America’s next superstar, soon after her recent $trip Love outing became the highest-grossing US tour by a female Latin act in history.

Star artists, such as Karol G, will largely dictate Latam’s growth in 2023, according to Carlos Geniso of Chilean promoter DG Medios.

“Without a doubt, this genre is here to stay and grow and expand, just like hip-hop did”

“The market is in constant growth, sometimes at a moderate pace and at other times, depending on the impact generated by the artist, it can be much higher,” he tells IQ. “If an artist launches a hit, they will have a great impact in the media and great rotation on digital platforms. Then a tour and press actions can be added, therefore the growth will go up even faster.”

Geniso has also reported strong ticket sales for 2023 concerts from the likes of Imagine Dragons, Def Leopard, Motley Crue, Big Time Rush and Backstreet Boys.

The latter will perform in February at the Sausalito Stadium in Viña del Mar, a city northwest of Santiago, which Geniso says “promotes the decentralisation of concerts in the Chilean capital, where all major events are held”.

Live Nation’s Moran also notes the opportunity to develop lesser-toured cities in Latin America, adding: “As our industry and as touring artists continue to recognise the wonder of the region and its audiences, we have more opportunities to expand the map.

“The longer an artist devotes to the Latin American region, the more cities we can include in a Latin American tour. Many touring artists in the recent past did not often venture to Belo Horizonte or Curitiba, Quito or Guatemala City or many other important sites that they do now. We are proud to work to bring more shows to more cities than ever before.”

Read more about Latin America’s rising stars and burgeoning touring market in IQ‘s recent market report.

 


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‘Incredible response’ to Primavera South America

Primavera Sound director Alfonso Lanza has given IQ the lowdown on the “incredible response” to the festival’s South American debut.

The Spanish institution debuted in São Paulo, Brazil (5-6 November), Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago, Chile (both 12-13 November) to commemorate the event’s 20th birthday. Headliners included Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott, Lorde and Bjork.

Lanza tells IQ that more than 300,000 people – an average of 50,000 a day – came together across the three editions.

“The numbers matter less to us than the incredible atmosphere we have been able to enjoy,” Lanza tells IQ. “We have had an incredible response that has even exceeded our expectations, and it has been very exciting to be able to experience it live.

“We are very happy to have celebrated our 20th anniversary with so many people from all over the world. There is a Primavera Sound community all over the planet. It was very different in each country, but it was definitely the most passionate audiences I have ever seen.”

“We wanted to take our festival model to other parts of the world, because we have moulded it for 20 years and we trust in it”

Lanza is also full of praise for co-promoters Live Nation Brazil, DF Entertainment in Argentina and Rock Santiago in Chile.

“They have had the challenge of taking the Primavera spirit to very different places and promoting the events locally and they all delivered,” says Lanza. “We wanted to take our festival model to other parts of the world, because we have moulded it for 20 years and we trust in it, and they have helped us to achieve it. The real integration into the cultural scene of each city has been easier this way.

“Each country has its own reality and we have managed to adapt to it while maintaining our essence. In addition, the back to back between Argentina and Chile in the same weekend has been a big challenge in terms of production: it has been necessary to be attentive to every detail to ensure that everything was ready and on time.”

Primavera also held its maiden US edition in Los Angeles earlier this year, welcoming 50,000 attendees from 50 countries to the State Historic Park in September, and organisers were convinced the timing was right to expand the brand to the region.

“For some time now we have felt that Primavera Sound is becoming more and more important in this part of the world,” says Lanza. “We noticed it in networks and also among the people that came from LatAm to our festival in Barcelona, so we didn’t hesitate when we had the opportunity to land in the three countries.

“We have tried to bring the spirit of Primavera Sound here, but we also took away things we learned from the experience. For example, the bolder we are with the proposal, the better response we get because the uniqueness of Primavera is well understood. We also have to keep paying attention to the local scene and the Primavera in the City programme because the public values it.”

“Considering the outcome and the incredible response from the audience, we would love to continue if circumstances allow”

Primavera Sound closed the biggest edition in its 20-year history in June, welcoming nearly half a million people to the Spanish city of Barcelona after a two-year hiatus.

Next year, the flagship Primavera Sound Barcelona will take place from 1-3 June, while Primavera Sound Madrid will be held from 8-10 June. Primavera Sound Porto is set for 7-10 June. And while the South American expansion was part of Primavera’s anniversary celebrations, Lanza is open to a return.

“Now it’s time to evaluate and draw lessons, but obviously, considering the outcome and the incredible response from the audience, we would love to continue if circumstances allow us to put together a solid project again,” he says.

Primavera Sound has also just announced the extension of its exclusive mobile-only ticketing partnership with Dice.

The multi-year partnership, which began in 2019, will see Dice continue to provide tickets for all Primavera Sound events in Europe, including Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona and Madrid, as well as its Portugal edition in Porto.

 


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Extreme weather curtails South American festivals

Two major music festivals in South America were both cut short over the weekend due to inclement weather.

Kilkfest in Paraguay and K-pop concert Music Bank in Chile, both fell victim to the adverse conditions.

Held at the Jockey Club in Asuncion, the 10,000-cap Kilkfest from 10-12 November featured performances from the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Interpol, and was due to wrap up with a headline show by Liam Gallagher, which was ultimately cancelled.

“After evaluating the possibility of carrying out Kilkfest today and analysing different alternatives, we regret to inform you that the festival is finally cancelled,” organisers told ticket-holders in a social media post.

“The weather forecast indicates that the rain with electrical storms will persist”

“The weather forecast indicates that the rain with electrical storms will persist, and this continues to represent a risk for the public, the artists and the staff.

Hours before his concert was due to take place, former Oasis singer Gallagher tweeted: “Paraguay – we’ve been advised that the show can’t happen tonight due to extreme weather. Our team and the festival have done everything we can to try and make it work but safety is paramount.”

Meanwhile, the 50,000-cap Music Bank at the Estadio Monumental in Macul, held on Saturday, was cancelled halfway through due to safety concerns.

According to NME, groups STAYC and The Boyz were able to perform without incident, but the worsening weather meant that (G)I-DLE were unable to complete their set, while boybands Tomorrow X Together, ATEEZ and NCT Dream did not perform at all.

 


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Latin music executives predict next superstar

Some of the biggest executives in the Latin music industry have shared their predictions for acts that will break through on an international level.

2022 has been a seminal year for Latin America’s homegrown superstars, led by trap reggaeton artist-come-global superstar, Bad Bunny.

With the Puerto Rican star paving the way for others, IQ asked Bruce Moran (Live Nation Latin America), Phil Rodriguez (Move Concerts) and Carlos Geniso (DG Medios) who might be following in his footsteps.

“The world is ready for a female reggaeton superstar, and in my personal opinion she might be Karol G,” Bruce Moran, president of Latin America at Live Nation, tells IQ.

“Although she is known for her work in reggaeton and trap, she does perform in other genres like sertaneja and more. Her live shows are the stuff of current legend. We think Karol G may be “the next (really) big thing.”

“The world is ready for a female reggaeton superstar, and in my personal opinion she might be Karol G”

Just yesterday (9 October), Karol G’s live legacy was immortalised after her recent $trip Love outing became the highest-grossing US tour by a female Latin act in history.

The Colombian singer-songwriter grossed US$69.9 million across 33 arena shows in North America, during September and October, according to Billboard‘s Boxscore.

The 31-year-old, whose real name is Carolina Giraldo Navarro, is represented worldwide by Jbeau Lewis and Ryan Soroka at UTA, and managed by Noah Assad who also looks after Bad Bunny.

Karol G is also the name on Phil Rodriguez’s lips, who says: “Great talent, top line management. On her next tour she will be moving up to stadium level in various markets.”

The Move Concerts CEO also gave an honourable mention to “other new artists bubbling up such as Tiago PZK, Quevedo [20-year-old Spanish rapper], Eladio Carrion [27-year-old, Grammy Award-nominated American-Puerto Rican rapper] and others that are establishing themselves at arena level such as Rauw Alejandro [29-year-old Puerto Rican singer]”.

Earlier this year, Rodriguez discussed Tiago PZK’s burgeoning career with IQ, saying tickets to see the 21-year-old Argentine rapper and singer were flying off the shelf.

“We went on sale with an arena in Buenos Aires, we sold out in a half hour”

“We went on sale with an arena in Buenos Aires, we sold out in a half hour,” said Rodriguez. “We had to announce a second date, sold that out, too. His debut album hasn’t even dropped, but he’s amazing live and we want to build on that.”

Tiago is now part-way through his 37-date Portales tour – his first-ever – which comprises a mix of arena dates in Latin America, as well as clubs in Spain, England and the US.

The rising star signed to Warner Music Latina earlier this year via a partnership with Rodriguez’s Grand Move Records label.

The Move Concerts boss manages Tiago, while Agustina Cabo, one of IQ’s 2022 New Bosses, is his personal and tour manager.

While Rodriguez and Moran are betting on younger and newer artists to break through, Carlos Geniso of Chilean promoter DG Medios is hedging his bets with more established artists.

“There are many Latin artists who will be presenting new material next year and who will be touring again with world tours,” he tells IQ. “For example, Alejandro Sanz and Pablo Alborán are always a hit in Chile and sell-out venues. They have a loyal fan base that always follows them, and they are very well-liked.

“Another very important artist is Fito Paez, who is celebrating 30 years of his most successful album “El amor después del amor” – a milestone for rock music in Spanish. In addition, urban artists are in a spectacular moment for their rising careers, and I think that’s where we have to put the eye.”

Sanz, a Spanish musician, singer and composer, has already won 22 Latin Grammy Awards and four Grammy Awards, while fellow Spaniard singer-songwriter Pablo Alborán has got five studio albums under his belt. Fito Páez, meanwhile, is a 59-year-old Argentine popular rock and roll pianist, lyricist, singer-songwriter and film director.

Read more about Latin America’s rising stars and burgeoning touring market in IQ‘s recent market report.

 


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Eurovision Song Contest to launch in Latin America

The Eurovision Song Contest is set to launch in Latin America, as the global expansion of the brand continues.

According to the organisers, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest generated high content views in Latin America.

Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico were among the top-performing markets for non-participating nations – one of which will be selected as the host city for Eurovision Song Contest Latin America.

“Following on from the launch of the American Song Contest, and with plans underway for Eurovision Song Contest Canada next year, the European Broadcasting Union is thrilled to be now working with Voxovation on bringing the excitement and magic of the Eurovision Song Contest to Latin America,” says Eurovision Song Contest executive supervisor Martin Österdahl.

“The unique Eurovision format finds new fans across the globe every year and we can’t wait to expand”

“The unique Eurovision format finds new fans across the globe every year and we can’t wait to expand the brand in this hugely diverse part of the world.”

Eurovision Song Contest Latin America will be produced by Voxovation, the producers behind American Song Contest and Eurovision Song Contest Canada.

Peter Settman and Greg Lipstone of Voxovation’s producing team, adds: “Fans across Latin America have consistently shown up and showed out for the Eurovision Song Contest brand, and Eurovision Song Contest Latin America is the embodiment of that fervent passion, as well as a continuation of the broad vision we, the producing team, have for Eurovision as a global brand.”

The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s largest live music event, with over 180 million people tuning in across linear and digital channels in 2022.

The contest has launched the global careers of a wide variety of artists, including most recently Italian winners Måneskin as well as Celine Dion, ABBA, Julio Iglesias and numerous others.

 


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Primavera Sound 2023 to be held in Barca and Madrid

The 2023 instalment of Primavera Sound will be held in two different Spanish cities across two weekends.

Next year’s festival will take place at its usual location of Parc Del Fòrum, Barcelona, on the first weekend (1–3 June).

On the second weekend (8–10 June), the festival will take place in the Ciudad de Rock (City of Rock) in Arganda del Rey, Madrid, for the first time ever.

The site, which has the capacity to hold up to 96,000 people, has hosted all three editions (2008, 2010, 2012) of the Rock in Rio Festival Madrid.

“Double site – double excitement”

Primavera has a longstanding affinity with Madrid, having hosted autumn festival Primavera Club – as well as countless international tours – in the city.

“The landing in Madrid is just the latest chapter in our long and close relationship with the city, and also the first for everything to come: for communication and connections, for the history of a Primavera Sound that in 2023 will start in Barcelona and end in Madrid that can only benefit our audience. Double site – double excitement,” said the festival organisers.

Primavera Sound has taken place in Barcelona for 20 years and has recently expanded internationally with sister events in Los AngelesChile, Argentina and Brazil.

The 20th-anniversary edition of the Barcelona event will take place this year in a special expanded format.

 


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Ticketmaster grows presence in Mexico, Chile

Ticketmaster, the world’s largest ticketer, is expanding its presence in Latin America with new operations in Mexico and Chile.

The news comes shortly after Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation acquired Ocesa Entretenimiento, the third-largest promoter in the world and the parent company of Ticketmaster Mexico.

Under the new ownership structure, Ticketmaster Mexico will transition from a licensing agreement to integrating operations with the broader organisation.

According to Ticketmaster, the move will enable the Mexican business to gain access to the company’s full suite of technology, products and services.

“”Latin America is an incredibly important live entertainment market and a core focus of our global expansion efforts”

In Chile, where Ticketmaster will launch for the first time, the initial market focus will be on increasing digital ticketing use.

Chile and Mexico are the latest markets to be added to Ticketmaster’s Latin American portfolio, which already includes Argentina and Brazil.

The company has long had a foothold in Argentina, delivering ticketing services for several venues and festivals.

While in Brazil, the company focuses on supporting Live Nation’s Rock in Rio music festival and touring business, with plans to bring its digital ticketing technology to the market in 2022.

“Latin America is an incredibly important live entertainment market and a core focus of our global expansion efforts,” says Mark Yovich, Ticketmaster president. “The region has become an important destination for global touring artists, and we have also seen significant growth in venue and festival activity over the last several years.

“Bringing Mexico into the fold and launching in Chile is such a positive way to finish off the year. We look forward to working with our strong base of partners to elevate the fan experience and further our support of the region.”

 


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Primavera Sound expands to Chile

Hot on the heels of news of its US expansion, Primavera Sound has announced its first Chile edition.

A co-production with Rock Stgo, the festival will be held in Bicentennial Park, Cerrillos, from 7-13 November 2022.

“The relationship between Primavera Sound and Chile comes from afar, but not only because of all the great Chilean artists who have passed through the festival,” says Primavera Sound director Gabi Ruiz. “There has always been a great relationship with Chilean institutions and, in fact, Chile is one of the countries that has accompanied us the most times in Barcelona within the framework of Primavera Pro.

“A Primavera Sound in Santiago is the best way to take that relationship to the next level and continue to create community. A Primavera Sound in Chile was therefore necessary. It had to happen.”

That the most important festival in Europe has chosen Chile as a destination fills us with pride

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the first-ever US edition of Primavera Sound will take place next year in Los Angeles, California, with headliners Arctic Monkeys, Nine Inch Nails and Lorde.

The California debut, co-produced with Live Nation, is scheduled from 16 to 18 September 2022 at the Los Angeles Historic Park.

The Chile spin-off is the latest addition to the Primavera Sound family, following the creation of sister conference Primavera Pro in 2010 and the Portuguese outing of the festival, Primavera Sound Porto, in 2012. Line-up details are still to be confirmed.

“That the most important festival in Europe has chosen Chile as a destination fills us with pride, but it is not something random,” adds Felipe Araya, general director of Rock Stgo. “It tells us about a solid national industry that has been professionalised by the hand of great local artists and top-level technicians.

“The parks that the Metropolitan Region has, under the efficient management of ParqueMet, specifically the Bicentennial of Cerrillos, given us the opportunity to hold a festival of this magnitude. That the public spaces of the country are open to deliver musical experiences like this to all citizens is one of the reasons why international festivals land with confidence in our country.”

 


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Q&A: Move Concerts boss details LatAm’s recovery

As markets across Latin America gradually reopen, Phil Rodriguez of Move Concerts – the biggest independent concert promoter in the region – says he’s optimistic about the region’s recovery.

Emerging from the most difficult year in live music history, Rodriguez expects the industry to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic “stronger and wiser”.

However, according to the Move Concerts boss, there are a number of obstacles that stand between Latam’s industry and a full recovery.

Below, Rodriguez outlines those obstacles, reflects on the lessons learnt from the pandemic, and addresses “the elephant in the room”…

IQ: How is Latin America’s return to business going?
PR: It’s a patchwork of different sets of rules and regulations per country so it has been a challenge to get them all aligned to have a proper tour of the region. But we’re finally getting there!

In which markets are you now able to fully operate?
Puerto Rico was able to start at full capacity (with proof of vaccination) as of August and business has been incredible. Not only have the shows been selling out, but single dates became multiples. That market came back STRONG.

What’s the deal with vaccine passports and capacity restrictions in Latam?
As noted, it’s a patchwork. Brazil is operating at 70% capacity with proof of vaccination and will open to 100% this week. Argentina will open at 100% capacity with proof of vaccination and with requirements for face masks from 16 November.

Uruguay is at 55% without vaccination and 70% with vaccination. Colombia will be at 100% capacity for vaccinated people from 16 November. Chile is currently held to 40% and in some cases 60% capacity – vaccinated and socially distanced. The expectation is to be open at 100% for the vaccinated by January 2022. Costa Rica will be at 100% as of March 2022 for the vaccinated.

“The lack of cancellation insurance for Covid is the elephant in the room for all of us”

Where has Move’s focus been since markets started to open up?
Rescheduling, booking new tours for the end of 2022 and 2023. Plus our management company and indie record label, Grand Move Records, which are both at full speed.

What opportunities do you see during this recovery period?
The chance to reinvent ourselves and look outside our comfort zone. We all had to do this during the pandemic. We should not get complacent once we return to some normalcy and forget that.

What are the challenges you’re facing right now? 
The lack of cancellation insurance for Covid is the elephant in the room for all of us. The rest we can deal with but will still present a strong challenge such as inflation and devaluation of currencies – which have been hit hard by the pandemic – and the economic consequences of the lockdowns, etc.

How long do you think it’ll take for Latam to get back to pre-pandemic levels of business?
The Covid issue, in my opinion, has been both a health and political issue, unfortunately, and that has not helped us get a better picture of what is ahead of us. But if by the second half of 2022, we are not on a solid road to pre-pandemic levels, we will ALL have bigger problems to worry about. That said, I’m an optimist by nature and I think we’ll come out of this wiser and stronger!

“If by the second half of ’22, we are not on a solid road to pre-pandemic levels, we’ll all have bigger problems to worry about”

When and how do you see international acts coming back to Latin America?
In South America, we kick off with a-ha in March 2022 – Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil.

Move hosted Latam’s first drive-thru show during the pandemic. Is that a format you’ll be returning to?
Not really…we do not see the need nor demand for this any longer as live concerts startup.

What about livestreaming – is there still demand in that area of the business?
This has essentially stopped. With the return of live shows – with reduced capacities – streaming has lost its initial appeal. I’m sure it will still be a good tool to have in our toolbox for use in the future but in a different form… more related to marketing or a special event, etc.

What one thing are you most proud of doing during the pandemic?
That we kept all our team in place and did not have to furlough or lay off anyone. We all took salary cuts and weathered the storm together.

Also, our office in Bogota took the initiative and created an internet site with different content – entertainment, cooking, lifestyle, etc – that raised over US$10,000 to support the local production crews and their families in the middle of the pandemic. That was a fabulous effort that made me very proud of our team there.

 


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Wave of illegal concerts sweeps South America

Thousands of South Americans attended illegal, non-socially distanced concerts and parties over the Easter weekend, with authorities making arrests across the continent as national governments continue to battle the coronavirus with varying degrees of success.

South America remains a hotspot for Covid-19 – with high mortality rates in Brazil, Peru, Chile and Paraguay of particular cause for concern – though the recent unlicensed live events suggest some people are beginning to chafe under ongoing restrictions on indoor gatherings.

In the town of Turuku, in Ecuador’s northern Imbabura province, local government officials, national police and the armed forces shut down an unlicensed music festival, Killary Fest, which would have been attended by an estimated 5,000 people.

Despite dismantling the stage and confiscating much of Killary Fest’s equipment, including speakers, authorities returned on the evening of Friday 2 April to “learn that, despite the warnings, the party was starting”, reports El Comercio. When they again moved to shut down the event, police and soldiers were pelted with sticks and stones by revellers.

The incident follows months of parties, concerts and other unlawful events in Ecuador, reports El Comercio.

In Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in Chile, a local election candidate is being held by police after organising a concert in a former hospital, attended by around 100 people.

Brazilian police continue to target illegal parties, which are being blamed for the surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths

In addition to not seeking permission for the event, Juan Pablo Martinez – who is standing in upcoming city council elections – failed to enforce mandatory social distancing and mask wearing at the clandestine concert, according to prosecutor Rina Blanco.

The show “endangered public health, given the number of people in close contact, and who he invited,” Blanco comments.

A music venue in Morón, near Buenos Aires in Argentina, has been shut down for 30 days after video emerged of cumbia singer Pablo Lescano playing to a non-socially distanced audience.

The event, which many have dubbed “el recital covid” (the Covid concert), was harshly criticised by the mayor of Morón, Lucas Ghi, who says organiser Vaprisana “worship[s] mischief, deception and the violation in rules” – comparing the club unfavourably to the honest businesspeople of the city, who “adhere to the norms and protocols required by the pandemic”.

Brazilian police also continue to target illegal parties, which are being blamed for the surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths in South America’s most populous country.

The most recent brought together around 100 people – half of whom were caught not wearing face masks – in the city of Sao Paolo last weekend. According to local press, the three organisers were arrested, while the venue was fined R$190,000 (€28,000).

 


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