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Ocaso to be Costa Rica’s first mass event since 2020

Ocaso festival is to be the first government-approved mass event in Costa Rico since the pandemic started in April 2020.

The underground festival’s 5th-anniversary event, scheduled for 6–11 January 2022, has also been selected to become the official pilot event for Covid safety, debuting a protocol that will be used for all of the country’s mass events.

The organisers are currently waiting to hear whether the Costa Rican government will implement a vaccine mandate in January or if it will be pushed back until May.

Adriatique, Hot Since 82, Seth Troxler, Amelie Lens, Andreas Henneberg, Colyn, Doc Martin and more will perform across the festival’s ‘poolside stages, beach blowouts and jungle haven’ in the coastal town of Tamarindo.

Andreas Henneberg, Colyn, Doc Martin and more will perform across ‘poolside stages, beach blowouts and jungle haven’

According to the organisers, Ocaso is “the most affordable festival in Costa Rica” with a full six-day festival pass starting at $109 for residents of Latin America and $159 for international guests.

The team behind the 7,000-capacity festival has also announced that Ocaso will be “totally carbon neutral” by January 2023.

Devin Ellis, founder of Ocaso festival, says: “The plan of action includes removing all plastics from our event. We are also increasing the beach cleanups we do to multiple days before and after the festival and planting several hundred trees on our two event location grounds to offset the use of fuel for our generators.”

Costa Rica has one of the highest rates of renewable energy generation in the world.

 


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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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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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