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Brazilian singer arrested after unlicensed show

A popular Brazilian singer has been arrested after playing an unlicensed, non-socially distanced concert in a school last week.

Samba star Marcelo Pires Vieira, known as Belo (‘Beautiful’), was apprehended by Brazil’s Civil Police yesterday (17 February) following the 12 February show, described by news agency EFE as a “massive concert” at a state school in Parque Uniao, a favela in the north of the city.

According to police, the show took place both without authorisation and without any preventative measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, including mask wearing.

All Carnival events, parties and concerts are banned this year to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Rio de Janeiro.

The show “could only have taken place with the authorisation of the head of the gang which controls drug trafficking”

In addition to the obvious breaches of coronavirus restrictions, officers suspect the concert, held on the first night of the Rio Carnival, was organised and financed by drug traffickers operating out of the favela (slum) where it took place.

Footage from the concert, filmed by both attendees and news helicopters, was broadcast on Brazilian television, showing a large crowd at the school.

Gustavo de Mello de Castro, head of the Civil Police’s drug commissariat, ordered the arrest of four people, including Belo. According to a police statement, the show “could only have taken place with the authorisation of the head of the gang which controls drug trafficking in the region,” Luiz Moura Bargosa, who is also subject to an arrest warrant.

A statement from Belo’s publicist says the singer was hired by a production company which had promised to fulfil all health and safety protocols and secure permission to hold the event.

 


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Rocking Rio

In Brazil, when they go to work on a tricky problem, they call it peeling descascar o abacaxi: peeling the pineapple.

But Brazil in 2016 offers a lot of the kind of pineapples that aren’t easily peeled. The former president was impeached in September amid a wide-ranging corruption enquiry; the economy is suffering a recession worse than the Great Depression; and the real–US dollar exchange rate has halved since 2012. Then there are ecological concerns, the Zika virus, and an epic struggle with economic inequality. If Brazil was only recently thought to have moved into a new era of ease and prosperity, 2016 – a fairly terrible year in just about any language – has provided a sharp correction.

For the live business, however, one negative appears to have created a positive: a reduction in international traffic, leading to a boom in domestic action.

“Brazil is going through a tough phase”

Brazil is still the number-one live market in South America and a must-visit for international stars going that way. But the weakness of the real means they’re not going that way as often as they were, even if the megastar shows – the Stones, Paul McCartney, Black Sabbath – keep on coming and keep on selling.

“Brazil is going through a tough phase,” says Phil Rodriguez of Miami-based, South America-wide Move Concerts. “Between the corruption scandals, the economy going through the worst recession since the 1930s and companies laying off workers, a certain paralysis has come into play.

“Companies are holding onto budgets until a better, more defined picture of the future comes into view. That primarily affects sponsorships, and it creates a scenario where the topline shows still do well but many mid-level shows are hurt.”

 


Read the rest of this feature in issue 69 of IQ Magazine.


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Montreux Jazz heads to Rio next year

Montreux Jazz Festival will expand to a third country next year with the launch of its first Brazilian edition.

Montreux Jazz Festival Rio, provisionally scheduled for March 2017, follows Montreux Jazz Festival Japan in Tokyo – the second edition of which wrapped up last week – as the second international spin-off of the long-running Swiss jazz, rock and pop festival.

Speaking to IQ, festival director Mathieu Jaton says many details – such as the festival’s exact dates, location in Rio de Janeiro and, of course, the artists – are still to be confirmed, but does reveal it will take place across three stages, run over three days and be promoted by longtime Montreux Jazz collaborator Marco Mazzola.

“Japan and Brazil are two countries with which we have had a very strong relationship for many years”

Rio-based Mazzola programmes the Swiss festival’s famous Brazilian night, and Jaton explains the decision to launch a festival in Brazil was motivated by Montreux Jazz’s pre-existing relationship with the Brazilian music scene. “Japan and Brazil are two countries with which we have had a very strong relationship for many years,” he says. “Claude [Nobs, festival founder, from whom Jaton took over following his death in 2013] booked many Brazilian musicians, beginning in the early ’70s – and the Brazilian night at the festival is a real tradition…”

Neil Young, PJ Harvey, Muse and – of course – Deep Purple, who immortalised the 1971 fire at Montreux Casino in their 1972 song ‘Smoke on the Water’, were among the headliners at the 50th Montreux Jazz Festival in June and July.

 


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Rock in Rio’s Lazarini joins LN in South America

Rafael Lazarini, formerly head of business development at Rock in Rio promoter Rock World, has joined Live Nation in the same capacity with responsibility for South America.

Lazarini will be based in Rio de Janeiro and report to John Hopman’s, Live Nation’s executive vice-president of business development, working to build the company’s “profile and scope in this emerging region”, says Live Nation.

“It’s a great honour to join Live Nation and help build the business in these important markets”

“It’s a great honour to join Live Nation and help build the business in these important markets,” he comments. “South Americans have proven to be avid consumers of live entertainment and the market there has been expanding faster than the global average. Ongoing improvements in infrastructure, technology and standards of living have set the stage for rapid growth in media and entertainment and Live Nation’s core event business.”

Prior to working at Rock World, Lazarini served as chief marketing officer and head of business development and Head of Business Development at IMX Sports and Entertainment, where he led a series of acquisitions and developments, including negotiations with IMG, Cirque du Soleil and AEG.

 


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British acts take centre stage at Rio Olympics

London artists represented the UK’s creative industries at the Olympics in Rio on Sunday, with performances from grime acts Nadia Rose (pictured), Elf kid and Logan Sama, and electronic duo Chase & Status.

Taking place on Sunday, 14 August, a London Soundtrack showcase saw the artists play live to celebrate the city’s culture, organised by the Major of London, Sadiq Khan, and curated by British Underground.

Says Khan: “I hope Elf Kid, Nadia and Logan will inspire others to make the best of what our great city has to offer and encourage the world to invest in London’s thriving cultural and creative industries.

“British Underground have been doing an excellent job exporting British music to important international showcases across the world for the last 15 years and this event in Rio demonstrates very clearly that London is open for business.”

The gig took place at British House – the official residence of Britain during the Rio Olympics.

“British Underground have been doing an excellent job exporting British music to important international showcases across the world for the last 15 years and this event in Rio demonstrates very clearly that London is open for business,” Khan says.

Elsewhere, 23 songs published by Universal Music Publishing Group have featured, or are set to feature, during the opening and closing ceremonies.

On Monday, the famed Jobim/Moraes standard The Girl From Ipanema (Garota De Ipanema) was streamed more than 40,000 times after the song soundtracked model Gisele Bundchen’s opening catwalk on Friday, when UMPG Brazil artist and songwriter Anitta also performed.

Norwegian musician Kygo will play his early 2016 single Carry Me with guest vocalist Julia Michaels during the closing ceremony on 21 August.

The show will start at 8pm BRT at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, and is part of the new Olympic Channel launch, which will be available worldwide via a mobile app and online.

“As one of the hottest music acts in the world, Kygo’s music speaks to new generations of Olympic fans,” says Mark Parkman, General Manager of the Olympic Channel.

“His performance is sure to electrify viewers around the world on Sunday night as we prepare to launch the Olympic Channel.

“Kygo and his music will be an important element of the Olympic Channel where fans will be able to continue their excitement of Rio and the Olympic Games all year long.”