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Rock in Rio launches ‘Global Experience’ ticket

For the first time in the history of Rock in Rio, the Brazil and Portugal editions will be taking place in the same year.

The organisers have decided to mark the occasion with a special pass for fans wishing to celebrate the return of Rock in Rio on both sides of the Atlantic.

For under €200, the Global Experience pass will give fans access to one weekend of the Lisbon edition and one day of the Brazil edition.

The Lisbon-based edition of Rock in Rio (cap. 80,000) will return after four years between 18–19 and 25–26 June, with Foo Fighters, The National, Liam Gallagher, Duran Duran, a-ha, Xutos & Pontapés, Bush and Post Malone.

For under €200, the Global Experience will give fans access to one weekend of the Lisbon edition and one day of Brazil

The Brazilian edition of Rock in Rio (cap. 100,000) will be held between 2–4 and 8–11 September 2022 at the Olympic Park in Rio De Janeiro, and will be headlined by Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato.

The Rio De Janeiro biennial, which is the largest festival in south America, will now take place on even years while new festival The Town will take place on the odd years.

The Town was announced in August 2021 and is slated to be “the biggest music, culture and art festival Sāo Paulo, Brazil, has ever seen”.

The inaugural edition will take place in September 2023, welcoming up to 105,000 people per day to the Interlagos race track in Sāo Paulo – the largest city in Latin America.

Rock in Rio is majority-owned by Live Nation after the entertainment giant increased its shareholding in the company, in 2019.

 


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Phil Rodriguez: ‘We’ll be 100% open for business’

Move Concerts boss Phil Rodriguez says the company will be “100% open for business” by March as he shares his bullish projections for the year ahead.

Latin America’s biggest independent promoter, Move has 2022 dates lined up with acts including Justin Bieber, J Balvin, Michael Buble, Louis Tomlinson and A-ha.

Speaking in the new issue of IQ, Rodriguez discusses the opportunities that have opened up for the territory in light of the ongoing restrictions on markets in other parts of the world.

“I do not foresee anything similar to what is happening in Europe or Australia with new lockdowns, happening in our region,” he says. “Simply put, the countries in our part of the world cannot afford more lockdowns or restrictions. The social cost will be too high. And Latin people want to go out and enjoy life.

“We will be 100% open for business by March 2022, and all our shows in general are selling strong.”

“I hope 2022 will be the final mile through this storm that started in March 2020”

However, Rodriguez says it is tough to predict when the international touring business will return to pre-Covid levels.

“We now live in a world where an outbreak of anything anywhere on the planet is augmented by a 24-hour news cycle and governments reimpose restrictions overnight in the name of extra caution,” he says.

“It’s tough to get a firm footing. It’s like walking on egg shells. And this scenario doesn’t help to calm the waters to readdress cancellation insurance, routings… I watch in shock at what is happening in Australia, New Zealand, Austria, etc. How do we and when do we, as a business and society, climb off that ledge?

“That said, it is now clear that Covid will remain with us as an endemic disease, but we now know how to deal with it, with not only the vaccines but many other protocols that we now know also work.”

Backing the industry to “plough through this storm, adapt and prosper”, Rodriguez is optimistic the end of the pandemic is in sight.

“I hope 2022 will be the final mile through this storm that started in March 2020,” he says. “I’m sure there will be more curve balls ahead, but we will all be better prepared and wiser.”

The full interview with Rodriguez appears in IQ 107, out now.

Meanwhile, Argentinian rapper and singer-songwriter Tiago PZK, who is managed by Rodriguez, has signed with Warner Music Latina via a partnership with Rodriguez’s Grand Move Records label.

“Our decision to close with Warner Latin was not taken lightly,” explains Rodriguez. “The deal closer was the enthusiasm and commitment that [president] Alejandro Duque and the Warner Latina team transmitted to us at every step on the negotiations.”

 


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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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Rock in Rio founder plans new 105,000-cap festival

Roberto Medina, founder of the largest festival in South America, Rock in Rio, has announced a new event which is set to be “the biggest music, culture and art festival Sāo Paulo, Brazil, has ever seen”.

The inaugural edition of The Town will take place in September 2023, welcoming up to 105,000 people per day to the Interlagos race track in Sāo Paulo – the largest city in Latin America.

The event will involve “lots of music, lots of stages and lots of entertainment, with national and international attractions during the five days of celebration,” according to Medina.

“I love Brazil intensely,” says Medina. “And, just like Rock in Rio, The Town was born from this passion for our land, from the amplification of looking at new opportunities and from the desire that the pandemic brought me in these months of confinement to bring something new.

“It will be surprising. The entire concept was conceived based on an inspiring and cosmopolitan São Paulo, in addition to being ready to host an event of this magnitude.”

“The entire concept [of The Town] was conceived based on an inspiring and cosmopolitan São Paulo”

From next year, Brazil will host Rock in Rio (cap. 100,000) in even years and now The Town in odd years.

The Brazilian edition of Rock in Rio will be held between 2–4 and 8–11 September 2022 at the Olympic Park in Rio De Janeiro, and will be headlined by Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato.

The Lisbon-based edition of Rock in Rio (cap. 80,000) will also take place next year (18–19 and 25–26 June), with Foo Fighters, The National, Liam Gallagher, Duran Duran, a-ha, Xutos & Pontapés, Bush and Post Malone all confirmed.

The Brazil and Lisbon editions of Rock in Rio were called off in 2021 and 2020.

Rock in Rio is majority-owned by Live Nation after the entertainment giant increased its shareholding in the company, in 2019.

 


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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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La Morada: Top artists back Move CO aid for laid-off crew

Move Concerts has partnered with Spin Agency, an advertising and branding company, to launch La Morada, a new online entertainment hub designed to raise money for Colombia’s chinomatics, or production crews, during the coronavirus epidemic.

La Morada (which means both a home and the colour purple in Spanish) is a ‘virtual house’ made up of ‘rooms’ each containing specific content, such as live music, comedy, yoga, psychology, meditation, fitness classes, cooking and video games. Launched on 17 April, over 300 hours of free content has been created for the initial lifespan of the project, which was originally programmed to run for one month, until 17 May, but has been extended to 17  June.

Artists who appear in La Morada – which include Latin music stars such as J Balvin, Juanes, Fonseca and Carlos Vives – have donated their time for free, providing performance footage or exclusive interviews. Other content includes virtual PlayStation football matches (Colombia vs Peru is a recent highlight), and production masterclasses with Teo Echevarria and guests.

While all content is available for free, viewers have the option to donate money to provide a cesta basica (‘basic basket’) containing essential groceries for a family, including food and hygiene products, for the chinomatics and their loved ones.

Nicolas Martinez, marketing director for Move Concerts Colombia and director/partner at Spin Agency, recalls Covid-19 first hitting Colombia: “As the reality sunk in, fear was all that I felt. Twenty twenty was supposed to be our best year ever. We had a calendar filled with brand events and concerts. Our budget goals were already accomplished and then, out of the blue, our world froze.

“Then I started thinking about our office in Bogota, which operates with 32 people, plus hundreds of direct and indirect hires around events: producers, stagehands, roadies, security, sound and light engineers, riggers, tour managers, and other jobs that are the real foundation of our business – the chinomatics.”

While all content is available for free, viewers have the option to donate money to provide a ‘basic basket’ containing essential groceries

He continues: “I found out that Teo Echevarria, our head of production and Maluma’s production manager, was linked to an association, IPEE [Industria de Produccion de Eventos y Espectaculos, a union for production personnel), that was compiling a database of all the chinomatics who were going through a difficult time, and who were not even able to purchase basic food products for themselves and their families.

“To date, the database has a listing of more than 3,000 people.”

Using IPEE’s data, the Move and Spin teams came up with a project that would keep staff busy while generating some basic assistance for crew and their families.

Fernando Escobar, talent director for Move Concerts Colombia, who is also general manager for La Morada, adds: “We are essentially running a TV station that airs on a digital platform and social media with a programming grid that extends 7am to 11pm daily. This is non-stop.”

To date, La Morada, which is sponsored by Aval Group, has donated over 900 food baskets (out of a goal of 1,500 before the project ends) and been viewed by 600,000 viewers across all platforms (web plus Instagram and social media).

The ‘house’ can be accessed by going to www.lamorada.com.co or on Instagram at @lamoradaco.

 


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T4F’s Credicard Hall becomes UnimedHall

Brazil’s Time 4 Fun (T4F), the largest live entertainment company in South America, has secured a new naming-rights agreement for its venue in Santo Amaro, Sao Paulo.

The 7,500-capacity theatre formerly known as Credicard Hall is now called UnimedHall, with health cooperative Unimed becoming its naming sponsor for the next five years.

Since opening in 2000, UnimedHall has hosted performances by artists including Oasis, Kylie Minogue, Avril Lavigne, Demi Lovato and BTS.

T4F’s other venues include the KM de Vantagens Hall (8,450-cap.) in Rio de Janeiro and the Renault Theatre cinema in Sao Paulo.

 


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Move Concerts allies with Loud and Live

Move Concerts, the largest independent promoter in Latin America, and US entertainment and sports company Loud and Live have announced a joint venture to pool their resources across North, Central and South America.

With over 40 years of live entertainment experience, Move has promoted shows by global icons including Ed Sheeran, the Rolling Stones, U2, Katy Perry, Phil Collins, Bruno Mars and Iron Maiden. It has offices in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico.

Move CEO Phil Rodriguez says the partnership “brings two companies together that complement each other. I have full respect for what Nelson has built over the years, and for his drive and vision. He’s building a great team and we share the same ethos: quality before quantity.”

Loud and Live’s entertainment division has produced and managed national tours, festivals and concerts in the United States, working with the likes of Pitbull, Ricky Martin, Chainsmokers, Steve Aoki, Luis Fonsi, Calvin Harris, Roberto Carlos (pictured), Juan Luis Guerra and Franco De Vita.

“t’s a genuine pleasure to be partnering with such an experienced and highly-regarded industry veteran”

“I admire Phil for what he has built and accomplished, and it’s a genuine pleasure to be partnering with such an experienced and highly-regarded industry veteran,” comments Nelson Albareda, CEO of Loud And Live. “We’re looking forward to building off our individual successes in North and South America, as we come together to be a leader in live entertainment across the Americas.”

“We’re extremely proud and excited to be joining forces with Move, and ultimately to leverage our respective resources and capabilities to provide a broader service offering and experience to artists, sponsors and fans,” adds Albareda.

In addition to collaborating on live entertainment content, the JV will be offering brands sponsorship opportunities around live events across the region.

 


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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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Live Nation acquires Argentina’s DF Entertainment

Live Nation has found time for one further corporate takeover before the year’s end, capping off its most acquisition-heavy 12 months to date by buying a majority stake in Argentine promoter DF Entertainment.

Buenos Aires-based DF, founded in August 2015 by veteran concert promoter Diego Finkelstein, sold more than 500,000 tickets to its concerts and festivals in 2018. The company has worked with Live Nation on several co-promotions over the past three years, including shows by Coldplay, Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, Ariana Grande and Phil Collins.

In partnership with Live Nation-owned C3 Presents, DF Entertainment is also the promoter and ticketing provider of the local edition of Live Nation’s Lollapalooza festival, Lollapalooza Argentina.

The DF deal, terms of which were not disclosed, is Live Nation’s 16th acquisition or equivalent this year, following Mainland Music earlier this month.

“The demand for concerts and live events across South America has never been higher”

“The demand for concerts and live events across South America has never been higher, and the local insight of Diego and the DF Entertainment team will help us connect more artists and fans throughout Argentina than ever before,” says Live Nation’s president and CEO, Michael Rapino.

“DF Entertainment has proven to be an amazing partner and the premier promoter in Argentina, and we’re glad to have them join the Live Nation family after many years working together.”

“Argentina’s live music industry continues to flourish, and together with Live Nation, so will DF Entertainment,” adds Finkelstein. “I’m very proud of our team and can’t wait to see our event line-up grow even more with the support and resources of Live Nation behind us.”

 


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