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Details announced of first Andalusia Music Forum

The first speakers have been announced for the debut edition of the Andalusia Music Forum (AMF), a gathering for the international music industry in southern Europe.

Scheduled for 5-7 September at the Albeniz Cinema in Málaga, Spain, AMF will feature panels, workshops and master classes featuring the likes of Raye Cosbert (Metropolis Music), Rob Challice (Wasserman Music), Alexandra Ampofo (Metropolis), Jess Kinn (One Fiinix Live), Nuria Rico (Live Nation), Cindy Castillo (Mad Cool), Sergio Arbelaez (FIMPRO), Chucky Garcia (Rock al Parque) and Diana Dadonova (Ukraine Music Export).

The event’s mission is to create direct networking opportunities, as well as generating a space to unify the annual goals and objectives of the sector.

Mexico will serve as the guest country for the inaugural AMF

Mexico will serve as the guest country for the inaugural AMF and will be showcased via presentations, conversations, round tables and special performances.

Other speakers will include Fran Sandoval (Chilemusica), Amie Therrien (MMF Canada), Anna Rodriguez (International Music Managers Forum), Camilo Lara (Instituto Mexicano del Sonido) and Fabrizio Onetto (Seitrack). The full programme will be announced shortly.

AMF is part of the Andalusia Big by Mad Cool project, which also includes the new 30,000-cap Andalusia Big Festival, which will take place near Sacaba Beach from 8–10 September, with headliners Muse and Jamiroquai.

The ministry of tourism is reportedly dedicating €4m of its EU funds to the festival in order to bring tourism to the area outside the normal peak season.

 


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Mad Cool & The Spanish Wave announce IFF showcase

Mad Cool Festival and The Spanish Wave are teaming up to promote Spanish talent at this year’s International Festival Forum (IFF).

Three Spanish artists will perform at the Mad Cool Festival & The Spanish Wave Presents showcase at London’s Camden Assembly from 9pm on Wednesday 28 September. The line-up will be released in August.

The event will mark the culmination of a nationwide project to find the best emerging acts from Spain. With applications open from 2-30 August, the finalists will be selected by the festival and emerging talent showcase platform and export specialist, The Spanish Wave.

Spain is the guest country for IFF 2022

Spain is the guest country for IFF 2022, ILMC’s invitation-only event for music festivals and booking agents, which takes place in London between 27-29 September.

The latest round of guest speakers and conference topics for this year’s conference were unveiled last week.

More than 400 delegates from 26 countries have now signed up, with demand for IFF 2022 passes proving higher than ever.

IFF’s new delegate hub, the Holiday Inn in Camden, will be transformed into IFF Central for three days and host conference sessions, private parties and meetings, and speed dating for attendees.

Full information about this year’s event, including how to apply for a pass, is online at www.iff.rocks.

 


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Pure Reggaeton Fest fiasco prompts action

Madrid City Council is creating a “festival table” committee as it bids to avoid a repeat of the circumstances that led to the 11th hour cancellation of the Madrid Pura Reggaeton Festival last weekend.

The initiative, which will launch in September, will gather festival promoters to discuss the obstacles facing the sector and work with the authorities to ensure that festivals can be held “in a coordinated and safe manner”.

It follows the controversy over the two-day Madrid Pura Reggaeton, which was due to welcome around 40,000 fans to the Spanish capital last weekend but was pulled 24 hours before show time following a late venue change. Security measures and documentation presented by organisers were deemed to “not meet the necessary requirements”.

“It has been months and months of work, fighting against the clock until the end but, unfortunately, it has not been possible to reach an agreement to carry out this event,” said a statement by promoters.

Just two days before the festival was slated to start at Caja Mágica, it was announced it was being upgraded to the larger Wanda Metropolitano stadium to “gain stage space and improve public transport connectivity”. However, despite the minimum application period being one month, organisers reportedly only applied for a new permit last Monday (July 11) – leaving them out of time.

“We trusted that the Community was going to be flexible in terms of deadlines”

“We didn’t announce the change until Wednesday the 13th because we didn’t want to be arrogant and get ahead of the permits,” festival spokesperson Ibai Cereijo tells El Pais. “When on the 13th only fringes were missing, we decided to announce it, because we were 48 hours from the start.

“Yes, I acknowledge that we have delivered the documentation on security and emergency plans after the deadline. That is undeniable if the beginning of a new file is considered and all the paperwork done for La Caja Mágica is not valued. We trusted that the Community was going to be flexible in terms of deadlines, since we had been working with them since La Caja Mágica. But it has not been that way.”

Ticket sales picked up significantly following the announcement that festival headliner Daddy Yankee was retiring from music, prompting the decision to change of venue. Gente De Zona, Nengo Flow, Omar Montes, Bad, Eladio, Juan and Natti were among other artists scheduled to appear at the event.

“We realised that perhaps the parking area[outdoors] of La Caja Mágica was not prepared to welcome so many people,” adds Cereijo. “It was not a problem of capacity, which is 39,000. There are other variables that are taken into account to hinder the celebration of such a massive event. There were other drawbacks, such as a narrow path to the concert area of ​​about 600 meters that was prone to blockages. Evacuation by road was also complicated, in addition to the lack of public transport.

“Until June we could not see all this on the ground. The administration put in a lot of objections and someone suggested the Wanda. So we planned it there, which is more used to organising massive events and brings in 65,000 people every two Sundays.”

 


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Pino Sagliocco appointed UNWTO tourism ambassador

Live Nation Spain chair Pino Sagliocco has followed in the footsteps of the likes of Giorgio Armani and Lionel Messi in being unveiled as the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) newest special ambassador.

Italian-born Sagliocco, who will be tasked with championing tourism as a pillar of sustainable development and opportunity in the new role, was recognised both for his career as a promoter and for his support of UNWTO, as illustrated by his presence at the 112th session of its executive council in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 2020.

He received the honour from UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili at a ceremony at the MOM Culinary Institute in Madrid.

“Music and tourism are both powerful vehicles for bringing people together”

“Music and tourism are both powerful vehicles for bringing people together, to celebrate culture and to peace and understanding,” says Pololikashvili. “UNWTO is proud to welcome Pino Sagliocco into our growing family of ambassadors and l look forward to working closely with him to grow sustainable tourism, both in Spain and worldwide.”

Sagliocco has worked with music legends such as Prince, Elton John, Queen, Madonna, the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney.

In 2017, Sagliocco was appointed a cavaliere (knight) of Order of the Star of Italy, an order of chivalry awarded to those who have boosted the profile of Italy abroad.

The knighthood, granted by the Italian president at the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recognised what Caserto-born Sagliocco “has worked at ceaselessly for more than forty years: to keep Italian culture alive outside of Italy”.

Other career highlights included Sagliocco’s executive production of the Festival La Nit in 1988 – an event commissioned by the Barcelona 92 Olympic Organising Committee to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic flag to Barcelona.

The event included the official presentation of the song Barcelona by Montserrat Caballé and Freddie Mercury, with Sagliocco coming up with the idea to fuse the two styles and use the two artists.

Revisit IQ‘s feature on Sagliocco’s first 40 years in the music business here.

 


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Spain’s €400 Youth Cultural Bonus delayed

Plans to give Spanish citizens who turn 18 this year a voucher worth €400 to spend on culture have been delayed.

The Youth Cultural Bonus forms part of government plans to rebuild the sector post-pandemic, in response to data showing public spending on cultural goods and services fell 15.8% in 2020.

Those eligible will be able to spend a maximum of €200 on live art including music concerts and festivals, plus up to €100 each on physical cultural products and online or digital consumption.

The scheme was originally due to launch this summer but has now been pushed back to September due to its complexity, reports APM Musicales.

Almost 500,000 people in Spain are eligible to access the scheme

“In the month of September, the bonus will begin to be distributed among young people, to whom we recommend that they activate their digital identifier right now.,” says Víctor Francos, general secretary of culture and sports.

Almost 500,000 people in Spain are eligible to access the cultural bonus, which will be distributed by the Post Office and can be accessed via a website and app.

It will be valid for one year from registration, up to December 2023. Spending on bullfighting, fashion, sports, gastronomy or stationery products is not permitted.

Similar schemes have also been initiated in nearby countries such as France and Italy.

 


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Spain’s Metal Paradise festival cancelled

Organisers of Spain’s Metal Paradise have cancelled this year’s event due to an “accumulation of circumstances” stemming from the pandemic.

Promoted by Bring the Noise, the festival was due to have taken place at the 18,000-cap Marenostrum Fuengirola from 15-16 July, with artists such as Helloween, Sabaton, Steel Panther, In Flames and Cradle of Filth.

However, a statement says the current market conditions, allied to slower-than-anticipated ticket sales, have made the 2022 edition “unsustainable”.

“The production costs of this kind of event have increased to levels never seen before”

“During the pandemic and during the post-pandemic era we are experiencing, the music industry is still struggling to get ahead,” says an official statement. “The production costs of this kind of event have increased to levels never seen before, there is a lack of staff and lastly, the response from the attendees has been limited compared to other regular years, something that is happening to other events.

“All this accumulation of circumstances have forced this hard and sad decision to postpone the next edition of Metal Paradise for another year.”

Other acts on the line-up included Emperor, Lujuria, Megara, Lepoka and Ankor. Ticket refunds will be processed automatically within 30 days.

“We are sorry for the possible inconveniences that this necessary decision may have caused, but we hope to see each other soon and experience good metal again in Fuengirola,” adds the statement.

 


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Spain’s Madness Live! launching new rock festival

Spanish promoter Madness Live! is launching new rock and heavy metal-focused Rock Imperium Festival from 24-25 June.

AP Musicales reports the inaugural event is expected to attract 40,000 people across two days to Parque El Batel in the city of Cartagena.

The line-up is headed by Scorpions, Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia, Europe, Black Label Society, Bush and a farewell show by Whitesnake.

Tickets start at €85, with two day-passes priced at €145. The VIP Podium package, meanwhile, costs €280.

Murcia-based Madness Live! also has upcoming shows with the likes of Iron Maiden at Estadi Olimpic in Barcelona, Exodus at Valencia Rock City and Sanctuary at Boveda Barcelona.

Earlier this week, it was announced that another new Spanish festival, the electronic music-oriented Sophie, will debut this summer in Malaga. Organised by Sophie Group, the 40,000-cap outdoor event will run from noon to 2am over nine consecutive Sundays from 3 July to 28 August.

 


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Web3 firm teams with Elrow to launch Vatom Europe

California-based Web3 company Vatom has signalled its European expansion by unveiling a newly formed strategic partnership with Superstruct-owned Spanish events brand Elrow.

Vatom Europe will operate out of Barcelona, Spain, with Elrow president and board member Vicenc Marti taking on the new role of Vatom GM for Europe, overseeing all European operations.

The collaboration promises to bring immersive Web3 experiences to festival-goers, enabling both virtual and real life experiences.

“We love the idea of offering personalised experiences and awards to our most special fans of our shows through leveraging innovative technology such as Vatom’s,” says Elrow CEO and founder Juan Arnau Jr. “We’re always looking for new ways to engage fans like never before, so now having the ability to offer these next level experiences to attendees is very meaningful.”

“There is clearly a huge appetite for the immersive virtual experiences that Vatom enables”

Vatom plans to continue building its presence throughout Europe and launched its first collaboration with Elrow Town Madrid last month. Using Vatom’s cross-chain, NFT-focused digital wallet, accessible through the festival app, fans unlocked free, collectible NFTs and participated in an AR egg hunt on festival grounds to access exclusive offerings.

“When we first introduced the Elrow family to Vatom technology, the fan response far exceeded our expectations,” adds Marti. “There is clearly a huge appetite for the immersive virtual experiences that Vatom enables, and we’re excited to explore the endless ways this technology can enhance the future of music festivals and fan engagement.”

Vatom’s Web3 platform technology will be integrated into Elrow’s portfolio, with activations expected throughout the year at events in Ibiza, London, Amsterdam, Croatia, New York and San Francisco.

“Given Elrow’s status as a global powerhouse of music experiences, we felt they were the perfect partner to embrace Web3 innovations and further-scale Vatom’s metaverse platform internationally,” adds Eric Pulier, founder and CEO of Vatom. “Not only will our newfound presence in Europe allow us to create more innovative, interconnected, and rewarding experiences for Elrow attendees, but it will enable other global brands the ability to easily create and interact with their consumers in more immersive ways.”

 


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Primavera reflects on challenging post-pandemic comeback

Primavera Sound has closed the biggest edition in its 20-year history, having welcomed nearly half a million people to the Spanish city of Barcelona.

The 20th-anniversary event saw more than 400 artists perform across two weekends (2–4 June and 9–11 June) for what was a bumper edition of the festival.

According to the organisers, the extended edition will have an economic impact in Barcelona of €349 million after bringing together nearly half a million attendees.

After two relatively festival-free summers, Primavera is one of the first major European live music events to take place in the first ‘post-pandemic’ festival season.

“I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed so much love from the artists – everyone was thrilled,” Primavera Sound’s Marta Pallarès told IQ. “Everyone was saying this was the best show they’ve played.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed so much love from the artists”

But being first out of the gates was both rewarding and exhausting, says Pallarès, who recounts a raft of post-pandemic teething problems ranging from illnesses to overcrowding and licencing to staff shortages.

The Strokes, Bleachers, Bikini Kill, Clairo, Holly Humberstone, Pink Pantheress and Massive Attack were among the acts forced to pull out of performances due to illnesses – Covid and otherwise.

“Musicians are athletes and they have been out of training,” says Pallarès. “Ours was the first festival of the whole season after three years of not playing so it’s understandable that teams are rusty and health is not up to scratch. Artists are trying to run a marathon when they haven’t even lifted five kilos.”

Covid also struck down a large chunk of Primavera’s hospitality team which, in turn, caused a whole host of issues during weekend one, predominantly large queues for bars.

Attendees of that weekend also complained of lack of access to water in high temperatures as well as overcrowded stages. Pallarès explained that the latter was due to licencing issues, which impacted the festival’s site layout.

“I think that we just forgot how music festivals used to be”

“The festival is split across two towns, Barcelona and Sant Adrià, where the beach area is,” says Pallarès. “We were going to have a very big stage in the beach area that would help spread people throughout the venue but two months before the festival, Sant Adrià town hall said that they wouldn’t give us a licence for 30,000 people and they reduced it to just 15,000. Then we weren’t able to put the big stage with the big acts in that area, so people really didn’t go to that area of the festival much.

“That meant that the beach was empty and you could get a beer just like that while the main site was completely full. So we moved waiters from that area to the main area, we hired more people, and we restructured a little bit.”

As for the issue with water, the festival added three stations where staff distributed water for free, which also helped ease queues at the bars.

While the festival apologised for the issues caused, Pallarès wonders if festivalgoers are simply not used to the festival experience after two years of enforced downtime.

“I think that we just forgot how music festivals used to be,” she says. “We’ve had two years of being at home, where you could go to your fridge and get a beer and your toilet is your own and you don’t have anyone around you.

“I think that other festivals will face the same challenges we faced”

“I understand the frustration of people saying I’ve been looking forward to this for three years and I lost one hour of my life for a beer but it’s about overcoming that and I think that in the end, everyone was so happy.

“We are always the first festival of the season so I’m curious to see how this season evolves because I think that other festivals will face the same challenges we faced – it’s a difficult season,” she says.

One issue that many other festivals are sure to face is the cost of labour and materials, which Pallarès says are “crazy high” this year. As Primavera was sold out last year, the organisers were not able to boost ticket prices in line with inflation, nor did the event receive any kind of financial help from the town hall in Barcelona.

However, with the help of branding and sponsorship, along with audience loyalty, Pallarès says the festival is doing better than ever.

In fact, this year Primavera will launch new editions in Los Angeles, São Paulo, Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires. And, next year, the flagship festival will continue with a two-weekend format, with the first in Barcelona and the second in Madrid.

When IQ asks Pallarès what the secret to Primavera’s audience loyalty is, she replies “a consistent booking philosophy”. “The perfect day at Primavera would include seeing: an act that you’ve always loved and you’ve never been able to see, an act that becomes your new favourite band, an act that challenges you, and an act which delivers a massive amount of fun,” she says.

That booking philosophy is bolstered by a commitment to gender-balanced lineups, with this year’s headliners including Dua Lipa, Megan Thee Stallion, Lorde, Jorja Smith and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

 


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Electronic music festival Sophie to debut in Spain

New electronic music festival Sophie will debut this summer in Malaga, Spain.

The 40,000-cap outdoor event will run from noon to 2am over nine consecutive Sundays from 3 July to 28 August, with the opening day to be headlined by German musician, DJ and producer Paul Kalkbrenner.

Other acts set to appear over the series in Torremolinos include Luciano, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Apollonia, Damian Lazarus and Enzo Siragusa. Up-and-coming underground artists such as Traumer and Chris Stussy will also feature.

“With Sophie, we have created a unique environment that connects with nature and with our inner being”

“Torremolinos is a special place for its privileged location, its good Mediterranean gastronomy and its great cultural programme,” says a spokesperson for organiser Sophie Group. “It also has a magical light capable of traversing and transforming.

“With Sophie, we have created a unique environment that connects with nature and with our inner being, and that through the music of each selected artist, highlights Sophie’s values to feel alive and loved, following the rhythm of our hearts.”

 


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