Rio Music Conference 2015

Posted on December 16, 2014

As we get set to enter another year, industry thoughts turn to the next big gathering, the Rio Music Conference taking place between February 4 and 17 2015. The conference is split into two sections, the business part that deals with the challenges facing the electronic scene in the region and around the world, with a series of interesting panels and work shops and the second part, the Rio Music Carnival, which showcases the party spirit that the Brazilian people are born with, through a series of amazing night time events. 2015 sees the RMC enjoy its seventh gathering. It has achieved a huge amount in a relatively short space of time, bringing people together from within the industry and forging alliances that make the region stronger. RMC hosts numerous conferences in Brazil through the year, remember the region is as big as Western Europe but all eyes are on Rio in February. As the team goes through the final stages of planning for the event, we caught up with director Pedro Nonato to get an insight into what is happening, and we also hear from some other industry professionals on their thoughts on RMC…


2015 sees the seventh Rio Music Conference, can you believe it is seven years since your first launched?
Looking back it has been an amazing trip. We were able to open a dialogue with society, authorities and various segments of the creative industry, reaching an unprecedented level of strength and breadth. Every single one of these years have been more rewarding than the other, filling us with pride and hope that the next edition will always be better than the last one.

What has been the most challenging obstacle to over come to make sure RMC became an annual fixture on the global scene?
To bring into the same venues companies and executives that watch each other as enemies rather than competitors and see that now, past seven years, they can understand and acknowledge the value of a well organized market.

How proud are you that it is considered one of the most important gatherings in the industry calendar?
Of course this is rewarding, but there is still much to be done, to be achieved. The electronic music industry keeps growing and changing its panorama, just like people are becoming more connected and demanding by time.

What has been the high point for you so far?
To really become a nationwide event with conferences, workshops and showcases hosted in six main capitals of every region of the country, such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasília, Belém, Curitiba and Recife. It is important to remember that Brazil is almost the size of Western Europe and has 202 million inhabitants so understanding all the regional needs and trends is very challenging.

Are you surprised at the volume of people that drop into Rio for the RMC?
It has been a long period of hard work for Rio Music Conference becoming what it is today. I’m not surprised, I’m happy and proud that a large number of people believe and support our project. The RMC is a key event when considering the range and scope, the economic and cultural importance of the community it represents. Speaking of electronic music in our country nowadays, means speaking of the RMC.


Rio is world famous for its carnival and the ability to throw a party, how important is it to get the balance right between business and pleasure during RMC?
For us, both are extremely important. In one hand we have the business part, the Rio Music Conference, which sums up panels, workshops, trade show and the Club Week (a partnership with local clubs and bars). It involves the latest dynamics of the market, encourages segments and stimulates results. In the other had we have the entertainment part, with a five days festival held in one of Rio’s top venues, during the biggest party on earth: the Brazilian carnival. It is about big headliners, excitement and fun, giving extra meaning to everything we do. In 2015, the festival will become even bigger and will gain a new name: RIO MUSIC CARNIVAL. We are very excited about it!

What is the message for the 2015 main edition of RMC?
The RMC main edition is without question the centre of convergence for the Brazilian and South America markets, both its hub and major gateway, representing a fantastic opportunity, in many different and creative ways, for companies and/or brands to stand out in this booming and exciting market through its exclusive content and activities.

You’ve just announced the 2015 program, what are you looking forward to most personally from the seventh edition?
Showing our potential to the world is as important as exchanging information with other scenarios. For this edition, we were able to gather a very interesting mix of influential people, like Peter Hook, former New Order and Joy Division bassist, Bill Kelly, Winter Music Conference co-founder, Clarissa Pantoja, Global Head of Music at AB Inbev, Vivien Lewit, from Youtube, Remko Gorter and Rogier van Twuijver from Amsterdam Dance Event, Ben Turner and Kurosh Nasseri, co-founders of AFEM (Association For Electronic Music) as well as Mark Lawrence, AFEM’s CEO. Learning is a continuous process so I’m looking forward to see their opinions about different topics and get inspired.


How much work goes into the conference each year and how do you relax when it is all over?
It is non-stop work since we run conferences in six cities throughout the year. But I do manage to relax when I walk my two Brittany Spaniels…

South America is an important region for the electronic dance scene, with many talented artists and amazing venues, what are the main challenges facing you to ensure longevity for your scene?
We need to take in consideration that Brazil has a rich musical heritage, with various solid rhythms, like samba and bossa nova, for example. We breath music. Our biggest challenge is to introduce the electronic music culture into this environment, attending to different tastes and peculiarities in the most democratic way possible.
Also the recent ‘boom’ of the EDM scene in the United States, somehow, was assimilated by many DJs and businessmen as the boom of the Americas’ industry, especially endorsed by the idea of “economic paradise” that countries like Brazil seem to be, when observed by foreign eyes. More than watching and working hard for our local scene we need to understand the global trends, that’s why we actively participate in similar events that happen in Holland (ADE), Spain (IMS) and Italy (IPM).
As the number of electronic music fans is increasing each year, the challenges are becoming tougher. We need to remain attentive and observe other ‘booms’ and be able to formulate a seductive message in the most engaging way.


Industry Thoughts On The RMC:
Rogier van Twuijver, Epiqurus Agency
I hope Brazilian DJs, producers and professionals will learn from the things we have experienced in the past in Europe and in the rest of the world. Hearing these inspiring people speak will give insights you will not find on Internet or anywhere else.

Richard Zijlma, General Manager, Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE)
RMC is a genuine regional hub for the growing South American electronic music scene, which also makes it a must-visit B2B and showcase event for European, Asian and North American music industry professionals. On top of that, it’s exciting to see that the audience for electronic music in Brazil is growing so quickly, as evidenced by a significant increase in the number of large outdoor events and tours featuring leading EDM and electronic artists.

Bill Kelly Co-Founder/Director, Winter Music Conference
Rio de Janeiro is known for its, carnival celebrations, samba, bossa nova, balneario beaches such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon so it seems a natural for electronic music both from a global and a regional perspective. From my visit last year it seems as though Brazilian electronic music is still developing in this area of the world. There are many influences of Latin and Portuguese sounds in Rio due to its population so we’ll continue to see some newer electronic music sounds coming from this region of the world.

Clarissa Pantoja Global Head of Music, AB Inbev
RMC moves Electronic Music culture forward. It opens important discussions, connects the industry and pushes the future of dance music. It give brands the opportunity to actively participate in shaping the electronic music industry. Our dream at AB InBev is to be the best beer company bringing people together for a better World. RMC gives us the chance to achieve this dream by discovering and discussing new ways to deliver meaningful music and social experiences to fans.