Last week, I had the opportunity to fly over to Portugal and attend the fantastic EXIB Musica Expo. This year’s edition of the Ibero-American music marketplace took place in Setúbal, a city filled with colorful buildings just thirty minutes south of Lisbon. From Wednesday to Saturday, the Expo offered us panels, live performances, and a “professional area.” All this allowed us to submerge between bands, managers, agents, and other music professionals.
Thanks to the structure of the event, the music, and “the industry” had a chance to interact in really suitable and efficient ways. EXIB Musica is, as they like to be known, “the gateway to Europe for the diversity of Ibero-America.” In other words, the Expo creates an environment that facilitates opportunities for the people of Ibero-America to expand beyond their horizons in Europe.
Like we all know, possibilities are endless in music, but it is also hard to find them in music’s nature: just like it is hard for artists to pitch their songs and projects to managers, labels, and festivals, it is also hard for festivals to find partners and even create well-curated lineups.
That is why upcoming artists and bands go to EXIB looking to expand their reach outside of Latin America and enter Europe’s touring circle. Also, established musicians attend EXIB to make new alliances/partnerships, and organizations go to EXIB to meet their clients face-to-face sharing goods and services.
And yes, there are other Expo‘s and events similar to EXIB, so what makes this event different? The “expression of Diversity (…) and stressing the value of music in its original languages as a contribution to the Identity of Ibero-America,” is what distinguishes EXIB: its focus on the sounds and cultural identities that remain on these territories, and that ought to be shared with the world.
After my experience at EXIB Música 2019 edition, I can only reassure the importance of events that open up marketplaces, but also the importance of endorsing cultural traditions and musical diversity that is commonly forgotten by today’s mass media. It is through these kinds of events that folkloric music, and independent music artists, can still be relevant to Europe’s market and the world.
We all had a fabulous experience in Portugal, thank you EXIB Música for opening the doors to all the artists present at the event and us. We will meet again for next years edition!
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