Mapping Brazil - Electronic Dance Music
Since 2014, the climate of optimism sparked by the announcement of the World Cup and Olympics has given way to a mood of caution and moderation. The controversial re-election of Dilma Rousseff, the slowdown of growth in China (main importer of Brazilian commodities), the political corruption scandal involving the country’s biggest company (Petrobras), the high interest rates, the reviewed inflation targets and the weakening of the currency have all had a direct impact not just on the entertainment industry, but on the economy as a whole.
Even so, Brazil continues to be the target of some of the world’s biggest dance music groups. The billionaire holding, SFX, owner of Dutch entertainment company ID&T and the world’s number 1 electronic music festival, Tomorrowland, is growing its presence in Brazil. It has acquired Brazil’s biggest DJ agency, Plus Talent, from its founders, Brazilian Luiz Eurico Klotz and Dutch Edo Van Duyn, and announced that Tomorrowland will be held in the country for five years. They have also shown interest in bringing other music festivals to the country, as well as the music platform, Beatport, the world’s leading music e-commerce channel.
The producer of Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the United States, has also announced a partnership with T4F (Time For Fun), responsible for the annual Lollapalooza Brasil festival. The first EDC is planned to be held in the second half of 2015. The Ultra Music Festival is also set to return to Brazil, either later in 2015 or in 2016. Tomorrowland, Ultra and EDC are the biggest EDM festivals in the world.
Aside from these more commercial, mainstream festivals, some local, independent festivals are also gaining notoriety in the international electronic dance music scene. These include Universo Parallelo, held at New Year in Bahia, TribalTech in Curitiba, and Dream Valley and Creamfields Brasil, both in Santa Catarina. There is also a market for vanguard, experimental events like Sonar, originally from Barcelona, which will be held for the third time in Brazil in November 2015.
It is impossible to tell at this point in time how positive an influence this flurry of new festivals will have on the local industry. Some speculate that it is just a flash in the pan, oversupplying what is actually quite a limited market. Even so, it is safe to say that in the mid term at least (the coming five years) the electronic dance music scene should carry on growing sustainably in Brazil.
Growth opportunities for the industry continue to be focused in São Paulo, Santa Catarina and Rio de Janeiro (in that order). São Paulo offers the best opportunities because it is the hub of the nation’s economy and already has a mature, well-established club and EDM scene. It is the state where most of the country’s new producers and DJs come from. Santa Catarina’s strengths are its clubs, Green Valley and Warung Beach Club, and the Creamfields Brasil festival, not to mention its capacity to attract huge numbers of tourists because of its beautiful beaches and climate, which is more similar to that of Europe. Finally, Rio de Janeiro’s advantages are its undeniable allure as a tourist destination, the fact that it often sets trends that are then picked up in other parts of the country, and its hosting of the main Rio Music Conference and Rio Music Carnival.