Gaby Moreno, The Chamanas, La Boa, Amanitas and El Chávez are just a few of the artists selected to perform at the annual 2017 FIMPRO International Professional Music Fair, taking place May 25-28 in Guadalajara.
Now in its third edition, FIMPRO, a meeting point for music professionals, including promoters, managers, music labels and journalists from Mexico and Latin America, will include showcases by 28 indie bands from 12 different countries.
Each artist was personally handpicked from more than 600 contenders by a group of jurors, including FIMPRO's content director Sergio Arbelaez, who talked to Billboard about the selection process, what characteristics set FIMPRO apart from other music conferences around the world and what hot topics will be tackled in this new edition.
In the ever-evolving music industry, what's the mentality when planning an international conference like this one to attract music professionals to attend?
We work closely with our FIMPRO community members, which includes music managers and music journalists, to come up with themes and questions we want to address throughout the event. We definitely want to focus on how the industry is evolving and how we can help artists catch up with the times. For example, virtual reality and its role in music will definitely be a topic this year, and we'll have Benji Rogers, CEO & co-founder of dotBlockChain Music, lead the conversation about new technology.
There were more than 600 acts who sent in their application to be considered. How do you guys choose those artists and can you also talk about the increase in female artists applying?
We hope to successfully represent that music movement that is being led by female artists at FIMPRO. There was definitely an increase in female artists sending applications, which means it will be reflected in our showcases. From the all-women Chilean band Amanitas to Guatemalan singer/songwriter Gaby Moreno and The Chamanas from Mexico, here at FIMPRO we really focus on championing and showcasing diversity and we take that into consideration when it comes to picking those artists.
What are some characteristics that sets FIMPRO apart from other music conferences?
We focus on the relationship between the North American (including Canada and the U.S.) and the Latin American market. Also, the fact that we're in Mexico, such an important country for Latin music and international artists, also helps our event. Another cool part of FIMPRO is that every year we have a different country as a special guest. This year we've partnered with Germany and will be represented by a couple of delegates including entrepreneurs who are looking to build a bridge with the Latin American music industry.
Since you point out this is a conference focusing on the relationship between North American and Latin American artists, are you addressing the visa topic and issues we recently saw affecting international artists traveling to SXSW?
FIMPRO will definitely take part in that conversation. It's such a relevant and important topic that we will address and in a way try to help artists get some guidance when it comes to visas. The most important thing is that artists need to be informed to be able to prevent any type of visa issues.
Is there a success story from an artist who previously performed at FIMPRO you want to share?
There have been a couple, but one in particular is Diamante Eléctrico from Colombia. They performed at FIMPRO last year and then they went on to perform in major music festivals like Vive Latino in Mexico City and this year they're performing at Coachella. It's very cool to see that our platform opened doors for them and connected them, in some way, with these new opportunities.
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