SIM São Paulo’s first day left no doubt; the festival has grown since its previous edition: 18 discussion panels, several speed meetings, several meet-ups (with online distributors, international guests and the Australian delegation), 9 showcases at Centro Cultural São Paulo, and 7 parties taking place in several different venues across the city (Noite Urban Jungle, Noite Google, Festival Dias Nórdicos, SIM Transforma, Bananada na Casinha, Noite Sergipana and Noite Brasil Music Exchange).
At highly attended lectures, professionals from different areas discussed music’s present condition. City counselor Nabil Bonduki opened the event talking about a new bill – already at pre approval stage – which acknowledges São Paulo as a music capital. He referred to the event as an important step in the bill’s final approval, set to happen one week from then.
Still before noon, Marcel Klemm of Rede Globo talked about the process for choosing a soundtrack of a soap opera. At the panel Culture Critic versus Content Curation, mediator Alexandre Matias (Trabalho Sujo) instigated the audience by asking if band sponsorship was the only way for music criticism. Rafael Rocha (Noize), focused on the necessity of not selling out too the brand’s desire. Dilson Laguna (Sofar Brasil) claimed for alternatives to the alternative market. Bravo magazine reporter Guilherme Werneck was assertive: “ there are dozens of business models out there nowadays – one’s got to find one’s own, and being a good writer alone is not enough ”.
Give Them Voice was one of the most popular panels which brought together six female festival producers: Dianne Dias ( Bananada Festival – Goiânia ), Maithe Bertolini ( Contato Festival / São Carlos SP ), Ana Morena Tavares ( DoSOl festival / Natal, RN) Renee Chalu ( Serasgum Festival / Belém PA )and Luciana Simões BR135 Festival /São Luís, MA). The panel was mediated by Fabiana Batistela (Inker and SIM São Paulo). “ Women do need more representation, thus this one panel is of utmost importance ”, said Ana Morena.
“ Is there sexism? Sure. But we need to leave our comfort zone and claim the role as protagonists ”, Luciana Simões put before the other speakers who also thought that men should reinforce women’s protagonism. “ Sometimes I take a decision and supplier then check with my male business partner if that is really it – his role, then, should not be say yes, but to reinforce we have the same importance ”. “ Yes means yes ”, said Ana Morena, who promised to cast women as stage directors at DoSOl Festival. “ So we can’t find any stage directors in Natal? Let’s educate them, then ”.
Another popular panel: that one mediated by Marcos Boffa where Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Adriano Cintra (former CSS), Benke Ferraz (Boogarins), and Luisa Maita told their experience with international tours. In the room next-door journalist Roberta Martinelli interviewed Flora Gil – one of the most famous businesswoman in the Brazilian cultural scene. She has been fronting Gege Prouduções Artísticas since 1982. In her words: “ I’ve learned to do my job well – Gilberto Gil wouldn’t do it better – I, in turn, would suck at his job ” ( * laughter *). “ I’ve found my place ”. She also commented on the markets and music publishers; “ even though online distribution revenues have risen, the artist is likely to make most of his or her money through live performances. The Publisher job is indeed important but the rights should always belong to the artist. Cession of rights should be unacceptable and some people do take advantage of that. The rule is simple: Read before signing. ”
Another great panel with great moments: Europena Music Market Today and its Possible Connexions to Brazil, with David McLoughlin (BM&A), Luis viegas (ao Sul do mundo, Portugal), Paul Cheetham (Reeperbahn Festival, Germany), Ruben Scaramuzzino ( Zona de Obras, Spain), Henrik Friis Nordic Days, Denmark ) and Frank Abraham ( F-Cat, Germany). According to Paul Cheetham
“ singing in English helps but it is not necessary. The key is to have personality and not sound like other European bands ”. He searches for South American artists with that South American Twist to play at the Reeperbahn Festival. His tip: “ you need to learn about the music market in the country you want to go. You got to network ”.
“ We have some festivals in Denmark – bars even – which are interested in assigning bands from all over the world – Brazilian bands included ”, commented Henrik Friis, who also pointed out the distance issue: “ there’s literally an ocean between us and performing in Denmark counting solely on the ticket sales return is financial suicide. One must create possibilities firts ”. Commenting along those lines, Luis Viegas shared his experience in producing six Elza Soares shows in Europe: “ three of them were in Portugal, one being a great success. Portugal is undoubtedly a gateway to Europe and we try to link the offers we get with Portuguese venues ”.
SIM’s first day was also a springboard for announcing festivals in 2017 in Brazil: Contrapedal Festival, Women’s Music Event and Sêla (based in São Paulo) COMa Festival (Brasília) and the fourth edition of Circuito de Parques- Música, Bike & Meio Ambiente (Belo Horizonte). Producer Fred Furtado also announced the new app Dazibol release – still in beta – a free platform, which intends to connect artists, labels, suppliers and producers. SIM still promoted meetings between the markets of Rio Grande do Sul and Argentina, as well as crowdfunding, online distribution and live marketing. All of it on its first day.