The future of live and recorded music, the challenge of digitalization, the current situation of creators, the threats posed by the pandemic and the Sustainable Development Goals will be the main topics discussed from October 26th – 29th. 

The BIME PRO Conference for Professionals, held this month in Bilbao with top music industry talent from around the world with the theme #máscercaquenunca (which translates to “closer than ever before”), announced today the content of its 2020 edition, an especially awaited and necessary edition, given the crisis shaking the industry.The event will be held onsite on the 28th and 29th, although the online event will begin with different activities on Monday, October 26th.

The program will cover the current context of the music industry, focusing on all the areas that compose it (festivals, live entertainment, recorded music, publishing, legal, technology and innovation, creation…), stressing the crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, analyzing how the challenges it has presented affect the entire industry. We will attempt to find solutions and hope that what is urgent will not cause us to lose sight of what is important, to encourage the industry to continue to pursue the Sustainable Development Goals we have been working on and in which we have made significant strides in recent years, in terms of the environment, gender equality and education.

The near future of festivals and live music.

Without a doubt live entertainment has been most hard hit by the current crisis. The preventive measures to slow the expansion of the pandemic impose severe restrictions on capacity, the closing of most cultural and entertainment spaces and movement restrictions which make it practically impossible to travel internationally. The challenge is clear and BIME PRO will attempt to approach this from all possible angles. At the “Festivals and Hiring Artists” round table organized by APM (Asociación de Promotores Musicales) promotors and managers will discuss what will it look like to hire artists in the next couple of years and how the crisis will affect the formats, strategies and business models of their events.  Responsible for some of the most iconic venues in Spain, they will talk about their social, cultural and economic relevance for the neighborhoods, villages and cities that are home to them. They will also share solutions for a safe cultural offer in “Concert Venues and COVID-19”.  BIME PRO is also hosting the second edition of the AMCS (Atlantic Music Conference Symposium), the meeting of Latin American and U.S. Latin music fairs, thanks to the support of Acción Cultural Española and in which the responsible parties of these events will share strategies to favor all markets and will exchange challenges, contacts and good practices.

Recorded music, a lifesaver amid the pandemic

The recent lockdown has shown us that, in times of anxiety and forced isolation, music has served to comfort millions of people around the world. Professionally, with venues closed, and festivals and tours postponed, recorded music has become a key business line to sustain the industry. Regarding the boom of investment in repertoire, future royalties, and new business models, we will converse with experts and pioneers of a promising industry role, Music Financing, in a round table with a bold title, “Why Music is the Most Reliable Investment of this Day.” We will analyze the entertainment alternatives that have experienced an exponential growth during the confinement, such as series or videogames because indeed, recorded music also plays a part here. This is the topic dealt with at round table devoted to “The Value of Music in Original Content”, with the participation of three influential Music Supervisors: Juanto Tello(Money Heist), Aranzazu Calleja (The Platform) and Omar Tenani (Yembe! agency).In terms of publishing, in another highlighted conference session, “A Conversation with… Alexandra Lioutikoff,” we will hear from the first female president of Latin America and U.S. Latin for a major music publishing company (Universal Music Publishing). She is responsible for the growth and development of these territories, overseeing operations across 19 countries.

Technology and Innovation, the Challenge of Digitalization

If digitalization is an unavoidable element in any part of the music industry, in times of crisis it is necessary to know the digital environment and the technological tools that will enable us to reap the most benefits, as well as being occasionally updated of the latest advances in innovation and development and how they can help us not only consolidate our performance, but also to set up new lines of business in the music industry. This will be the context for the session titled “A Conversation With… Jean-Michel Jarre,” in which the musician, composer and pioneer in electronic music, will talk about his work experimenting with new formats and tools. Big names in this edition also include Mike Malak, agent among others of Bille Ellish and Rick Salmon, who represents artists such as Nick Cave and P.J. Harvey. They will co-chair the workshop “Turning to Tech: relying on technology to navigate the pandemic.” We will also reflect on, whether, on occasions, the overexposure to the virtual environment may become a double-edged sword. This is what the round table “Was it Worth it?” will deal with. Success and Failure of Online (Over) exposure During COVID-19, in which we will analyze how profitable (and not just in financial terms) it has been for different agents in the industry amid the abundance of open and free online content that we put out there during the lockdown.

Creation, where it all begins.

It would be impossible to paint a complete picture of the current situation of the industry without handling the topic of creation. Artists are oftentimes one of the most fragile pieces of the music industry, and more so in especially critical times such as the one we are experiencing and more so for those who are beginning their careers. Thus, there is a round table dedicated to them, led by the AIE, “New Challenges and Opportunities for Artists,”, in which the responsible persons at the Association will introduce the policies they are implementing to alleviate the grave situation facing this community.

In a year where reality stubbornly forces us to direct our thoughts time and time again to the most mundane aspects of our industry, we also hope that BIME PRO will provide a space for us to reconnect with what is most comforting of our profession, which is why artists have a strong presence in this edition. We will have C. Tangana, who will accompany us at the Euskalduna Conference Center with his entire creative team, to walk us through their success story, which has taken the artist from the underground to becoming one of the biggest names in music today. From Puerto Rocio, musician and producer Eduardo Cabra, founder of the successful duo Calle 13, and recipient of a hair-rising number of accolades, including 28 Grammys and Latin Grammys, on his own as well as with artists like Jorge Drexler, Cuarteto de Nos and Rita Indiana. He will have a conversation with prestigious producer Rafa Sardina, creator of memorable productions for stars the likes of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga and Alejandro Sanz. Linda Perry, the creative force behind memorable hits such as “What’s Up” from 4 Non Blonde, “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera and “Superwoman” from Alicia Keys, will sit opposite the active and curious Donita Sparks, the leader of the influential grunge band L7, to exchange their valuable insight and experience in music. Musician and singer Nacho Vegas, will also be in Bilbao, to provide an overview of his career and his labor as an “artisan of songs” in a face-to-face interview with music journalist Pilar González Ruiz. Finally, Argentinian artist Tini will chat with journalist Alan Queipo about her path as a young Disney star as Violetta to her current position as a reference of urban music in her country.

The BIME PRO 2020 program will be complete this year as in previous editions, with a series of professional workshops with a variety of topics, Big Data to make music more profitable, the fundamentals of Music Supervision, legal resources for labels and offices, and how to make the most of TikTok and psychology for music industry professionals, among others. All the workshops, except for the one organized jointly with the UFI (Unión Fonográfica Independiente) about legal aspects, will be held virtually on our online platform.

Registration for the conference is now open, whether onsite or online. Space is limited and you may purchase your ticket or pass on the website www.bime.net.