FIMPRO: a celebration of the music of Latin America (which now includes Canada).
LA LA LAND
(Guadalajara Mexico) It’s 1:30 in the morning and my friend from Mexico City and I walked up to the entrance to our hotel in the Lafayette District of Guadalajara and were met by the members of a band we had heard earlier that day. They were well lubricated, very happy and wanted us to go out and party with them since the night was still young. We declined, having been conferencing, speed meeting, paneling, rocking to fabulous music (including theirs), dancing , drinking and eating Mexican food for three days straight. In fact, this would be the first time I made it to bed since arriving in Guadalajara. I saw the band later the next day and they apparently partied all they wanted to and were none the worse for wear.
FIMPRO is in exactly the right place, Guadalajara, which the New York Times has called “Mexico’s party city”. It is that, which is saying a whole lot because Latin America in general and Mexico in particular knows how to party. The city rocks and FIMPRO added to that vibe with music, food, alcohol, and dancing – along with world class networking in the music industry.
After a few hours “rest” in our hotels, we went to showcases in three nightclubs in the Zona Minerva, a district stuffed with nightclubs, restaurants, music venues, a night market and a music/dancing scene in the tree-lined median down the middle of the spacious avenidas that add charm to the pulsing night life. The night showcases started at the Via Libertad, an eight story tower housing creative offices, a center of design for new entrepreneurs, a gastronomic market, exhibition hall, restaurants, bars and terraces for events and many, many hipsters and millennials. On one of those terraces was Vinylmania, an open-air market for records with a pair of hot DJ’s keeping the beat going. On the other, larger terrace a few stories up and overlooking the city, FIMPRO set up a stage, sound system and lights, an open bar, and tables. Three bands played each night at Via Libertad, usually a set of five or six songs each.
I came away from FIMPRO with a new understanding of the term “international music”, too many CD’s to stuff into my carry-on, and several pocketsful of business cards.
I also came away with an appreciation for the FIMPRO organizers in Mexico who made everything work almost perfectly while keeping the whole event feel relaxed and fun. The buses from the hotels arrived and left on time, the food selection was just right, the quality of speakers and the opportunities to talk personally with them was first rate, the translation was very welcome, and the open bars made it all that much better. And the music FIMPRO brought together were unforgettable. Three days of bands with no duds and no slow spots is a testament to the judgement and skill of the Mexican team.
But most of all , the best part was the people I met and the friends I made that will stay with me, even the Canadians.
I’ll be back next year.