By Doug Gray, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – As a somewhat incongruous addition to the pre-Carnival festivities in the city, the timing of last year’s inaugural Rio Music Conference at first seemed questionable. Now for the second year the event is overlapping, from Wednesday, February 10th through Tuesday, February 16th, 2010.
Bringing some of the world’s biggest DJs into town just as the traditional sounds of samba take hold of Rio’s streets may have irked some traditionalists, but the results were undeniable. Rio can now lay claim to the biggest electronic music event in the southern hemisphere, and the second edition kicks off six days of partying to the Marina da Glória.
Far from just an excuse to get your fill of electronic music, however, the conference element that last year saw talks by the likes of UK DJ and broadcaster Pete Tong creates a business fair for companies involved in all aspects of the music market. This year Armin Van Burren, recently voted the world’s number one DJ, will discuss the current state of dance music while workshops show off the latest technology, and classes are held on everything from mixing to producing.
Van Burren will of course also take to the decks along with other masters of the ones and twos including Erick Morillo who is back after a star turn last year, Steve Angello, Locodice, and Tocadisco will also be playing as well as a host of local talent supporting the big names.
The event hopes to emulate the success of the annual Miami Winter Music Conference which has become a fixture in the calendar for anyone with a passing interest in dance music for the last twenty years, and this year’s growth suggests Rio is on the right tracks. As Guilherme Borges, event organizer and director of OSC Marketing, says; “For the 2010 event we could count a lot more on the music sector, consolidating Rio Music Conference in Brazil… and to prove that we have a 400 percent increase in the size of the exhibition area.”
For funk pioneer DJ Marlboro it is also a rare opportunity to meet his peers outside of their usual environment; “Normally a DJ stays very much in his own club but with this event we have the opportunity to exchange (ideas) with others.”
On February 10th and 11th, there will be a series of talks and workshops from 3PM until 2AM, and Van Burren will feature in a Q&A session at 10PM on the opening evening.
Entry is free, and other subjects will include copyright and author rights, independent music around the world, and the intriguingly titled ‘How To Be A Rock Star’, while on Thursday anyone with an interest in turntablism should check out the scratch DJ workshop hosted by Vestax at 5:30PM on Thursday.
As for the DJ line up, Saturday night will see Erick Morillo perform, while Armin Van Burren takes to the stage on Tuesday.