FiraB! 2017 begins this Wednesday with over 400 registered professionalsNúria Abad
Last year's edition generated 132 contracts for Balearic artists
A concert by the Balearic Symphonic Orchestra with Àngels Gonyalons will kick off the third edition of this fair
Palma.15 / 09 / 2017.- With only five days to go for the beginning of Fira B!, the professional market for Balearic music and performing arts, a total of 415 professionals have registered to participate in this cultural event. It must be said that this figure is still provisional, as the registration period is open up until the very day the fair begins.
Fira B! will take place from Wednesday 20th to Sunday 24th of September in Palma (Mallorca) and will offer 65 cultural shows (with 41 music bands and 24 performing arts companies) within its official programme. The latest figures speak of 184 artists and 231 professionals participating, adding up to 415, with different profiles from the fields of distribution (managers, distributors, promoters), production, festival and fair organization, as well as programmers from theatres and other venues. Public authorities will also have an important presence at the fair, as is evident with the inscription of councils and other institutions from all over Spain, including the Instituto Cervantes, Acción Cultural Española or the Instituto Nacional de las Artes Escénicas y Música (INAEM, the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music), who depend on the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Culture.
1 of every 3 producers is from outside of the Catalan-speaking territories
Of the 231 professionals who will attend Fira B! to get to know first-hand the cultural offer of the islands, most of them, about 160, come from the Balearics, Catalonia or Valencia. About 30 more of them are from different Spanish regions, and about another 30 are from various European countries: Italy, Germany, Hungary, United Kingdom, Finland, Holland, Denmark, Belgium and Portugal. From beyond Europe, there is one accredited producer from Quebec and 5 more from Argentina.
The organizers of the fair were expecting 200 producers to register for this year's edition, an expectation that falls short of the actual numbers while there are still five more days for even more people to register.
Programme of activities
Fira B! begins on September 20th with Una noche de musical, the concert that will be offered by singer-actress Àngels Gonyalons, accompanied by the Balearic Symphonic Orchestra, at the Teatro Principal. This event will kick-start an ample programme of shows and professional sessions over the next four days, ending on Sunday 24th with the representation of Calbó o el viatge d'Orfeu, a commemorative piece in honour of the Year of Pasqual Calbó y Caldés. The full programme of the fair can be seen here.
Balance of Fira B! 2016
Last year, Fira B! resulted in 132 contracts for Balearic artists. The most significant result of the 2016 edition was the consolidation of TalentIB, the catalogue of music and performing arts that promotes Balearic creations, which had been set up that same year. Fira B! allowed producers and programmers from the Balearic Islands to see local cultural creations live on stage at one single event, and as a result 79 contracts were made for the inter-island circuit. Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera have benefited from this circulation of local artists, as the number of activities that have taken place on each of those islands is equal or even higher to those on Mallorca. As well as this circuit, the 2016 fair generated up to 24 more contracts also within the Balearic Islands.
Fira B! must fulfill an integrating role as a showcase for creations from all four islands, and so exporting Balearic music and performing arts outside of the region is one of the main aims of the fair. In this sense, and regarding producers outside of the Balearics, Fira B! 2016 served to establish first contacts and to start to get contracts elsewhere, although not as immediately as in the case of TalentIB.
Catalonia and Valencia
It is worth underlining a total of 19 contracts (9 for music bands and 10 for performing arts groups) that thanks to Fira B! took place in other Catalan-speaking territories, as a result of last year's edition. Some examples are the show Ones (by Col·lectiu Ones) at the Mostra d'Igualada and Festival Grec. Also at the Mostra d'Igualada, the show Jetlak (by Los Rabinovich) has been staged. Through contacts made at Fira B! 2016, the band Zulu Zulu has performed at the Vida event and will also perform at this year's BAM.
Fira B! 2016 generated contracts even further afield, two of which in Europe: Marco Mezquida at the Amersfoort jazz festival in Holland, and Circ Bover at the Internationale Kulturbörse Freiburg, Germany. Crossing the oceans, producer Santiago Algans, who coordinates Artes Runner, visited Feria B! 2016 and from this visit emerged the project Transatlántico, which has included a tour around Argentina and Uruguay this summer for three Balearic companies: Dalí ha mort (by La Llarga), L'arquitecte i l'emperador d'Assíria (Tshock), Stormy Red (Concha Vidal). Algans is intending to visit Fira B! 2017 and has shown interest in repeating a similar tour with Balearic companies for next year.
Thanks to Fira B!, various bands and companies have found representation, such as The Wheels and La Granja, who have started to work with the management company Industrias Bala, one of the most prestigious of the Spanish state. In the area of performing arts, Christina Gavel, La Fornal and Tshock found a distributor (Eléctrico Romance) through Fira B!