Portugal is having a moment. Tourism is booming as people come to take in beautiful seaside cities, great weather and a rich and diverse history. Festivals have been popping up in the country to meet the demand of people looking for events in new places with great weather. LX Music is a dance events promotion company in Lisbon and has seen this rapid change over the past 15 years. For our latest Industry Insider we chat with company founder Tiago Nabais to learn a lot more about the change in Portugal.
We talk about how tourism has changed Lisbon, LX Music's drive to host more environmentally friendly events and how to navigate high booking fees. LX is throwing their new festival LXM Festival this upcoming weekend at Parque Das Nações -- yes outdoors in December. Get your tickets to the event with some of the biggest names in house and techno.
How have you seen your business evolve with the tourism boom in Portugal over the past few years?
Well tourism has increased a lot in the last couple of years in Portugal and specially in our beautiful city - Lisbon. It has had an impact in all major economical sectors. The electronic music industry has been affected as well, as we are getting more and more party goers from every single region of the world.
What is the biggest change you have seen in the business since you first started promoting shows?
Apart of the normal economical and societal evolution we are facing in Portugal, the major change was the introduction of social media to the game. It had made a huge impact in the way we communicate with our fans, as well as the way we promote our events.
What is one tip a new promoter should know before getting into the business?
Know your audience very well and take extra care of the people who follow your brand. Every single detail counts, the key is to deliver quality events, not only on the artistic side but the experience as a whole — nowadays it's very important to provide a quality overall experience.
Do you think some artist’s fees are too high and how do you work with those fees?
Well that’s another difficult part of the industry — a lot of artists are booming and it’s very difficult for us in Portugal to keep up with the huge fees that some artists are asking us, so sometimes it’s a matter of weighing the risk.
What made you decide to do a winter festival?
Mostly we wanted a different date to do our debut festival — December is a really nice time of the year to party here :)
What are you doing to make your festival and events carbon neutral?
We are currently working on a new project related to environmental awareness to be launched in 2020, as this is major issue for us. Because of our reach, we feel we can make an impact, to raise awareness and encourage environmental consciousness.
How did you pick your lineup for the festival?
We tried to pick the artists that our fans request, in addition we tried to bring some acts that are unusual to see in Portugal or Lisbon. So mostly we wanted to bring artists that never played at our events and bring them to our audience so they have the opportunity to experience great world class acts.
How does gender equality play into your booking decisions?
We are conscious of trying to further balance our line-ups, and give a platform to more marginalized genders and identities.
How did you get into the business?
Well all of the closest members of LX Music started in their early ages as a DJs (that still continue as DJs), then naturally came the need of bringing good parties to our city in an era where they weren’t so often as they are today.
What qualities and qualifications do you look for in potential employees?
In the business aspect we tend to value the capacity of problem solvers — in a different sense we search for people who are impassioned about their work and that bring good vibes to the team :)
What is something people should do in Lisbon to make a full trip around your festival?
Lisbon is full of surprises and beautiful places, so it’s hard to say one or two place you should go. We strongly recommend the old Lisbon area near the river Tagus, all of the historical part of the city, as well as Sintra with the beautiful landscapes and castles. Mostly Lisbon is a place to discover and be discovered.