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More halls, bigger space and a rental focus: inside Italy expo Music Inside Rimini

Italy’s ‘number one’ trade fair organiser is currently putting the finishing touches to Music Inside Rimini, a three-day event coming to the Adriatic Coast from May 6-8

Rimini Expo Centre on the Italian Adriatic is hosting the third edition of Music Inside Rimini (MIR) from May 6-8.

The event, which features an original combination of an AV and lighting technology expo, live events, hands-on demos and technical updating, training and networking sessions, is organised by Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) with the collaboration of several key trade associations.

IEG, founded in 2016 with a merger between Rimini Fiera and Fiera di Vicenza, describes itself as Italy’s ‘number one’ trade fair organiser, as well as a leader in the conference and congress sector.

We spoke to two key members of the organising bodies to get some insight into the event and the philosophy behind its work – IEG’s Sport and Entertainment group exhibition director Patrizia Cecchi, and Gianni Fantini, the man behind the launch of the Live You Play format, which this year is occupying no less than four of the venue’s 6,000sqm halls.

The figures of Music Inside Rimini 2018 bode well: nine halls, 20 per cent more expo space than last year, 12 stages with live performances and much more to boot. Forecasts for visitor attendance are also high, and the aim is to exceed the almost 10,000 visitors at the previous edition.

At the press conference in Milan to announce the event, Claudio Formisano, chairman of the Confederation of European Music Industries (CAFIM), described MIR as “an opportunity not to be missed, as it had been designed and planned as a long-term investment on behalf of the organisers.”

Gianfranco Penocchio, media solution country manager with Sony Professional, remarked on how MIR represents something different on the Broadcasting and AV calendar: “The only opportunity for hands-on demos and a place to show the public the technological and artistic backstage production process.”

Thanks to the partnership with Live You Play, live events will again be among the key features at MIR 2018. In fact, four of the event’s nine halls will host 12 stages on which live bands will alternate, staging 24 live shows, 24 product demos and 12 virtual checks every day. Visitors will have the opportunity to discover in detail all the equipment on stage, as well as what’s out of sight backstage.

All of the audio, video and lighting technology can be tested with the help of specialists at visitors’ disposal on the various stages and expo stands.

Fantini comments: “Our Live You Play format is unique, and this year it will be even bigger, as the halls have been increased to four. The format will also be slightly changed, as the last slot on each day’s schedule will allow sound engineers and lighting ops to try their hand personally at carrying out both sound and cue/light checks.”

The four halls’ resident bands will alternate sets on the three stages throughout the day, and brands already confirmed for the stages include Bose, Clair Bros, ElectroVoice, FBT, K-Array, Link, Nexo, Sennheiser, L-Acoustics, Midas and VUE Audiotechnik.

“We decided to increase the number of halls because a lot of companies asked to take part last year and we weren’t able to accept them all,” explains Fantini.

Another new feature added this year is that one of the halls will feature stages that are not equipped by audio, lighting and video manufacturers or their distributors, but rental firms from all over the country.

“I expect these set-ups to be a bit more essential,” continues Fantini, “with flight cases for the audience, rather than the tiered seating of the other halls.”

Music Inside Rimini therefore involves the entire product chain by means of four well-established macro areas: Sound and Lighting, the core of the event represented by manufacturers of audio and lighting technology for the entertainment world and event industry; Professional Video, a sector dedicated to the world of cinema, television studios and visuals, where visitors will be able to test all the equipment featured in a dedicated context; Integrated Systems, an ample project which includes numerous initiatives such as the multimedia AV Experience area, courses and seminars; and, Music & DJ producer, one of the new features of this third edition, dedicated to musical instruments, where it will be possible to try out guitars and effects, as well as mixers, turntables, synths, MIDI and DMX controllers, with the assistance of some of the best-known endorsers in the business.

Development training

Once again this year, an professional training will be an essential element of the event’s offering, with conferences and opportunities for in-depth consideration of successful case histories available to all attendees, via the experience of those directly involved in developing large-scale projects.

In July 2017, veteran Italian rocker Vasco Rossi hosted a concert to celebrate the 40th year of his career at the Enzo Ferrari Park in Modena, setting a world record for the concert with the largest number of paying spectators (225,173). His technical production team, including sound engineer Andrea Corsellini, will be out in force at MIR, giving first-hand info on the ins and outs of large-scale concert production.

Training will be further widened, with special meetings and conferences dedicated to hot topics, such as performing rights and secondary ticketing, and guests will include Rossi’s guitarist for over 20 years, Californian Stef Burns, who has also played and recorded with Y&T and Huey Lewis and The News and many other artists, as well as his own band, the Stef Burns League.

Live Experience is another of the new features at Music Inside Rimini, and will be divided into three areas: Live Broadcast Experience (focused on connected technology for the TV world); Live Film Experience, hosting technology for independent filmmakers and large film productions; and Live Visual Experience: focused on technology used for installations and video projections for live events.

Music Inside Festival

One of the first steps in the organisation of the latest edition of the show regarded a change in the schedule: At last year’s show, the Music Inside Festival opened the event, whereas this year it was held one week in advance on Sunday 29 and Monday 30 April, with a format entitled X-TRAINTOWN, and a live show featuring a line-up of world-famous DJs.

A multi-venue festival, the event expands its borders throughout its run, starting from the expo hub and moving out into the city of Rimini and taking in various important historical buildings and unusual venues that are not normally used for live music performances of this type.

The annual expo claims to have become the first reference point of the professional music and entertainment market and the various application fields that exist within it. Now in its third edition, it appears to posses all the features and assets necessary to expand further still over the coming years. For now, MIR continues to serve as an across-the-board incubator and hub of professionalism, in-depth networking and training at every level of the music chain.