‘We Never Stopped’: RLM’s Rosa Lagarrigue & Yann Barbot Marín On The Post-Pandemic Transition
RLM was founded in 1984 as an artist management company representing superstars such as Mecano, Miguel Bosé and La Union. Since its beginnings, RLM was also a concert promoter for international artists such as Mana, Juan Luis Guerra, Laura Pausini, to name a few. In 1999 the company’s CEO Rosa Lagarrigue, alongside the Prisa Media Group formed the promoting company Planet Events, which was recently sold to Live Nation.
Around a year ago, RLM started promoting shows again, for example Ricardo Arjona recent Spanish Tour (16 shows). The company added a label services division about 10 years ago to offer what RLM describes at a “boutique service to emerging artists such as Fredi Leis, Marlena or Paula Mattheus.” Pollstar reached out to Rosa Lagarrigue and booking director Yann Barbot Marín to talk shop.
What have you recently been working on?
Yann Barbot Marín: Our most recent biggest tours and shows ins Spain include Raphael’s “6.0 Tour” celebrating his 60th anniversary on stage, and Rozalen with “el Arbol y el Bosque Tour”. Both tours ranked 8 (Rozalen) and 9 (Raphael) in the top 10 of the Spanish national ranking published by [promoters association Asociación de promotores musicales] APM . Some of the biggest tours we have promoted so far are Mecano “Aidalai,” Miguel Bosé “Papito”, and Alejandro Sanz “El Alma al aire.”
What is your business philosophy?
Rosa Lagarrigue: RLM distinguishes itself by knowing how to project the musical career of its artists in the short and long term, taking care of every step with a large team of professionals, who specialize in each area to assist artists in all facets of their profession.
What makes Spain a reference in the European live music biz?
Rosa Lagarrigue: We have about a thousand music festivals each year in Spain, including some of the best in Europe. The Spanish musical scene offers a huge variety of shows. The country’s wonderful climate and geographical location offer the ideal backdrop to enjoy the best bands, the beach and a little tourism activity.
What can you say about the country’s live infrastructure? Are there enough venues to play at?
Yann Barbot Marín: The venue infrastructure in Spain continues to be deficient. Depending on the city, we need more medium-capacity and large-capacity venues. The circuit of small venues for developing artists needs an upgrade as well.
Are there vast differences from territory to territory? Do Madrid and Barcelona stand out?
Rosa Lagarrigue: Madrid and Barcelona lead in terms of ticket sales, followed by the regions of Valencia and Andalusia. The Madrid region is the most dynamic in this sense.
Can you talk about ticket sales? Are they picking back up, after two years of tough business conditions?
Rosa Lagarrigue: Ticket sales are not yet picking back up, maybe because we are in a post-COVID transition, and in our opinion because of too large a live offer this year. The adult public may still be afraid to return to concerts.
What upcoming concerts/tours promoted by RLM would you like to highlight?
Yann Barbot Marín: We are currently working on the new tours of Vanesa Martin, and Fuel Fandango, who have recently signed with RLM. Sara Baras, the most important flamenco dancer in Spain and the most recognized worldwide, is currently touring Spain and will launch the international leg in Paris, at La Salle Pleyel, in December. And we will announce Alvaro Soler’s and Ricardo Montaner’s Spanish autumn tours soon.
What were the most important factors for surviving these past two years? Did you manage to sell tickets during the pandemic?
Rosa Lagarrigue: We never stopped working as we had to adapt to this whole new situation full of uncertainties. We did many small shows during the pandemic and had to adjust to the COVID restrictions. Artist such as Andres Suarez did 40 shows in 2020 with a good average ticket sales. RLM was also the first company in Spain, and probably in Europe, to promote two big shows, by artist Raphael, at WiZink Center around Christmas 2020: 5,000 tickets sold each night.”
Is Brexit posing difficulties for touring artists between U.K. and Spain?
Yann Barbot Marín: Not anymore since the Spanish government has announced a rule change that will mean British artists and crew touring in the country will no longer need visas. It removes one of the big barriers the U.K. live community has faced since Brexit.