Chris Ortiz, CEO of Spain’s Riff Music, says, “Business, in general, is just booming. We do not stop putting shows on sale and tickets just continue to sell at record rates,” Ortiz says. “I keep thinking we are going to see volume drop and sales slow down due to slower economy, saturation of shows etc., but it hasn’t happened yet.”
The challenge is handling the volume. “It’s 24/7,” says Ortiz, and “the general feeling is that we are doing more shows than ever, and each show is more work or has more problems than we were used to in the past. We were used to the tension during busy seasons or when a number of tours would coincide, but these past years we have had that feeling almost permanently and it makes it tough to enjoy or celebrate all the great things happening.”
Momentous moments such as Manuel Carrasco breaking the Spanish attendance record on June 11, 2022, when 74,345 bought a ticket for his concert at Estadio La Cartuja in Seville. He returned for two nights this year, June 2-3, and sold out both. Spanish singer Melendi sold out shows in Argentina, Ecuador, the USA, Colombia and Chile. “We also promoted the Joaquin Sabina tour, including a very memorable night at Royal Albert Hall. And promoting Bob Dylan for his Spanish leg is always a highlight,” Ortiz says.
A New York native, Ortiz left for Spain in 1999 and built Riff with his partner Carlos Espinosa. What makes him most proud is the fact that “our team has produced and promoted shows around the world, managed some of the biggest national artists, promoted some of the largest international tours and has expertise in a number of areas in our business. I believe being on both sides of the business as promoters and as managers touring with artists has made us better at production, marketing, hospitality, contracts and every aspect of the live music business.”