Introducing RPMM Festival

Words by: Issy Fisher, David Alexander
Posted: 6/2/18 15:43

Portugal’s festival roster is getting stronger and stronger with every year. The latest to be added to the selection is RPMM Festival, taking place on Saturday 28 July and Sunday 29 July, 2018.

RPMM is a new two-day, multi-venue festival that offers an exciting underground music experience in one of our favourite European destinations, Porto.

Despite its relatively small population (216,405 in 2015) the city already has a vibrant club scene with the Industria, Plano B, Gare and Hard clubs catering to the spectrum of house and techno, with a slight emphasis towards the harder sounds. RPMM intend to utilise all of the city's venues, as well as the best Portuguese talent joining international acts such as Âme, Darius Syrossian, Damian Lazarus and the Ancient Moons, Francesca Lombardo, Guy Gerber and Matthew Dear.

Whilst final details are yet to be revealed, we expect RPMM will be making full use not only of the city's network of clubs but also riverside locations, under the Dom Luís I Bridge (which traverses the River Douro and links Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia) and offer breathtaking views up and down the valley. As a result, RPMM has caught our attention as a festival which offers a rare opportunity to take in the whole of a city under a 'festival experience'.

We had the chance to talk to the Director, Mario Matos, about the journey RPMM has been on so far, and the challenges of creating a new festival from scratch.

                                                                      Mario Matos and Michael Eavis (founder of Glastonbury) 

Can you start by giving us some background information on the festival?

Mario: RPMM stands for representing music people and our ethos is to host an event that will create a platform where influential, relevant and international artists can tap into new up and coming talent in the host city! In this case Porto in Portugal.

The inspiration behind the project came from my extremely talented group of friends and my desire to expose that talent to as many people as possible. At the same time sharing a bit about my creative vision and passion for life and good times.

How did RPMM start and what is your involvement in it?

In all honesty, I started it the moment I took my first breath. Most of us spend our lives trying to figure out what our purpose is or where we fit into society.

I found my centre when I was 10 years old. That meant that from a young age I knew how lucky I was to get to experience life in this realm and I slowly, but surely, becoming aware that there's something magical about having a big dream. Especially when it is more than just yourself that will benefit from the fruition.

I am the brainchild of this project, but it was only made possible by the people that inspired it and are still a part of its journey.

There are so many new festivals popping up, what makes RPMM unique?

Mario: We are one of the few inner city multi-venue festivals coming up. I am proud and humbled to be given the opportunity to host RPMM in such a historical and amazing city.

What is your favourite part of the festival? Without giving away too much..

Mario: Well this is an easy question to answer. The city of Porto and the main historical festival's site. Plus the official Sunday after party venue! You will not be disappointed.

What challenges have you faced whilst producing the festival? 

Mario: Like most new projects the biggest challenge is to get people to back you, but that's also the best bit! If you stay focused and put in the work, then the right backers will come out to play! 

Were logistics difficult with Porto being a UNESCO site?

Mario: One thing about Portuguese people is that if you put your point across in a professional manner and highlight the benefits to all parties concerned, they will endeavour to work with you and accommodate your needs as best they can.

On that note, a big thank you to Andrea Santos, who looked after us in the early days before the legend that is Felipe Santos took over. (By the way, they are not related they just share the same surname).

How did you go about selecting the venues throughout the city?

Mario: We wanted to make sure that we started our year by being inclusive. With help from our local partner, member of the family and sponsor, Vitor Magalhaes (who is born and bred in the city). He set about introducing RPMM to the key players in the night culture in Porto, thus in phase 2, we will have some exciting news.

What is RPMM’s ethos?

Mario: Our ethos is to grow a movement driven by our shared values of equality, to pursue new talent and to entertain.

We have to be the change we want to see in the world today to quote a great human. Mahātmā Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

What is the music scene like in Porto? Are there many local talents?

Mario: Porto and Portugal have a great music scene which is often overlooked.  I hope RPMM will offer them a bigger platform in which the Portuguese female and male artists can showcase their talent.

You have a lot of big brands joining you, is there a lot of pressure to get results?

Mario:  We have a great national media partner in the radio station Antena 3 and we are currently in super positive, advanced talks with other Portuguese partners. With international brands, there is no real pressure as everyone is like-minded and forward thinking.

How did you choose the lineup of artists?

Mario: We have a great music director, Ashley Wild, along with our core team that includes Milanka, our Portuguese operations director, Jonny TV our creative director. Together they have shortlisted artists that will be perfect for our amazing daytime location.

With Jonny TV joining you there must be a lot of installations at the festival? Is art a big part of your project?

Mario: 100% and we are already planning 2019 and beyond!! 


To buy tickets for RPMM Festival click here


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