Panchita Bar in Mexico: A small music venue and restaurant from Alfonso Muriedas
Panchita Bar in Mexico: A small music venue and restaurant from Alfonso Muriedas.

‘Stay focused on your work and the true reason why you are doing it.’

Our British Council Mexico team caught up with music consultant Alfonso Muriedas, to see how he is coping during lockdown.

Tell us about your work and practice

I work as a consultant for music festivals specifically in music programming and talent booking. Alongside that I have developed an annual music conference focused on Latin America independent music. And recently (from mid 2019) I opened a small music venue and restaurant in the middle of a Mexican cloud forest in Veracruz. 

How has Covid-19 affected your daily working routine?

Well the music festivals, music conference and the small venue all came to a complete stand still. The only project that continued and became pretty active was the forest restaurant as we got involved in several community based projects and actions that kept us busy.

What has been most challenging?

To have the patience and wait for the right moment to start developing projects and ideas again. I think it’s a stressful situation for everybody in the music business, we needed to slow down for a bit to have time to go deep and think about the fragility of the structure we were in and to look to the future. We want to try and build a stronger, more horizontal and collaborative music industry.

What has been most surprising?

How easy all of the big companies, festivals and monopolies in the music business in Mexico fell down so fast and strongly. The bigger the infrastructure the more vulnerable they were against a global crisis. 

What innovative ways have you seen artists and arts organisations adapt the way they work to cope with the pandemic in your country?

I think the last few months were not the time for innovation, it was a time to stop and reflect for artists and organisations and take a much needed break in their endless innovation seeking process. There were lots of trials at live streaming festivals and digital gatherings but I guess with not much success at all. On the positive side I truly believe that this down time and introspective period will pass, and in 2021 innovation will be on our side and brilliant projects and ideas will be popping out from everywhere. 

Could you recommend 3 artists in your country that we should check out?

Tajak, Mabe Fratti and Mynue.

What one piece of advice would you give other artists in this difficult and uncertain time?

Stay focused on your work and the true reason why you are doing it. It's time to improve and look for deeper meaning in our practices. It's fine to not be looking for the spotlight all the time, we were spending too much time on that before. 

When everything returns to normal what will be the first cultural experience you will seek out?

A new one that didn't exist prior to this pandemic and emerged from this global experience. Not sure what it will look like now, but pretty excited to find out soon.

Want to know more about the work of Alfonso Muriedas? 

 Worried about Covid-19 and your practice? We've pulled together the latest advice, funding, resources, and tips from across the sector for staying creative.