Catching up with Caio Taborda of Xama Festival, Brazil
Welcome to Festival Insider's Organizer Q&A series. Here, we have intimate conversations with some of the festival market's most exciting and influential innovators.
Xama, a festival set on an idyllic beach in Brazil - quite literally paradise. Organized by São Paulo promoters, Gop Tun, and held around New Years Eve, we had the pleasure of catching up with Caio T to hear more about this unicorn of a festival...
What is your name and what is the name of your festival?
Hello, my name is Caio Taborda. I'm part of the Gop Tun crew and glad to be here to present to you guys a bit more about the festival which I organize, which is Xama.
When did the festival start and what inspired it?
Xama is a New Year's Eve festival that started three years ago to celebrate the Brazilians electronic independent music scene that has been around and also globally known for a few years.
When and where does it happen?
Basically, the festival happens in a beach club called Tikal. Tikal is a famous spot in the region that has been doing events for the past 10 years.
The venue is located in front of the beach Algodões. It faces the sea and has like an amazing lake in the back. As the place has a small cliff, you can see the sea in front of you while dancing in the grass looking to the stars, so it's a pretty magical place. The whole festival happens there - it is basically a piece of land and we use different scenarios of the place to do different events.
So we do censored radio shows in the lake, free beach parties close to the cliff, and also bigger rave parties as the New Year's Eve in another part of the venue. So the venue definitely has a great impact on the concept and the look and feel of the festival.
We also do boat parties. Normally, these party's final destination has a nice spot in the peninsula. So it's a small island, dive spots or even waterfalls. So not only the venue is special, but the place itself Península De Maraú is a pretty special place. It's surrounded with beautiful islands, beautiful beaches, nice restaurants - it's definitely a really cool destination.
What kind of musical artists play at your festival?
Xama does only local artists from scenes around Brazil, we focus mainly on electronic music. So during the nine, our nine days progress, we have DJs and also a few live shows happening.
Who is the target audience for your festival?
I think our audience are mainly people that somehow mix part and follow the scenes around the country. So we attract people from all around Brazil and also foreigners come to the festival I think maybe 90 to 95% of our crowd comes from Brazil.
What is unique about your festival? What sets it apart?
I think in the past two years, we made some unique and special achievements, first because Xama is one of the only festivals in the country focusing on music that has only locals playing during New Year's Eve, which is a very special occasion, a very special date for us Brazilians.
So it's really nice to put all the artists and punters together in the middle of paradise for nine days. As you have like a bunch of talented and like-minded people, knowing each other we see how this has brought the scene together and also made the special relations happening during these special days we spend at the end of the year.
What are some of the challenges you've faced in organizing your festival?
As a festival in a really remote place, we faced many challenges during the first two years. First of all, we know that we are close to a local community which we really want to support and to help. So we have some, Xama has this social impact in the region. It goes from like telling the kids how to preserve the local nature to help in some moments that the peninsula needed us as, for example, when we have the oil episode that happened here in Brazil and Algodões was also affected.
I think in the first year of the festival, we also faced a big challenge. We did this party on the top of a hill that was just approachable through tractors, so we brought like 1000 people to this place. In the end, it ended up good, but it was definitely a big challenge.
Of course, another huge challenge for us is the pandemic, Xama didn't happen this year.
We needed to cancel the festival and we know the impact of tourism that the festival has on the region. So we also had this donation campaign in order to raise donations for the locals that don't have the tourism happening there anymore.
Anything else you want to tell us about?
We know that we still have a long way ahead regarding the pandemic here in Brazil, but we are confident that we'll be able to make Xama 2022 at the end of this year, so I hope everyone is doing fine. Thanks, Festival Insider for the invitation and take care.