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Persival Producciones Medellin
Columbia – Persival Producciones is a rental and production company supplying sound, lighting, video, staging, rigging and backline, based in Medellin, the beautiful and pulsating second city of Colombia which sits in the stunning Aburrá Valley, a central region of the Andes Mountains.
Like many Colombian rental companies, they started primarily as an audio supplier, and a few years later realised that to keep competitive, they needed to invest in lighting and video to offer full production packages to their busy client base.
Persival is owned and run by Mauricio Agudelo. He explained that the lighting side of the business was steady but slower to take off than the audio side, until they purchased their first Robe Pointes in 2016.
Very shortly afterwards, the fortunes of the lighting department changed dramatically! He commented that there was “definite correlation” between getting the Pointes on board and the lighting division’s subsequent growth and success.
The first Pointes appeared in Colombia in 2014 when Andres Chamorro and his company Chamorro Iluminación bought a quantity for a Juanes tour for which Persival did the audio and staging.
They already had a competitor beam light onboard at the time, but they were super-impressed with what the small and truly multifunctional Pointes could do. Then it was a simple case of “we had to have them”.
He consulted with Guillermo Traverso, Robe’s regional sales manager for Latin America who helped facilitate AVCom’s first sale of Pointes to Persival which arrived in two batches, 32 initially which were rapidly followed by another 16, making 48 in total which offered a lot of scope for their shows.
It turned out to be a shrewd business decision; the Pointes were such a massive hit with the clients and lighting designers that people were almost falling over to get Persival’s fixtures onto their shows!
Following this, they bought Spiider wash beams and then BMFLs; their most recent purchase was 24 BMFL WashBeams earlier this year and they are looking at adding another 12.
“Around the time we purchased the Pointes we started seeing them appearing much more on international events like Estereo Picnic (Colombia’s biggest festival) where they were repeatedly being requested on tech specs, and at that time there was almost no Robe in Colombia, so we were able to do some great business,” he says with a glint in the eye and a degree of satisfaction of being an ‘early adopter’.
Mauricio comments: “Robe has proved to be everything we hoped: quality, well engineered and very flexible products, it’s been a great choice” and he adds that the support from AVcom Colombia, Robe’s Colombian distributor for the last 2 years, and also from Guillermo is “always excellent”.
The majority of Persival’s business is concerts, tours and music-based events for which they also provide design services or work with the artist’s LDs.
They also do all the most important fashion week event in Medellin, Colombia Moda, which this year featured an all-BMFL rig of 48 fixtures above the main show space runway.
Persival Producciones supplies full technical and production management for around 15 large stadium events each year for 50,000 plus people and another 40 shows a year for 3-4,000 in different arena sized venues in and around Medellin as well as Vallenato Legend Festival which is one of the country’s best-known multi-artist events.
Persival was founded in 1995. Mauricio was studying to be an actor but loved doing sound more than he did acting! In his down time, he started renting equipment and supplying PAs to parties, and it grew from there. The lighting division started back in 1998.
Their main speaker system brand is Meyer and they had the first Leo, Meyer’s flagship line array, in the country. There are currently 65 full time staff and their Tardis-like HQ office is in an attractive and charismatic hilly suburb in central Medellin.
Mauricio personally hires all the crew working for the company, and the idea is that they fully utilise their own staff to run the company and work in the gigs, only occasionally hiring freelancers. “We’ve found this to be the best working practice,” he asserts.
Mauricio clearly loves the industry and being part of it: “I live for challenges, and there’s nothing more satisfying than the end of a full-on stadium show, which thousands of people have enjoyed and you and the crew are packing the trucks and everyone is exhausted but knows they have worked hard and given their all to help deliver that great audience and artist experience.”
photo: Louise Stickland
22nd February 2019
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