Muzix totally transformed the Greek Campus this past weekend. With amazing sounds and informative, engaging discussions, the industry got a much needed boost, while raising the bar on festival standards in Egypt. Find out what you missed and what the industry won't soon forget.
This past weekend the Greek Campus hosted the Muzix expo. This one-of-a-kind event was a fusion of musical acts, educational talks, and discussions about the information relevant to the music industry, in addition to being the place to pick up the latest musical gear available Egypt. The event itself was a breath of fresh air, both in the way it was organised and its diverse programming, with a variety of highlights. For those who failed to show up, here's what you regrettably missed.
Industry conferences are not new, neither are music festivals, but an expo filled with the latest gear in Egypt is. Merging all three is a tall task, however expertly handled by those in charge, as this first of its kind regional event raised the bar for anyone looking to follow suit. When we arrived we were taken back by the strategic lay out of the event that made it easy to visit the expo, the talks, and most importantly, the stage. In the Greek Campus courtyard stood a professional stage set-up, complete with lights and plenty of sound equipment to ensure a beautifully sounding weekend.
At first it seemed somewhat bland with little branding on stage and with artists performing during the day in front of a massive gray backdrop. However, when the sun set this grey backdrop sprung to life, becoming a colourful setting for creative visual projections that made every evening performance a high definition multimedia production.
It was easily one of the best stage set ups we have seen at arguably any Egyptian music event, that oddly, did not draw out as massive a crowd as we had expected. given the highly impressive musical acts and set-up. That isn’t to say that there weren’t great acts to catch, as musical highlights ranged from the awe-inspiring performance by Nour Wel Amal, an orchestra made up of talented blind women, to the comedic styling of High on Body Fat. Trying to pick an absolute favourite would be too difficult as all acts shined on the impressive stage including; an experimental collaboration between Young Pharoz and Funky Pharaoh called El Pharoz, and underground Electro Power Ranger, Teknyk.
Venturing into Muzix Educational hall was an academic course all on itself. Some talks and discussion were better attended then others, however all provided unique insight into the music industry. Furthermore, what was very evident was that a majority of the people attending the lectures were themselves in the industry. Mohamed Sakr's sound mastering workshop definitely stands out - almost everyone in the room seemed to be a sound engineer - and instead of being a straightforward lecture, became a highly interesting discussion amongst experts in the field about different techniques.
The same thing happened when legendary award winning film composer Hisham Nazih, shared his tricks of the trade. A true professional with a clear understanding of his craft, Nazih was one of the highlights, as he explained how to visualise music for film, often opening questions to many film composers attending the talk. Aside from professionals giving hard to find advice, there was also a series of debates like ‘Are DJs Musicians’, which were highly entertaining no matter what side of the debate you are on, tackling issues rampant in today's industry.
When something wasn't happening on one of the stages, attendees could be found at Muzix Expo hall. As soon as one stepped into the Expo, it felt like being transported out of Egypt, as a music expo is a rare site to find in these parts. With dozens of booths, the former AUC library was totally transformed with a smorgasbord of musical toys to play with. Aside from getting to play with almost all the toys on display, the highlight of the Expo was the impromptu jam sessions that transpired between booths, with various musicians showcasing their talents and playing off one another in attempt to reach musical bliss.
There were several musical moments that will remain memorable for many who attended. However; for any debut event of this scale and scope, comes the expectation of a modest turnout. Coupled with multiple events happening at the same time, and a massive campus to fill, it appeared that the overall turnout wasn't as huge as one would have thought, but in actuality was a great start to a musical event that has the potential to build exponentially with each passing year. From an outsider point of view, Muzix was very successful at attracting people actually in the music industry, who enjoyed the vibe and positive atmosphere that was felt throughout the weekend. The shortcomings seemed to be perhaps that several massive events were happening on the same weekend, essentially splitting focus. Perhaps, it was Muzix's ambition to provide something for everybody in the industry. Despite a staggering the line up between musical acts, panel discussions, and an expo, the audience seemed to be divided between events, making the sizable audience look smaller than it actually was.
Often the problems with massive events are an oversight of minute details that become major problems during the event. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case as Muzix, it was carefully organised and provided an entertaining and educational program. The good news is that this event was successful in its debut and already plans are being discussed to follow it up sometime next year. Any festival in the world will always start off small, but with strategic planning often balloon to massive scales. Hopefully, when and if Muzix returns, there will be a clear boost in attendance, as this event was full of industry leaders, who had plenty of positive things to say and will likely spread the word in the future that Muzix is a special rare happening that no music lover should miss.
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