In Conversation with Ariana Diaz

Where abouts are you right now?

In Barcelona, slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are you working on?

I run Good2b, a lifestyle magazine that also works as a communication agency, mainly focused on music, gastronomy and lifestyle. I also work as a vinyl selector every now and then. Good2b is based in Barcelona but working worldwide, having local clients such as Soundit or Swab, but also international ones like DGTL, Pioneer Dj or Boa-Bao.

What’s the feeling amongst the Spanish events industry about the future?

What has happened to the event industry is super sad, but also gives us a minute to realize that there was way too much of everything. I have a feeling that just the things that have been made from the bottom of the heart and with a loyal and strong purpose will survive the pandemic. There were too many people trying to make money for the sake of it and the new reality will make us rethink the way things are done.

Tickets, artist fees, the number of parties and new festivals was all getting mad. Events for 800 people with security and social distancing have been approved for this summer in Spain, but it doesn’t make sense for festival goers who want to experience music while dancing in a crowd. So, we’ll need to wait longer to get into the regular festival life again and we’ll need to fight stronger than ever to see how all the people involved in the music industry will survive.  We will definitely need the support of all the music lovers, and still need to find the right ways to do make this happen.

The crisis and the measures that will need to be taken will act as a kind of natural selection, in which just events that have a lot of engagement will be able to survive. This probably means super big events will keep on going – international festivals such as Sónar or Primavera Sound, and clubs like Nitsa and Razzmatazz – but also small ones that take you through a completely different experience. I think people will feel safer in this kind of tiny format, and they’ll feel the money they’re spending is worth the experience.

What has lockdown made you miss more than anything?

I guess live music and fine dining. The first part was replaced with my large vinyl collection; I hardly had time to listen to all my records before the pandemic and I really enjoyed getting to do it. To substitute the second one, I just had to improve my cooking skills. I wasn’t aware of it, but it turns out I’m a pretty good cook! Anyway, I can’t wait to go to a live concert (festivals are still far away in the horizon) and go out for dinner. I already made a reservation in one of my favourite restaurants in town

Why do you do what you do in the first place?

My PR and Communications agency has two main specialities; music and gastronomy. These happen to be my favourite hobbies, so I made them the focus of my work. Thing is, it doesn’t really feel like working, but my hobbies now take over most of my life. Dangerous choice?  Maybe, but I guess I’d die of boredom otherwise!  Working on my passions is something I definitely feel lucky for.

What’s the best job decision you ever made?

For several years, I worked at home and all my employees used to come over. It felt cosy for a while but wasn’t really healthy not to be able to take a break. Moving out was a relief, but it was also hard, because it prompted a change to my routine, as well as my employees’. It was a difficult time but I’ve ended up with a more efficient way of working and living.

What are your daily work habits?

While the super strict quarantine was going on, I was getting up at 8am, doing some meditation and yoga, had a shower, then I’d start working, always wearing outdoor clothes, never my pyjamas. I’d take a break to cook while listening to some records then worked some more. In the afternoon I’d do some kind of cardio workout to feel good again and I’d end up watching some series or reading articles and books. I tried to search for stuff to read, either work or future-related, that enlightened me and helped me find out how to keep on going with my business.

Weekends tended to involve some HouseParty with friends while tasting delivery wines I was keen to try. I got even more into the natural wine thing. Oh, and I tried to have a weekly selector set through IG for my friends! Now things are getting a bit more busy but I’m super happy about being able to exercise outdoors again; running, riding my bike, paddle surfing, skating. I appreciate the outdoor life so much that I even wake up earlier than before the virus to walk in the sunshine and get a workout done.

Before all this happened, I also tried to have a routine, but the nature of my work is a constant surprise. You have to go to lots of lunch meetings, events and end up working weekends, so it’s important to have some structure in the messy life that is the music industry. Pretty sure quarantine has taught me some nice tricks to get through it!

What would your dream project or collaboration be?

I’d love to have the chance to work with an international artist with a proper budget to devote myself to the campaign 100%, and be able to get super big pieces all over the news.  Also, I must admit I’d love Dekmantel having a Barcelona edition, as they have in Brazil, and being the PR agency. That would be a dream job!

Where are you most happy?

Even though I love my work, I’m most happy while traveling. Trips are a source of inspiration and they’re what keep me going.  Travelling to remote places gives me insights that I can come back home and apply to my everyday life and work. That’s probably what I’ve missed the most recently, but being able to go to the beach since lockdown is giving me enough fresh air to keep on going, and stay mentally healthy. Also, most of my vinyl collection comes from trips all over the world. Wax is my favourite souvenir!

What’s something you’re really into right now?

A new project my agency Good2b started working on: Masks For Music. As we all know, the music industry has been shocked by the global pandemic. The financial pressure is being felt across the industry due to the global crisis and there’s no quick solution, due to the restrictions on large gatherings. The Masks For Music project has been created to offer direct support to artists, labels, clubs, festivals, live venues, festivals or any professions related to the music industry.

The goal is to raise awareness of the impact on the music and live event industries, while providing a solution to the specific ongoing public need for protection against the spread of infectious diseases, and keeping money within the industry. The process is pretty simple; any of the entities can buy a link with a certain number of masks which they can sell amongst their followings. For every package sold, 50% of the sales goes to the referrer, 10% is donated to a charitable partner (related to the music industry), 21% covers packaging and production costs of the physical product and 19% is to cover operating costs.

What’s the last picture you took on your phone?

I’ve often been checking pictures from my trips all over the world. I feel happy and grateful I’ve been able to discover these places, meet amazing people and learn a lot from each trip. Also, I’ve been regularly checking photos on my phone related to friends and fun, usually festival or event related (sigh).

Who would you most like to share a meal with?

When I get questions like this, people who are not amongst us anymore are the ones that come to my mind, as I know it won’t happen anymore and they’re kind of unobtainable (the rest will be doable, sooner or later). I’d have loved to share a meal with Tony Pike, as I’ve been told he was a good story teller.  I’m pretty sure he would have taught me how to live life to the fullest and go through bad times without allowing anyone or anything to stop you. Otherwise I’ve always been really curious about how Prince was, he had this kind of aura that made it impossible to understand his personality. Pretty sure a meal with Prince would have been a lesson of enlightenment and inspiration.