Striving to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Music.
(Part 1)

Mauricio Lizarazo Prada / Music producer and event organizer

Raising Social Awareness of the Environment Through Music Events.

Music producer and event organizer Mauricio Lizarazo Prada believes that all music events can and must be good for the environment. Back in his teens, Lizarazo Prada was deeply inspired by Paul McCartney at a live concert back in 1993. Year by year, the experience evolved into an enduring commitment to “sustainable music.” Lizarazo Prada told us about his journey to spread the joys of sustainable music with the world.

Paul McCartney’s concert was an awakening.

I have been a lover of music for all of my life. When I was 17, a concert by Paul McCartney in the U.S. changed my life. The perfect staging, minute attention to detail, and vastness of the venue left me dumbstruck. Though Paul on stage was no more than a speck to the naked eye, enormous projection screens all over the stadium spread the thrill and energy of the moment. The experience of the live event was so much more than what I would have felt listening to the music on a CD.

Apart from the staging, I was also impressed by the catering services. Normally, you’d expect things like burgers and hotdogs at a stadium concert. Paul McCartney provided exclusively vegetarian options, like sandwiches, salads, and pretzels. Paul’s food offerings, together with his song against animal experimentation and reputation as an environmental activist, got me to thinking about the issues Paul was raising. The experience was formative.

Mauricio (right) playing the guitar at the music festival Cuahuxialli, held in the Colombian capital of Bogota, 1994. He started playing in a band when he was a teenager.

I saw my future in the music world.

I went to high school in the U.S., returned to Colombia to start my university studies and later move to Germany to continue and obtain my undergrad degree. Music had always been a precious part of my life, wherever I lived, both as a listener and as a creator with my guitar. In time, music came to outweigh everything else in my world. It finally happened in my late twenties. Driven by a growing urge to become a creator, I left my first-ever full-time job at a chemical company to move to Berlin and join a Latino-alternative band halfway across the world where I was born. Though I started out as a guitarist, I quickly took on the roles of band manager and public relations person, which brought me firsthand experience as a music producer.

Not long afterwards I created Pachamama Culture, a music event production platform for promoting our band as well as producing music events. Pachamama Culture had quite a good start: before we knew it, we were even involved in organizing the latin-alternative floor at the Fusion Festival, one of Germany’s most prestigious music events. All the while, however, I was held back by my undeveloped skills as a music producer. The next logical step, I decided, both for me and Pachamama Culture, was to develop those skills. Over the next three years I intensively studied the music business in a Master’s course at New York University. I then returned to Berlin to resume my venture at Pachamama Culture.

In 2005, Mauricio took part in organizing the latin-alternative floor at the Fusion Festival, a German music event that started in 1997. Preparations commenced several months before the event, starting with building a main concept. In the photo, the organizing group is taking down the staging set from the previous year.

Berlin as a backdrop to the new concept of “sustainable music.”

With my Master’s degree from New York University under my belt, I started working with small live music events. My chief concern for every event was to come up with the best venue for the musicians and the best arrangements for the audiences. The events thrived through this approach, attracting new people from far afield through word-of-mouth. Month by month, bigger opportunities presented themselves. At last I was managing large-scale live-music events and organizing tours for recognized artists.

Pachamama Culture is very selective about the artists it produces and is highly motivated to deliver quality live music events. We especially appreciate environmentally aware artists who are committed to spreading their awareness through their music. Sustainability is a formative concept for today’s Berlin. As denizens of Berlin, we have developed our approach to event production around the concept of sustainability organically. As Sir Paul McCartney once showed me decades ago, a music event can be medium for broadcasting positive messages out to society. At Pachamama Culture we are growing the concept of sustainable music into a reality.

At Columbia Club in Berlin, 2004.

Read the Part 2

Mauricio Lizarazo Prada / Music producer and event organizer
The Colombian-born Lizarazo Prada produces music groups and events mainly in Berlin, Germany. Lizarazo Prada strives to realize “sustainable music” with a strong commitment to environmental and economical issues.

Interview Date:

Recommended Stories