Mexico-Based Music Companies Team Up for New Booking Agency

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Apodaca Group, TSM and Mano Booking join forces to create MATS, with a focus on producing major music events in the U.S.

A trio of Mexico-based entertainment companies -- Apodaca Group, TSM and Mano Booking -- have teamed up to launch the brand new booking agency, MATS.

With more than 40 years of combined experience in the live music industry as key players behind major Mexican festivals such as Pal’ Norte, Ceremonia and Trópico, and with clients such as Gera MX, Siddhartha and Caloncho, MATS will focus on the production and booking of concerts and festivals in the United States. It will also seek to "serve as a bridge so that foreign talent can access the U.S. market and artists in the U.S. can explore their possibilities in Latin America," according to a press release.

"The idea of starting something together has been with us for quite some time now," Diego Jiménez Labora, co-founder of MATS and TSM, tells Billboard. "It intensified at the beginning of the year as we started to see how the U.S. population was getting vaccinated and how the entertainment world was starting to come back to life. We then realized that all those conversations needed to become real, and we fastened the process."

The launch MATS comes at a strategic time when live events are slowly resuming again after the shut down caused by the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The biggest lesson learned this past year, says Jiménez Labora, is that "you need to be ready for anything. I think this is something most people in the entertainment industry knew before the pandemic but this was something that was not as easy to react to. I think as an industry, we are used to making these quick decisions and adapting in a quick manner, and these harsh situations help push creativity to new places so there’s a great deal of excitement ahead of us."

MATS has already booked tours for the fall in the U.S. including a solo trek for chart-topping artist Gera MX, who recently made Billboard chart history alongside Christian Nodal with "Botella Tras Botella." The track was the first regional Mexican title to enter the Hot 100 chart (dated May 8) in its almost 63-year history.  

"We have a strong presence in Mexico already consisting of big festivals and events," adds Jiménez Labora. "Our roster is very powerful and we have developed different platforms that can help push artists on both sides of the border."

The agency will be led by Oscar Flores Elizondo Jr. and Jesús Raymundo Flores Elizondo (co-founders of Apodaca Group); Diego Jiménez LaboraHugo Díaz Barreiro Olvera and Julián Velázquez “Morgan” (co-founders and A&R for Eco Live-TSM, respectively); José Luis Domínguez “Chelis, Abraham López and Santiago Álvarez (co-founders of Mano Booking), and Niria León as booking director for the United States.