Fifth Harmony, out on their first major South American tour, hit a small snafu Sunday when their Buenos Aires, Argentina, venue Luna Park canceled the group’s show 24 hours before curtain time. Show promoter MOVE Concerts quickly regrouped and moved the show to the DirectTV Arena, where they accepted all tickets purchased for the Luna Park show.
The venue change was merely a blip in a well-crafted tour that is slowly but surely building on Fifth Harmony’s growing Latin American appeal, taking them to Peru (June 22), Chile (June 24), Argentina (June 25) and, most prominently, Brazil, where they’ll play shows in five cities.
“They’ve been stronger than we projected,” admits MOVE Concerts CEO Phil Rodriguez, who first brought Fifth Harmony to Latin America in 2014, when they played the Z Festival in Sao Paulo and Brasilia. At that point, the group wasn’t even the festival opener; Austin Mahone was. Less than two years later, Fifth Harmony is almost selling out arenas.
“Sao Palo and Rio blew up immediately,” Rodriguez says. “They sold out in two, three days. In Chile, we originally put out 4,000 tickets [at Arena Movistar] and had to double the capacity.”
The tour was built on the success of those 2014 Brazilian dates, coupled with Sony’s push behind “Work From Home.”
Lima, Santiago and Buenos Aires were all brand-new markets for Fifth Harmony, as will be the Brazilian cities of Curitiba and Porto Alegre. To date, four out of eight Fifth Harmony shows are sell-outs, with most of them taking place at venues with a capacity of 4,500 to 5,500, except for Chile and Sao Paulo (7,500).
And while the quick sales did surprise Rodriguez, overall he expected good results.
“South America has always been a strong adolescent market,” says Rodriguez, who recently presented shows by Justin Bieber. In Argentina, for example, one of the strongest radio stations in the market is Radio Disney.
Beyond mainstream media, Fifth Harmony is an almost permanent Twitter trending topic in every market they touch. By 3 p.m. on Monday (June 27), for example, #5HnoBrasil (Fifth Harmony in Brazil), was the country’s top trending topic, with over half a million tweets. #Welcometobrazilcamila -- in reference to 5H's Camila Cabello -- was also a trending topic, albeit a far more modest one (over 10,000 mentions).
“Fifth Harmony is a classic case of an artist investing in the region and having management, agency, label and promoter work together to grow their market,” says Rodriguez.