Red Bull Music Academy and Red Bull Radio will end in their current form in 2019.
Employees of RBMA and Red Bull Radio, as well as other music staff within the parent Red Bull company, were informed of the decision last week, three sources told Resident Advisor. Both entities will close on October 31st. RBMA and Red Bull Radio are run by Red Bull, with the consulting firm Yadastar managing the creative and curatorial sides of both projects.
The company will remain involved in music. Red Bull Music (which has no affiliation to Yadastar) will continue, but it will be operated by Red Bull in specific territories. Red Bull Music Festival—separate from RBMA—is scheduled to hold two editions in New York and Tokyo this spring.
Red Bull provided the following statement to RA:
After 20 years of supporting artists worldwide with its music program in a rapidly changing world, Red Bull will maintain its purpose of providing a global platform to promote creativity—but it is changing the means of delivery. Red Bull will be moving away from a strongly centralized approach, will gradually phase out the existing structure and will implement a new setup which empowers existing Red Bull country teams and utilizes local expertise. Red Bull will continue to explore new ways to support promising and cutting-edge artists wherever they may be.It is unknown how many jobs will be lost, and Red Bull did not comment on that figure when asked.
RBMA was cofounded by Torsten Schmidt and Many Ameri in 1998. Since then, RBMA has toured the world, hosting lectures, workshops, parties and concerts across the globe, while also running a daily online music publication. The most recent academy—its 20th anniversary—took place in Berlin in 2018. In addition to lectures with the likes of Brian Eno, Frankie Knuckles and Jeff Mills, RBMA gave participants access to high-end equipment, instruments and studios.
Notable alumni of the programme include Nina Kraviz, Objekt, Flying Lotus, Octo Octa, Courtesy, Black Coffee, Sonja Moonear, Palms Trax, Fatima, Violet, Marie Davidson, Mumdance, Nightwave, Krystal Klear, Lafawndah, Mano Le Tough, VTSS, Lucrecia Dalt, Flava D, Axel Boman, Tokimonsta, Dorian Concept, Akiko Kiyama, Sassy J and Hudson Mohawke, while guest lecturers include D'Angelo, Björk, "Mad" Mike Banks, Iggy Pop, Storm, Sheila E, Pearson Sound, Moodymann, Questlove, Goldie, Isao Tomita, Hugh Masekela and Laurent Garnier.
The Red Bull Radio website states that it "broadcasts handpicked music and in-depth interviews with influential artists from around the world," adding: "Deeply involved with their local scenes in 102 countries, our network of choice broadcasters, influential artists, journalists, and alumni obsessively dig up interesting sounds for truly adventurous audiences."
Update: Yadastar has posted a statement to Twitter, saying, "Yadastar and Red Bull have mutually agreed to part ways at the end of October 2019." Read the complete statement:
This post has been updated to reflect new information.