The Red Bull Music Academy is a world-travelling series of music workshops and festivals: a platform for those who make a difference in today’s musical landscape.

 

 

Two groups of 30 selected participants – producers, vocalists, DJs, instrumentalists and all-round musical mavericks from around the world – come together in a new city each year for two weeks worth of recording sessions, lectures by musical luminaries, collaborations and performances in the city’s best clubs and music halls. If you can imagine a place that’s equal parts science lab, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and Kraftwerk’s home studio, you’re halfway there.

The Academy began back in 1998, and has been traversing the globe since: from Berlin to Cape Town, São Paulo, Barcelona, London, Toronto, New York and beyond. In 2015, the Academy is being held in Paris, France.

In addition to the yearly event, the Academy does a number of other things: We have an online radio station, RBMA Radio, where you can tune into literally thousands of interviews, mixes, feature documentaries, artist-curated playlists, and live recordings from some of the best festivals and clubs in the world. We publish an online magazine that documents the untold stories of the music - new and old - that inspires us.

We also pop up for club nights, concerts, radio broadcasts, workshops and curated stages at top-flight festivals around the globe like Sónar, Mutek, Movement and Montreux Jazz. Further, we hold local workshop sessions in disparate localels, ranging from one-day lecture events to full-fledged mini-Academies over multiple days. Head to our events page to keep an eye on what's in store next.


Learn about previous Academy editions >
Listen to RBMA Radio >
Read RBMA's online magazine >
Check out upcoming events >
Read our FAQ >

 

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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When and where is the 2015 Academy?

The Academy will be setting up shop in Paris, France from October 25 to November 27 in 2015. There are two terms during the Academy, each with 30 selected participants.

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How do I apply for the Academy?

All applicants need to fill in an extensive questionnaire ranging from nerd standards to personal philosophies to purely technical junk. Every application must be submitted with an accompanying audio CD (this means playable in a regular boombox). If you're planning to showcase your songwriting skills, production prowess or flair for arrangement, choose a selection of your own tracks that you're feeling the most. If you've been ruling the floors with your DJ sets, or sailing the airwaves with your radio show, send us a mix. Just make sure you choose something entertaining and meaningful, something that will give us an idea of where you’re at right now. There is no set length we are looking for; in fact, shorter is sometimes better.

Unfortunately applications for the 2015 Red Bull Music Academy are now closed.

Any more questions? You might want to take a look at this tutorial video.

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Who can apply for the Academy?

The Academy is intended for anyone with a strong yen for music and a desire to be involved in its evolution. Whether you’re a producer, vocalist, instrumentalist, beat-maker, engineer, songwriter or DJ, you will be considered.

To join this journey, you don’t need to be able to compose a fugue for Juno-60, list the entire No Limit catalog backwards or know how to disassemble an SP-1200 using only a dime and a toothpick. What we’re looking for is a passion for learning and sharing, enthusiasm for music across genres and a truly global, open-minded outlook.

 

 

 

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What does a day at the Academy look like?

While there is really no such thing as a ‘typical’ day at the Academy, there are a few regular happenings. Each day, two iconic guests settle on our infamous lecture couch to spill the beans on production topics, music history and personal stories – and to answer all those questions you never found the right moment to ask. From Erykah Badu to Philip Glass, Q-Tip to James Murphy, Brian Eno to Mannie Fresh, this is where you get music wisdom straight from the horse’s mouth. You can watch hundreds of lecture sessions in our video archive.

In between lectures, you will have the chance to collaborate with other participants from all around the world in custom-built studios featuring an array of synths, drum machines, workstations and live instruments. You can listen to some of the music that has been created at previous editions of the Red Bull Music Academy here.

At night, the Academy opens up to the host city with special signature concerts and club events. This is your chance to dive deep into the local music scene – and hit the stage with some of those who have shaped today’s music. The result is an exchange of inspiration that is as unpredictable as it is hard to define. Ideas are bounced around 24/7, refreshing new sounds emerge and true bonds are forged beyond music.

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What happens if I'm selected?

For all successful applicants, the workshops and sessions are free (and open only to selected participants). The Red Bull Music Academy also covers flights and accommodation costs.

The Academy doesn't give out certificates or sponsor artists. It's not about getting ‘discovered’ by a record label or learning how to ‘make it’ in the industry. We offer you a unique experience – one you're likely to never forget – filled to the brim with the inspiration you need to keep making the music that moves you.

Red Bull generally has no interest in using any of the music created at the Academy for anything other than Academy matters, and doesn't obtain copyrights for any of your work. Creativity is the only currency here. Music is what we live and stand for.

 

 

 

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What happens during the rest of the year?

In addition to our annual main event, the Academy traverses the globe all year long, popping up for club nights, concerts, radio broadcasts, workshops and curated stages at top-flight festivals such as Sónar, Mutek, Movement, Montreux Jazz and many others.

For further flavour, we hold local workshop sessions in disparate locales throughout the year, ranging from one-day lecture events to full-fledged mini-Academies over multiple days. Head here to keep an eye on what’s in store next.

For your daily dose of new music, you can also visit RBMA Radio and tune in to literally thousands of interviews, mixes, feature documentaries, artist-curated playlists and live recordings from some of the best festivals and clubs in the world. Head to our online magazine for coverage of the most interesting sounds and artists operating.

Also, subscribe to our newsletter for the latest and greatest from the Academy. We only send good stuff. We promise.

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Who is behind the Red Bull Music Academy?

The people who have been running the Academy since 1998 are committed music lovers just like you. They're journalists whose love for music led them to feature writing instead of navel gazing. Label heads who started putting out music to further their home town scenes. People who hail from different points on the globe, but all honour and respect the spectrum.

The Red Bull Music Academy is not a sponsored event, but a long-term music initiative, committed to fostering creative exchange amongst those who have made and continue to make a difference in the world of sound. Local Red Bull Music Academy representatives are available to answer any of your questions, and will also take care of your travel logistics if you're invited. Find a list of contacts here.
 

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Still got questions?

Drop us a line anytime.

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