Monday, February 5, 2007

Music industry gathered at Midem in Cannes

The annual Midem music tradeshow was held in Cannes between January 20th and 25th. I had already spent three days in the south of Sweden attending a quarterly team meeting in Ystad and an annual kickoff meeting in Malmö with our product business unit. I arrived to Cannes-Palace Hotel late on Friday night January 19th but only half my luggage arrived at the same time… A few of my colleagues were sitting in the lobby loading their Walkman phones with music and videos so we sat up talking.

After a few hours sleep we took a nice walk along the boardwalk to Palais des Festivals where the MidemNet conference was held.

Midem attracts more than 120 exhibiting companies and 10,000 music professionals from almost 100 countries and from all sectors of the music value chain - recording, publishing, digital and mobile industry. They all meet at Midem to make deals, network, learn, and check out hot new talent. NRJ Music Awards was held at Palais des Festivals on the Saturday night and drew large crowds of fans who waited outside the Palais, the Carlton and the Noga Hilton to get a glimpse of various celebrities.

The MidemNet conference had some interesting panel discussions and case studies presented. My company had a booth in the Riviera Hall and our President was interviewed in a form of keynote address during MidemNet (read article and see some photos here). I was at the show for press briefings but got some time off the last day to walk around the show floor. After a few hours I had a whole bag full of new CD’s which I hope will expand my horizons a little bit – everything from Japanese traditional music to Cuban son (hooray!), rock from Lithuania to some small island close to Mauritius (a friend of mine, Vinay, is from Mauritius, so this caught my interest). Various publishers, record labels and independent artists were at Midem passing out CD’s with the aim of licensing their music to others in the music industry. Mobile music is definitely on the rise and everyone wanted to talk to Sony Ericsson.

There were parties every night at the Majestic, at Pias Bar on Majestic Beach (see photo below from the first night when I was there with my boss and our PR agency rep - yes, the first couple of nights, it was actually warm enough to walk around in short sleeves while the last night in Cannes it was all of a sudden hailing!) and there were concerts held at Hotel Martinez with bands from various countries.

I went to nice dinners every night but my favorite restaurant was without doubt Le 7ème Art on Rue des Frères Pradignac, which served the most exquisite tagliatelle with a creamy sauce based on French delicacy mushrooms called morilles. This was so good I went back there the last night again with a couple of really nice French merchandisers that had been working in our booth, and I ordered the same pasta dish.

We then went to the Midem closing party at Martinez, dancing and having fun until the wee hours, which meant I basically got no sleep since I had to do last minute packing before leaving for a New York flight from the Nice airport early in the morning. It’s amazing how you can immediately bond with and have so much fun with people you only get to know briefly when traveling. I already miss Pierre and Arnaud (see photo to the right), my two French cavaliers who showed me the best of the nightlife at the French Riviera. :-)

Video interviews
  • Direct 8 (French TV channel) reports from Midem in Cannes, January 29, 2007

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