MIDEM ’09: Day 1 – arrival in Cannes

I’m in Cannes for a few days, attending MIDEM – the international music industry conference. In between working, schmoozing, blagging and all the other stuff people do at this thing, I’ll be reproting here on whatever catches my attention. Just arrived, so let’s begin…

Sunday, 2.45pm(ish): Ah, well – I’m here. Sat in the Press Club in the Palais des Festivals, and it’s strangely overcast outside. This weather had better improve; I know I’m only here three days, but I’d expected it to be warmer and packed accordingly. Right now I’m wearing the hoodie I flew from London in – the warmest item of clothing I’ve brought!

I’m staying in an apartment in the Eden Paradise Hotel in Golf Juan, a few miles away from Cannes. Actually, it’s a hostel and I’ve booked a private room. It’s cheap and cheerful; concierge/manager guy’s extremely helpful, and the bus into Cannes and to the airport only costs one Euro (having said that, the last bus is at 8pm, so I reckon it’ll be 20 Euro taxis home each night, or maybe the train).

As usual with these things, the networking started back home on the way to France. It’s funny how you can just tell by looking at the other passengers who’s going and who isn’t. There’s the usual mixture of seasoned old grey blokes (the managers, CEOs etc who are making the real money in the music biz) and excited young guys (aspiring new artists about to be thrown to the wolves). I love watching the wildlife…

I’ve got about three different hats on this MIDEM. Apart from keeping you all informed via this blog/these notes (depending on where you’re reading this), I’ve got a couple of articles I’m writing – for UB1 and UKG Presents. Also looking for acts to interview for some other magazines (still waiting to hear whether The Bomb Squad are doing interviews or not). And then I’ve got my radio producer’s hat on, and will be scouring the place for all the African/World Music contacts and material I can find for the in-flight programme.

My first appointment’s in an hour’s time with Johnny Mendola – a guy Larissa Lam put me in touch with. This is his 15th MIDEM (it’s only my second; my first was in 1995). After we’re done, I’ll hit the exhibition area and do some networking, then at 6pm I’m off to the PRS/MCPS cocktail party. There aren’t any concerts on tonight that I’m particularly interested in, so I might just go home after that.

I’ve been looking at the bags we’ve all been given, and wondering what it tells us about the music industry. It’s got the MIDEM logo in a corner on the front, but then it’s got a great big Napster logo right in the middle. Then when you open it up, there are two labels. One’s the Fairtrade logo; the other one tells me that the bag’s made from “certified 100% organic cotton.” Hmm, let me see… “Hi! We’re the music industry! We’ve finally caught up with new technology – and we’re ethical too!”

Maybe I should just stop being so cynical…



  1. gabriel , drummer says:

    haha I loved your article!
    I’m In the Midem right now too! I’m looking for someone to play with and just listen to all this good international music. We can even meet up if you want to , I’m fifteen, and play in the Civ big band, which won a prize in the jazz festival in porretta (bologna).I play also in a quartet, as a vibraphone player,in a sympony orchestra, and in a percussion orchestra. I have won twice as first prize a national competition “CA PERCUTE A…” playing marimba (not much people know this instrument, however it is beautiful)
    I have also played in a rock Indie band , TLF,a reggae and a metal band for fun, which was very constructive, and i Gained a lot of experience thanks to this!
    I’m going tommorow to the british at midem, we can meet up there if you want, just as a contact!
    Thanks to you!
    best regards,
    Gabriel (bulgarian, not french)

    1. George Luke says:

      Hi Gabriel!

      Glad you liked it! Why don’t we meet up? You can find me at the Press Club on the first floor most of the time. Are you here until Wednesday?

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