Midem Conference to Return in 2023

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The Midem conference, which ran for 55 years before its owner canceled the 2022 edition, will return in 2023, according to a report in Music Business Worldwide.

While the 2022 event was officially canceled by Reed Midem in December, it was reported at the time that the city of Cannes, which has hosted the event since its inception, would take it over, and that appears to be the case: according to the report, the Midem brand was recently sold to the City of Cannes Municipality by RX France, Reed Midem’s parent company.

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“In order to rediscover this emblematic event on the Cannes calendar, the City of Cannes is taking over the Midem so that it once again becomes the essential meeting place for music professionals from all over the world,” said the city’s mayor, David Lisnard, in a statement cited by MBW. “Maintaining this show in Cannes represents an economic challenge for local employment and attractiveness for the destination.”

Lisnard said the city consulted with “several professionals” representing the French and global musical businesses, including major and independent record labels, concert promoters, streaming platforms and others “in order to offer a qualitative program [for Midem] that is as close as possible to the realities and developments in the [music] sector.”

The city’s statement added that “the health crisis, as well as the reorganization of the activity of the RX company led [the firm] to give up the organization of Midem.”

The conference launched in Cannes in 1967 and for decades was a showcase for the world’s biggest artists and executives. However, attendance began to wane over the past couple of decades — its most recent in-person event, in 2019, drew around 5,000 attendees, down from 10,000 in 2001 — and the pandemic forced the last two events to be held virtually.

While the company made efforts to modernize itself to combat falling attendance in recent years — launching events based on Africa and Latin America, and even moved its traditional time frame from chilly late January to balmy early June — the numbers remained relatively steady, between 4,000-5,000 attendees, presumably a large number of which were comped as panelists or moderators for the hundreds of panels, keynotes and discussions that took place at the conference.

In his comments this week, Lisnard added that the conference will be “reborn to adapt to changes in the recording industry” in a way that “will give pride of place to technological innovations” and “strive to strengthen the cultural dimension” of the event.

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