MIDEM Blames ‘Pirating Executives’ for Its Failing Music Conference…

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If you didn’t fly to the South of France for MIDEM this year, you weren’t alone.  But what about those that did fly down, but skipped the formal conference while dealmaking at parties and cafes in Cannes?  Well, maybe you’re also downloading discographies on BitTorrent as well.

“The downside is that Midem is clearly being ‘pirated,’” MIDEM director Bruno Crolot stated.

“By this I mean there are a substantial number of industry executives, who are attending and holding meetings without registering. We have tried to explain why there is real value in signing up for Midem and benefitting from the incredible business opportunities, networking, and panel discussions provided within the show.

“This activity is really frustrating, is unfair to our paying clients and is not good for Midem and we reserve the right to take action against such ‘pirates’ in the future.”

11 Responses

  1. Bandit


    They’re calling party crashers pirates now? Did something get lost in translation?

  2. Jorge Brea - Symphonic Distribution

    Well, this may be one theory but just visiting my first MIDEM, the conference is a bit pricey (Not pricey like Spotify’s conference of course) but still pricey nonetheless. I did get a lot of great value and meetings out of attending though but perhaps lower registration rates and maybe some companies doing RSVP style showcases like SXSW that are badge only can be more incentive. I also think it’s not a very artist friendly venture, especially for the USA based artists. But, It was fun and product on our end.

  3. Mr.Moonshine

    hm. Bull****! I would guess that the 800€ ticket costs are just better (or let’s say: more efficiently) spend on coffee & food in restaurants, while “biz-making”. The panels are great and vital to an ongoing discussion about the future of this industry, but do the people even have time to attend them? No, because they are busy making business in restaurants and Café’s all over Cannes….

    The rest who decided to better stay at home may not feel the need to fly down to Cannes in times of internet and virtual networking… so no wonder!

    I guess there must be another Eurodance-Boom as back in the 90’s to bring back the mystery…

  4. Chris H

    Are they going to ban free association?

    MIDEM is a great conference, but it is a product of another time and place. Getting ROI on it is increasingly difficult. Better to blast in for two days, meet everyone you can sitting in a cafe all day with stacked meetings, than to try to pay to hit all panels and such, in the SOUTH OF FRANCE.

    Difficult to justify in the modern world. But Midem in Vegas doesn’t have the same ring to them (or price).

  5. Ex-MIDEM Attendee

    Talked to a taxi driver on the way home who’s cousin was heading the ‘clicking team’ counting bodies through the door – they only counted 1,200 so not sure where the rest came from ?

    We joked that they would probably announce 3,000….

  6. Paul Resnikoff

    It’s sad to witness a once-proud conference like this sink into the Riviera. Your comments are correct, there could be more innovation, a location change, or a complete overhaul in the style and manner of the event. Chasing pirate attendees is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard, but offers a stunning meta on the entire industry.

    Other conferences and events are surging, Midem is sinking. That was obvious a half decade ago, which is why DMN stopped covering and attending, we just didn’t think it was worth it anymore.

  7. david_chapelle

    What are they going to do? Sue you for being near MIDEM?

  8. RickyLopez

    I / we have been to 20+ MIDEM since the 90s and spend 10k fixed costs with them. We have been lobbying them for over a decade to move from 5 star Cannes to the 4 star Barcelona (or 50 other decent Euro towns) – 80% of the stands there are government money via trade organisations now. MIDEM just signed a new 5 year deal with June deal with Cannes. Ignorance is bliss

  9. Cannes or Bust

    If you attend through a national umbrella organisation, you only pay €500. First-timers and performers pay even less. You also get access to the industry’s foremost database for a year. These prices are half of comparable events for the TV industry.

    By the way, Crolot didn’t blame the “pirate” executives for the fall in numbers. That bit was made up by the headline writer who apparently wasn’t at the press conference. Crolot said they were going to get tough next year on people attending without a badge. This is standard practice in Cannes at the other events. You cannot enter the Carlton’s lobby during the Cannes film fest unless you are either a customer or wearing the right badge.