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Midem axed after 55 years

By and | Published on Wednesday 15 December 2021


Long-running music industry conference Midem will not return in 2022, after organiser RX France announced this morning the decision to bring an end to the event after 55 years.

A key date in the music industry calendar for decades, Midem’s fortunes first started to dip in the 2000s, as a record industry that was – at the time – in steep decline had much less money to spend on such activity, especially in a city as notoriously expensive as Cannes.

The rise of digital also meant that service provider businesses had other means to reach potential clients, and an increasing number of global distribution and rights administration companies meant a slow decline in the number of territorial sub-licensing and sub-publishing deals being done within the industry – and Midem had always been an important forum for such deal-making.

Added to that, the number of music industry conferences and networking events started to dramatically increase, most of the newer players sitting alongside popular showcase festivals.

Midem did adapt with the changing times, courting digital companies and big brands with interests in music, and introducing initiatives focused on new talent and new markets. Some of those innovations worked, though attendance was still significantly down on the heyday. Actually, some delegates preferred the event being less busy – and the audience was still impressively international – but fewer people obviously meant less ticket income for organisers.

Then the pandemic hit, forcing the last two editions of the event to take place online. Plans were underway for a return of the in-person Midem in June 2022, but the conference’s owner – which rebranded from Reed Midem to RX France earlier this year – has now decided to bring an end to the conference entirely.

A statement on the Midem website reads: “We would like to thank you for your engagement and constant support of Midem. Due to the lasting pandemic and following a review of its activity, RX France has decided to no longer continue to organise the Midem event. It is with regret therefore that we are cancelling the Midem 2022 edition”.

In a longer statement, RX France adds: “For 55 years, RX France – formerly Reed Midem – has had the immense pleasure and privilege of organising the Midem event in Cannes, and more recently in developing dedicated music events under the Midem brand in Africa and Latin America, as well as offering the Midem Digital experience for the last two years”.

“However”, it goes on, “due to the lasting pandemic and following a review of its activity, RX France has decided to no longer organise the Midem events. It is with regret therefore that we are cancelling the Midem 2022 edition, scheduled in Cannes from 7-10 Jun 2022. Furthermore, RX France and the city of Cannes are in exclusive and advanced discussions for the latter to take over the Midem brand. More news on that will come in due course”.

Whether that latter part of the statement means there is a chance that the event will return under new ownership in the future remains to be seen.

“RX France wants to express its utmost gratitude to the global music community, all its partners and clients for the continuous support they have demonstrated over the years, and to its Midem team for its unwavering efforts, passion and enthusiasm”, the statement concludes.