The first MIDEM Africa Forum took place in Johannesburg this week. South Africa is the first leg in a conference-style tour that will also touch down in the Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria this month.
MIDEM, which was established in 1967, is one of the most well-known business-to-business trade shows in the music industry. The African countries visited are a part of MIDEM’s high-potential markets programme and aim at gathering knowledge and solutions to problems that plague the music industries of this continent.
In June, during the annual MIDEM, there will be what is called the African Forum which will include stakeholders in various sectors of the music business. In Johannesburg, industry insiders discussed what could be done to bridge the gap between our industry and the world. There were panel discussions around the music value chain, taking advantage of the live circuit, copyright and new business models.
Panelists included artists like Stogie T, managers like Amaru da Costa, promoters like Brad Holmes and more. At a press conference held after the panel discussions and a workshop, MIDEM’s Alexandre Deniot explained: “We like to call MIDEM the home of the music community.”
“There’s potential and the music from Africa is inspiring the world. We are here to support these markets. We come here very humbly,” he continued. Also at the conference, Valentine Gaudin-Muteba, who is the Vice President of Channels and Operations at Trace, spoke about how the music channel is proud to be associated with MIDEM.
“I think MIDEM is doing a good thing by coming to the continent,” said Gaudin-Muteba. “Today actually, we’re launching Trace Kitoko in the DRC. We’ve launched Trace Naija in West Africa and Trace Mziki in East Africa. So, what we’re trying to do is bridge the gap between all the different regions because artists are not making money by selling albums, they are making money by touring and performing. You can’t just be big in South Africa, we’re trying to expose them to the continent.”
Deniot aims for the exposure to be global. He said MIDEM is “a mixture of conference and a concert because every night, we have some concerts on the beach in Cannes so it’s pretty cool.”
“Inside our jury of members, we have people from the live sector of the music industry and we have ambassadors like Wyclef Jean and Daddy Yankee. As an artist, you can learn a lot of stuff if you are prepared. You invest in yourself and do better. In four days, you can meet the world.”
MIDEM takes place in Cannes, France from June 5 to 8. Visit midem.com for more info