It is not possible to describe the event briefly. Often called “the most important music-industry fair in the world”, “mirror of the music industry”, “irreplaceable event for the record and music publishing industry”, MIDEM is the first international market for music rights.
The name of the founder of Midem Organisation and first CEO is Bernard Chevry. He realizes that there is lack of structure for business negotiations for those engaged in the music industry and meeting at Music Festivals, hotels, bars or restaurants cannot compensate.
In 1967 he launches the first MIDEM in the town of the most prestigious International Film Festival – Cannes. It takes place in the favorite, built in Art Deco design in 1929, Martinez Hotel Cannes. Instead of booths, they rent rooms and suites and the visitors walk in and out. Might seem chaotic, but the first edition had over 900 participants from 350 companies and 11 countries. Chevry admits, that at first the big companies go to the event out of prestige reasons, but at the end it turns out a great success for them. The popularity of the convention grows and until 1970. It moves to a specially constructed building at the back of the first Palais des Festivals in Cannes, which is only a short walk from hotel Martinez. For only five years the number of participants increases five times. Producers, agents, representatives and managers liaison with labels and publishers, create and renew relationships and close successful deals. Visitors share, that MIDEM visit costs as much as a new car, but it definitely worths it. MIDEM is part of the booming of the mid ‘ 70s music industry and makes it easier during the turbulent economic times afterwards.
MIDEM and other events hosted in Cannes need more and more space and in 1979 the City of Cannes decides to build new Palais Des Festivals, which is finished at the end of 1982. The answer is immediate – the 17th edition of MIDEM takes place in the new palace and visitor:company ratio is 7238:1308 compared to 5065:1178 for the previous 1982 edition. MIDEM is on the radio, on the TV, all around the Cannes. The French food and wines, the concerts, the awards, are part of the atmosphere and another reason for the participants to come again and again.
In 1986, Chevry sells Midem, MipTV (Chevry’s first event founded in 1963) and MIPCOM (founded in 1985) to British Company TVS and 3 years later it is all acquired by Reed International Group. Xavier Roy a former International Director is the new CEO and later Executive Director of Reed Midem, which is a subsidiary of Reed Exhibitions.
The begging of the 80’s sees the Compact Disc, which is a boost for the whole industry. The world goes not only from analog to digital, but the technology makes the creation, presentation and sales much easier than before. Through the years MIDEM suffers participant number declines, like for example the 1991 edition due to the Gulf War, but it never stops being relevant to the new trends. The internet and the new technologies are inseparable part of the music industry. In 1996 a one-day summit, starting one day prior to Midem, called MidemNet is launched. The same year sees the first Multimedia Pavilion at Midem. In 2005 Apple starts working on the first IPhone, at the same time MIDEM announces the first edition of the MidemNet Music and Technology, a conference entirely dedicated to mobile music.
The event always had live acts included in the program, but in 2012 a new component is added – Midem Festival. The show aims to pay more attention to the live music and offers rich line-up.
MIDEM is to celebrate its 50th anniversary soon. Thanks MIDEM!