Mama cancelled as France reduces cap limit again
Paris’s Mama Festival and Convention, the annual networking event for the French live music industry, has pulled its 11th edition with just over a week to go in light of new restrictions on large gatherings in France.
As of 26 September, all of France’s major cities, including Paris, Bordeaux, Lyons, Rennes, Toulouse and Lille, are subject to a 1,000-person limit at major events, even those held outside at venues such as sports stadia.
The capacity limit – formerly 5,000 people, even for indoor events with no social distancing – must again be reduced as a second wave of Covid-19 sweeps France, said French health minister Olivier Véran.
In a joint statement, Mama CEO Daniel Colling and director Fernando Ladeiro-Marques say the new restrictions – along with further measures announced yesterday, including the closure of bars and pubs in Paris (many of which would been Mama showcase venues), and a ban on professional meetings and trade fairs – make it impossible for the event to go ahead.
“Despite our industry’s critical situation in these unprecedented times, Mama has spent the last few months preparing a very special edition,” say Colling and Ladeiro-Marques. “All necessary precautions had been put in place in order for this year’s Mama to go ahead as planned: health measures, access control, reduction of the number of venues, seated events, restricted audience… All these measures were set out to enable our industry’s professionals to meet.
“Mama 2020 was determined to give our sector the opportunity to come together and imagine our common future”
“Mama 2020 was determined to give our sector the opportunity to come together and imagine our common future.”
“The new measures announced in yesterday’s decree are […] too significant to overcome,” they continue. “In light of this, it is with great sadness that we must announce the cancellation of Mama’s 11th edition.
Mama 2020 was scheduled for 14–16 October. All delegate pass holders will receive more information shortly.
Organisers say the conference will be back next year. “We are staying strong in these challenging times and can already look forward to welcoming you in 2021 for a new edition of Mama,” reads a statement.
“Most of all, we want to convey a message of hope and solidarity to venues, clubs, festivals, artists and all other music professionals out there.”
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FR launches International Women’s Day event
Festival Republic has announced ReBalance Celebrates International Women’s Day, a networking event for women across the live music industry, as part of the promoter’s gender equality programme, ReBalance.
The event is taking place at the 900-capacity Union Chapel in Islington, London, on Sunday 8 March, the day dedicated to recognising the movement for women’s rights worldwide.
Last year’s International Women’s Day saw pop star Dua Lipa speak at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) in London, who illustrated the struggle faced by young female artists trying to break into the industry.
Festival Republic is looking to combat this, with a daytime programme aimed at introducing those who want a career in the industry to women working within it. Professionals from Festival Republic, Live Nation, PRS Foundation, Academy Music Group, Sony Music, MAMA, Melody VR, Metropolis Music, the BBC, National Merchandise and Safe Gigs for Women will be in present to offer advice and deliver educational talks.
An evening performance from singer Nilüfer Yanya will follow the networking event, as well as appearances from Martha Hill and Tamzene, two artists to have come through Festival Republic’s ReBalance programme.
“We are incredibly proud of what ReBalance has achieved, so it only made sense to take the scheme further”
Launched in 2017, ReBalance is a six-year programme combatting the gender imbalance within the music industry. It offers five day’s studio time to one core female-identified band and artist each month, as well as a slot of a Festival Republic or Live Nation festival.
So far, 300 nominations have been made across six rounds, with 19 finalists performing live at The Great Escape, Wireless, Latitude and Reading and Leeds Festivals.
“We are incredibly proud of what ReBalance has achieved, so it only made sense to take the scheme further by hosting an event on International Women’s Day for those who want to meet women in the industry,” says the ReBalance team.
“Aimed at newcomers or if you’re just curious, this event is the chance to learn from the brightest stars and pick up some tips. Lack of female representation in music is an industry-wide issue, and we want to level it.”
Day tickets for ReBalance Celebrates International Women’s Day can be purchased for a £2 charity donation to Safe Gigs for Women, with evening tickets priced at £17.50. All tickets are available here.
Photo: Paul Hudson/Flickr (cropped) (CC BY 2.0)
EMMA launches EU music managers mentorship scheme
The European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA) announced the launch of the first-ever pan-European mentorship programme for music managers today (20 September), at Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival.
The European Music Managers Mentorship Activation (EMMMA – note the extra ‘M’) aims to foster knowledge sharing and increased commercial opportunities by linking managers across the European Union.
The EMMMA programme is spearheaded by pan-European artist managers’ body EMMA, which launched in London last year, comprising managers’ associations from the UK, France, Holland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Poland. The European Commission’s Music Moves Europe initiative is providing funding for the mentorship scheme.
EMMMA will team up emerging European managers with experienced mentors from each participating country. The programme will provide a combination of face-to-face meetings at MaMA Festival in France, Oslo’s by:Larm, Tallinn Music Week in Estonia and the Great Escape in the UK, with bi-monthly Skype sessions and workshops on areas including live music, touring and taxation, streaming data and making a business out of a band.
After completion of EMMMA, participants will be responsible for providing a one-year business plan for at least one of their artist, songwriter or producer clients.
“This much-needed programme will enable managers to share expertise and build their artists’ careers across borders”
“Diversification and fragmentation of the traditional music industry has undoubtedly elevated the role of music managers, who are now required to be experts in all aspects of their clients’ business – from songwriting and recording deals, to live touring, brand sponsorship, online marketing and a host of other areas,” said Per Kviman, chair Music Managers Forum (MMF) Sweden and chair of EMMA, speaking at the launch at Reeperbahn Festival.
“This much-needed programme will enable managers to share expertise and build their artists’ careers across borders. We hope it will grow over time and help build a strong network of managers across the EU. This is a big win for the future of European music.”
Virpi Immonen, vice chair of EMMA and chair of MMF Finland added: “MMF Finland is proud to be the project coordinator of this groundbreaking pan-European mentoring programme.
“Management can be a tough and stressful gig, in what is often a solitary career, and so our aim with EMMMA, and with support from the European Commission, is to start pooling and sharing the vast knowledge base that exists across the continent, and to help upcoming managers to successfully grow their business. In turn, that will offer even greater opportunities to support the careers of our artists, our songwriters and our composers.”
Applications for EMMMA will open soon. More information about the programme is available here.
Keychange 2.0 unveiled at Reeperbahn Festival
Artists Kate Nash and Peaches revealed details of the next phase of music industry gender parity project Keychange at Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg today (19 September).
A presentation, hosted by Kate Nash and Peaches alongside Pitchfork editor Puja Patel, laid out the foundations for the next four-year stage of the project. A new management structure, headed up by lead partner Reeperbahn Festival, was also announced.
The news follows the recent announcement that the gender balance initiative received €1.4 million in funding from the European Commission.
Keychange 2.0 will support 216 music creators and industry professionals – 74 each year – from countries including Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
The participants will take part in a talent development programme of showcases, panels, workshops, training sessions, networking events and creative labs at 13 festivals across Europe and Canada, including two full network meetups in February and September.
A global database will list all participants and the more than 250 signatories to Keychange’s 50/50 gender-balanced line-up pledge, as well as a mentoring scheme, Keychange conference, online resources, ambassadors and an expanded management team.
“Its encouraging to see all these organisations involved with Keychange because it means that things can finally start to change,” says Nash. “Music is about feeling part of a community and feeling included – it’s about being seen and heard.”
“Its encouraging to see all these organisations involved with Keychange because it means that things can finally start to change”
An open call for Keychange 2.0 participants will launch in October 2019 through the initiative’s website. “Innovative and boundary-pushing” applicants from all partner countries are encouraged to apply. Six participants will be selected per country – three artists and three industry professionals.
Reeperbahn Festival, alongside other leading festival partners from each country – Iceland Airwaves (Iceland), BIME (Spain), Oslo World (Norway), Tallinn Music Week (Estonia), Ireland Music Week (Ireland), Way Out West (Sweden), Linecheck (Italy), Liverpool Sound City (UK), Spring Break (Poland) Mutek (Canada), BreakOut West (Canada) and MAMA (France) – will each host six to twelve international Keychange participants.
“With Keychange 1.0, we have been addressing the necessity of gender equality in the music business since 2017,” comments Reeperbahn chief executive Alex Schulz.
“Phase 2.0 not only extends Pledge 2022 for balanced line-ups in festivals to other organisations and music sub-markets, but also expands our mentoring programmes and workshops as well as the European database, so that our innovators and artists can implement the transformative power of Keychange in the best possible way and carry it out into the world.”
Reeperbahn will work closely with Keychange founder PRS Founder and Sweden’s Musikcentrum Öst to lead Keychange 2.0.
“Return to normal” as French live audiences grow in 2017
The French live music industry is approaching a “return to normal” following the events of November 2015, new research suggests, with audience numbers showing a “significant increase” of 6% compared to last year.
Industry association Prodiss today presented the results of its annual Baromètre du Live at the MaMA Convention in Paris, focusing especially on the return to health of the live sector following the attack on the Bataclan almost two years ago.
Baromètre du Live 2017, based on a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, reveals that after a “slightly depressed 2016, probably due to the impact of the attacks”, 2017 has seen 42% of all French people attending at least one live show, up from 36% in 2016, 38% in 2015 and 31% in 2014. This “steady increase”, says Prodiss, “appears to be a kind of ‘return to normal’” as the sector continues its recovery, bolstered by improved feelings of safety and a perception that live entertainment provides an “antidote” to an atmosphere of crisis.
Indeed, nearly four in five respondents (79%) said they feel “somewhat” or “very” safe when they attend a show or festival – an increase of 5% on 2016’s Baromètre – despite a falling feeling of everyday security, with only 56% reporting they feel secure in their daily lives; down 6% on last year. (However, all this extra security has come at a cost: IQ revealed in April 87 of France’s biggest festivals spent a combined €3.74 million on security last year – an average of €13,613 each per day.)
68% say concerts are an “antidote” for “the atmosphere of crisis” in France
As in 2016, French audiences continue feel live entertainment forms part of a cultural “fightback” against those who wish to destroy their way of life: 68% say concerts are an “antidote” for “the atmosphere of crisis” that has taken root in the wake of successive terrorist attacks – an increase of 11% on 2014 – continuing the trend seen in the second half of 2016.
Nearly half of respondents, meanwhile, consider the industry is “making the necessary efforts, from a price point of view, of enabling them to have fun to fight against the gloom”. Forty-eight per cent say shows are affordably priced.
As a whole, all indicators are more positive than at any time in the past four years, not just compared to 2016: in addition to the aforementioned rise in the number of people who have seen at least one show in the past year, 5% more say they have seen at least one show since the start of the Baromètre – and 11% more are seeing at least one show a month.
The new audience figures from Prodiss follow a recent report analysing the sector’s economic impact, which found the market was worth more than €2 million in 2015 and employed 98,000 people. “Event promoters, […] venues and festivals, mostly small business, form an entrepreneurial fabric that is as dynamic as it is heterogeneous,” said Prodiss president Luc Gaurichon.
IQ’s five live picks of The Great Escape 2017
The Great Escape (TGE), MAMA Festivals’ long-running Brighton showcase festival and industry conference, returns for its 12th outing today, welcoming more than 3,500 industry delegates to the English seaside resort for three days of networking and new music.
The first panel discussion – Drugs: A Recent History of Getting High, looking at drug-taking trends at festivals, shows and in clubs – kicks off at 10.45 in the Dukes at Komedia cinema; in the meantime, here are IQ’s picks of the must-attend TGE shows, panels and parties…
Stripped of the panels, parties and spotlight shows by established artists, The Great Escape is still, at its core, a festival for new music: a place for bookers, A&Rs and everyone in between to discover the festival headliners of the future.
However, with more than 450 acts playing across 30+ Brighton venues, it’s nigh-on impossible to see everything, but by crunching the numbers – specifically Facebook likes, Shazam discoveries, Spotify streams and Songkick charts – we’ve discovered the three acts creating the most buzz are:
- Yellow Days
Seventeen-year-old singer-songwriter “bringing a slow-moving, jazz-flecked brand of indie rock which revolves around his gruff, scratchy vocals and languorous guitar playing”
Bergen-based pop singer making waves on Norwegian radio. “Signing to Island ahead of her first Vill Vill Vest performance left a lot of labels wailing and gnashing their teeth,” reckons The Line of Best Fit
- The Moonlandingz
Fat While Family psych-pop spin-off “put together by Sheffield’s practical electronics wizards and analogue taxidermists, The Eccentronic Research Council”
Drugs and royalties and Brexit, oh my!
Provided they’re not already all Eurosonic/FastForward/ILMC-ed out, TGE delegates are likely going to want to sit in on at least a few panels. While discussions about the state of music journalism may be of limited interest to IQ readers, the other three conference strands – which focus on drugs, royalties/collective licensing and music export – all touch on some of the most pressing issues affecting the international live business.
Highlights include Drugs, Clubs & Music: How to Actually Save Lives (11.15am, Thursday 18 May), which sees Fabric’s Andy Blackett, The Warehouse Project’s Sacha Lord and campaigner Nathalie Wainwright tackle the thorny issue of keeping patrons safe while keeping local authorities on side; Getting the Most from Showcase Festivals (moderated by IQ’s own Gordon Masson) and A Beginners’ Guide to Brexit; and Direct Licensing in Live, exploring the rise of directly licensing performance royalties with Maria Forte and PACE’s Adam Elfin.
A hole lot of Switzerland
As previously reported, Switzerland is TGE’s country partner for 2017 – and that means Swiss Swiss Music Export will be taking to Brighton a whole host of Swiss delicacies, including showcases, networking and – of course – plenty of cheese.
Swiss acts performing across on Friday include Zeal & Ardor, Sophie Hunger, Buvette, Debrah Scarlett and Baba Shrimps (the Zurich three-piece last seen at ILMC’s Swiss Session in March), while plenty of Helvetic networking can be had at the delegate reception at 5pm on Thursday (Swiss wine, beer and raclette!) and the Swiss Festivals Drink Reception at the same time on Friday.
For a taste of what to expect, a Spotify playlist of all Swiss performers is below:
As is tradition, most of the big agencies, promoters, ticketers and the like at TGE will be hosting their own (private) dos, but there are also plenty of open-invitation parties well worth checking out.
The always-fun Dutch Impact party (12–4pm on Friday) is open to all delegates, as is Wide Days’ Scottish Networking Party (who could say no to “deep-fried confectionary, soft drinks made from girders and whisky in a smugglers’ cellar”?) and Berklee and Ascap’s networking brunch. The annual Drinks Party hosted by UK collection societies PPL and PRS also returns – it’s first-come, first-served, so get there early – while recording studio Metropolis is staging a one-hour ‘Metropolis Mixer’ at My Hotel at 1pm on Friday.
And as always, Team IQ will be out in force on Thursday and Friday. Want to set up a meeting or a casual pint? Drop us an email!
See you in Brighton…
TGE announces international partner for 2017
British showcase festival and convention The Great Escape (TGE) has revealed Switzerland as its country partner for 2017.
Through a partnership with Swiss Music Export, next year’s TGE will feature performances by emerging Swiss talent, as well as panel discussions on the Swiss music industry and food and drink stalls selling Swiss products.
Last year’s international partners were, jointly, Latvia and Lithuania.
Swiss Music Export director Jean Zuber says: “We are delighted to be the lead international partner at next year’s festival. Since 2013 Swiss Music Export has worked closely with The Great Escape and pushed the development of Swiss artists into the UK market and built stronger relationships between the Swiss and UK music industries.
“It’s very exciting to finally be shining a light on the country’s incredible music scene, and to be able to showcase some of the best emerging talent right now”
“What could be better than joining forces as lead international partner and giving our emerging artists a wider platform for success?”
Kevin Moore, TGE’s general manager, adds: “We have a longstanding partnership with Swiss Music Export, so it’s very exciting to finally be shining a light on the country’s incredible music scene and to be able to showcase some of the best emerging talent right now.”
The Great Escape 2017, promoted by MAMA & Company, takes place in Brighton from 18 to 20 May. It will be preceded by First Fifty, a official launch and preview of next year’s line-up, in London next month.
MaMA gears up for 2017 festival and convention
French industry staple MaMA Festival & Convention returns for its seventh edition next month, bringing 120 artist showcases and 50 panels to venues across Paris from 12 to 14 October.
Headlining the festival component, which takes place across 12 venues, including the Divan du Monde (500-cap.), Boule Noire (200-cap.) and Machine du Moulin Rouge (800-cap.), are veteran French singer Christophe (pictured), Congolese-French rapper Youssoupha and reggae/hip-hop artist Biga Ranx, with international acts such as Shannon Wright (US), Otis Stacks (US), Jesse Mac Cormack (Canada), Pauw (Netherlands), Mt Wolf (UK) and Wall of Death (US) also on the bill.
The convention programme will take place at the Trianon, the FGO-Barbara and the recently reopened Élysée Montmartre venue. Panel topics include festival marketing, festival safety, festival branding, ‘music in the city’, gender equality in music, a ‘solutions for live’ pitch session and ‘France vs the UK: the changing face of agencies’, while among the speakers are Alison Wenham of the Worldwide Independent Network, BVMI’s Florian Drücke and Charles Caldas, CEO of digital rights agency Merlin.
A total of 4,625 delegates from 58 countries attended MaMA 2015. A full line-up for the 2016 festival is pictured below:
Three-day delegate passes are still available for €140.