MIDEM Attendance Down, Organizers Remain Upbeat
Photo courtesy of MIDEM

MIDEM has experienced another drop in numbers, with organizers blaming the effects of a tricky financial climate.

The four-day event drew about 6,400 attendees this time, down about 7% from the 2012 edition, organizers Reed Midem confirmed on the final morning of the trade fair. Last year's show had reported a rise of some 2% on the previous edition.

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Bruno Crolot, music markets director Reed Midem, was in an upbeat mode despite the downturn.

"The overall ecosystem is still there, including the politicians," he told a media gathering at the Palais. The main highlight I've heard is that the business was great this year. Many meeting were packed and business was happening. And the sun was out, after the terrible weather in 2012. It made a difference in the dynamic of this year's event."

He added that more than 70 countries were represented, just two less than the prior year.

Midem was noticeably quieter than in years past. Nowhere is it more obvious than in the halls of the Palais, and in the lobbies of the Majestic Hotel and the Martinez, which are now largely deserted at night when once they were bursting at the seams with delegates.

The vibe on Midem itself is still a positive one. Business gets done, delegates say, and there's less time-wasters on the scene.

"It's been great. We've done a lot of really interesting deals and met the right people," Richard Gottehrer, co-founder of the Orchard, tells Billboard.biz. "It has a big place in the business. You don't need the same structure that we had then, but you need this meeting place. I think that's critical. It's a place where people can gather and exchange ideas and reinvent the future together. That's the value of it."

Crolot also put to bed speculation that the trade fair would move to a different site next year; he announced Midem 2014 would be held January 25-28 at the Palais des Festivals, with Brazil chosen as country of honor.