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Elmore’s Report From The MIDEM Conference (Part 2)

Carlton_Hotel___Croisette_CannesI decided to take a walk along the Croisette after the convention center closed. The Croisette is to Cannes what the Boardwalk is to Atlantic City. In Cannes, the beach may be a lot smaller, but the shopping prices are a lot bigger. You won’t be able to buy a t-shirt here, but if you want pair of jeans, they will be by a French or italian designer, and run you about 600 dollars.

I stopped by the Carlton hotel, where they were setting up for a Pepsi-sponsored Super Bowl party, with numerous flat screens, beer and tiny little dishes holding expensive-looking olives. The game didn’t start until midnight here in France, and when I spotted a DJ setting up, I decided to move on. 

The Majestic Hotel seemed considerably more subdued, and I walked through a bar lined with archival photographs of John Wayne, Grace Kelly, Sean Connery and Sophia Loren having a great time on yachts or at the film festival. In the bar, i passed a table of young middle easterners with carafe of cranberry juice, and a bottle of grey goose chilling in an ice bucket.

Back on the Croisette–where the chic summer crowd would not be caught dead in February–I saw a number of men handing out what looked like business cards on the street. None of them offered me anything, but as one handed a card to a man nearby, I heard the word “show.”

Closer to kickoff time, I went back to the now-packed Carlton. Probably only a third of the crowd was American, with a largest contingent (about half) being British. Ralph Simon squeezed his way over to me, turned my ID around to read my name, shook my hand, and moved on without a word. Ralph, dubbed “the father of the ringtone” for his work in granting publishing rights to ringtones, is a very important man here at MIDEM.

Kurt Russell’s introduction was dubbed in French, and none of the Brits knew who Joe Namath was. By the end of the first quarter, I had easily run out of football knowledge, which everyone around me seemed to need badly. Around 1 AM, when the question arose about how appropriate bruno mars was for a football halftime show, I decided to beat a retreat, get some sleep and prepare  for another day at MIDEM.

– Suzanne Cadgene

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