“Zone Franche, a network of 200 world music professionals from all sectors has issued a press release in support of influential world music showcase Babel Med Music 2018:
Zone Franche strongly opposes the iniquitous and brutal decision of the Regional Council of PACA forcing the Latinissimo association to cancel Babel Med Music 2018, the only French trade show of international stature devoted to World Music, which has been on the agenda of all professionals worldwide for thirteen years.
We ask that the grant allowing the staging of this show be reinstated as soon as possible so that Babel Med Music, an essential link in bringing together labels, festivals, producers, artists, programmers, can continue to find in Marseilles and the PACA Region a professional market recognized worldwide. By canceling Babel Med Music a few weeks before its start (15 to 17 March 2018), the Regional Council is showing political lightness and economic blindness as to the consequences of its action, besides the fact that the disappearance of Babel Med Music would allow supporters of cultural uniformity and the multinationals’ hold on music in France, to applaud this unprecedented reduction in cultural diversity in our country, to the detriment of our territories, our cultures and our populations.
Zone Franche invites all the artists and professionals of the sector to a massive mobilization, at the BIS of Nantes on January 17th and 18th. A petition to support cultural diversity and Babel Med Music is online. Thank you for signing and relaying it to as many people as possible. We will not let World Music die in silence.”
The Association Latinissimo announced that it can no longer stage the 14th Babel Med Music Festival that would have taken place March 15 – 17, 2018, at Dock des Suds in Marseille. The producers disclosed that the decision was made following the 79% reduction of the subsidy from its main partner: the Provence-Alps-Côte d’Azur Region.
The unexpected withdrawal of this partner’s support just three months before the event was due to take place put the event in jeopardy, after 13 years that brought together 180,000 spectators and 26,000 professionals from the music industry.
The organizing committee was informed just a week before the plenary meeting that took place last Friday, December 15th of the change to the Region’s commitment to Babel Med Music, a decision that therefore forced to cancel the event.
The cancellation is expected to generate economic losses for the region, including layoffs, hotel and restaurant revenue, and touring contracts made during the conference. Babel Med Music has announced the immediate loss of 204 jobs within the organization.