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MUSExpo line up announced – EMI A&R boss to keynote

By | Published on Tuesday 18 May 2010

Although we (and many others) have been talking in recent weeks about EMI needing an extra hundred million to meet “fee obligations” to Citigroup, if we are being precise about these things we should really say that EMI needed the loot to “meet loan commitments” to the US bank, which is subtlety, but importantly, different – and with the cash now found, it’s probably important to stress that difference.

Had EMI owners Terra Firma not agreed to inject the cash last week the distinction would have been irrelevant, commitments would not have been met and the bank would have seized ownership of the music company. But now Terra Firma has stumped up the cash it is an important distinction.

As reported way back when, Citigroup demand that EMI’s revenues stay within a certain minimum ratio of their debt to the bank, which is what the hundred million plus was needed for, to boost EMI Music’s coffers so that that minimum revenue level was met. This is an important distinction because it means the hundred million, now it’s been found, stays within EMI, it doesn’t get handed straight over to the evil bankers.

I’m mentioning this now because EMI’s chief A&R man Nick Gatfield has just been announced as a keynote speaker at next month’s MUSExpo event in London. And while EMI’s financial situation remains very unstable, because of that very public three billion pound plus bank loan, the major will actually be quite cash rich for the next few weeks. So, the drinks are on Nick, I reckon.

So, yes, not only are the MUSExpo team in Liverpool this week, helping curate and stage the Liverpool Sound City music business and technology conferences, but next month they will stage their own event in London, the European edition of the brilliant MUSExpo conference programme. And Gatfield isn’t the only senior player lined up to speak.

Linkin Park’s manager Rob McDermott, Radio 1 music chief George Ergatoudis, Epic Records President Nick Raphael, mflow CEO Oleg Fomenko, AEG Live MD Jessica Koravos and Vodafone’s music head Morgan Donaghue will all also be in the house on 14 and 15 Jun, the house being the Cumberland Hotel in London. On top of the daytime panels, keynotes and debates, in the evening things will shift to the Borderline venue for new band showcases.

Announcing his 2010 MUSExpo line up, the man behind it all, Sat Bisla, told CMU: “Over the last two years we have shown that there is a gap in the market for a truly international event in London that combines music and business and is all about connecting people and ideas. The upbeat mood at our recent MUSExpo event in Los Angeles highlighted just how much of a hunger there is in the business for people to make new contacts, share ideas and explore new ways of working together with new music. We’re sure the atmosphere in London will be every bit as positive and focused on delivering tangible outcomes for all who attend”.