ILMC Opens To Record Numbers

ILMC opened to a record 800 delegates and with Carl Leighton-Pope ranting through his Friday afternoon “Talking Shop” at his bombastic best.

As a conference master of ceremonies for 18 years, he has obviously learned a lot of techniques. This year’s best example was his ability to change the subject when the argument is going nowhere – or if he’s losing it.

He wrapped a discussion with his son Toby (a Live Nation promoter) about the potential longevity of the current crop of breakthrough acts by dumping the subject, saying something that sounded a lot like, “It’s not my fault. He takes after his mother.”

Carl said he was worried that the new wave of talent wouldn’t be around in 20 years despite many record and concert ticket sales, but son Toby’s boss – Live Nation U.K. managing director Stuart Galbraith – said he was right to be concerned, but “worried” was a bit too strong.

Galbraith is riding on the cusp of the U.K. music business’s dramatic upswing, but clearly isn’t taking anything for granted.

Leon Ramakers from Live Nation’s Mojo Concerts seemed to suggest Leighton-Pope Sr. was missing the point because what’s more important than eternal fame for the artist is the fact the fans are enjoying what’s in front of them right now and the business should be making sure that continues to be the case.

As an opening session, Talking Shop set a lively tone for the rest of the conference. It certainly showed that nebulous arguments, however pointless, can still be highly entertaining and very funny.

Whether the fate of the new acts is temporal or ephemeral, Tobbe Lorentz from The Agency Group’s Scandinavian office was delighted that his showcase for Gogol Bordello at London’s Astoria – later the same night – sparked a feature in the U.K.’s The Times that ran well over a couple thousand words.

ILMC 18 is at London’s Royal Gardens Hotel from March 10-12.

– John Gammon