Paris MaMA Event Grows

The French showcase festival welcomed 4,625 professionals from 1,820 companies and 58 countries to its sixth edition, taking place Oct. 14-16 in the Pigalle district in the heart of Paris. 

“It’s funny: France is the fifth biggest music market in the world, yet we didn’t have an event like this up until six years ago. You have the Great Escape in England, Eurosonic in Holland, Reeperbahn in Germany.

Even Estonia has an event like this,” Fernando Ladeiro-Marquès, one of MaMA’s co-founders, told Pollstar. The most important modification to the 2015 edition had been the introduction of festival passes. Up until last year, people could only buy day tickets for individual venues.

“This year we introduced festival passes for the audience as well. You pay 24 Euros per day or 49 for three days, enabling you to see all the concerts you want. It also encourages people to check out bands they haven’t heard about before,” Ladeiro-Marquès explained. All in all, 3,400 public passes were sold. Over the course of three days more than 120 concerts took place in 15 clubs with capacities ranging from 200 to 1,500. Another change in this year’s edition was the creation of an innovation space where tech companies could present their latest products.

“A lot of startups create so-called solutions for music, without speaking to anybody from the music sector,” Ladeiro-Marquès said. “You cannot create solutions if you don’t know the problem.” A notable difference to other showcase festivals: acts that play at MaMA are actually paid.

“If you go to Eurosonic or The Great Escape, the bands aren’t paid. In France there is a law that says, if you put a musician on stage you have to pay them.” If it’s a venue for less than 200 people the fee is around euro 150 per musician. It is upped to euro 200 for bigger venues.