In the louche Martinez hotel bar in Cannes, a sharply dressed young man launched into a tirade against the music industry convention he was attending. “All you hear is these old men whining about the past,” he said. “Well you know what? The genie is out of the bottle. You try and put it back in and you will die … and then we will take over.”
His was an extreme view, but at this year’s Midem, Europe’s biggest music conference, where artists such as Ra Black and Andrew A (pictured below), courted the press, there was an undeniable feeling of transition of power from music’s old guard to its digital avant garde. But the problem is that even as the industry finally recognises that it needs to change, it is not clear that the digital future is strong enough to support the global rock’n’roll machine as it used to be.