IOMMA or the Indian Ocean Music Market is an annual trade event and conference organized in Reunion Island. With a heavy focus on the independent and indigenous music scene from the Indian ocean region, IOMMA 2015 was attended by delegates and musicians hailing from India, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Korea, the USA, Ireland, South Africa and many other countries with an interest in the region’s music industry.
Spread across four days IOMMA sets the pace for the internationally renowned music festival, Sakifo, which attracts musicians and bands from across the globe. Set against the backdrop of Reunion’s pristine landscape, both IOMMA and Sakifo play a huge role in furthering the connections between the various stakeholders of the international music and festival circuit.
Conference and panel discussions take place during the day. Parallel sessions imply that attendees might need to do some planning with respect to the sessions they wish to attend. Owing to the multilingual nature of the conference, translators are hard at work during all the sessions ensuring that attendees and speakers don’t miss out on any important details being discussed. In addition to the sessions, there are one-on-one meetings that can be booked in advance and the programme allows for enough free time where a number of more casual meetings among delegates can also be arranged. At the end of each day were a number of musical showcases that were hosted by local venues in the cities of Reunion Island.
It was the first time Artistik License had been invited to attend IOMMA and I was invited to speak on a panel that was discussing the ‘International Management of Copyright’. Also present on this panel were Patrick Mathieu (SACEM), Gerard Davoust (SACEM, France), Karabo Motijoane (Sheer Music Publishing, South Africa) and David Andre (SACS, Seychelles). At the core of the discussion was the need to further international co-operation and to make legal tools like copyright, a means to protect and further the music scene rather than build it into a logistical or policy nightmare.
My biggest takeaway from IOMMA 2015…
IOMMA is a great example of what happens when some of the most hardworking, creative and quirky people working in today’s music scene, get together for a few days of focussed discussion. Regional music markets and networking is something that benefits the music scene at large, a point that is often emphasized by Sonya Mazumdar, founder of Indiearth Xchange, India’s very own music market held annually in Chennai. It also provides the opportunity to connect with people and learn from their varied experiences and perspectives. As a first timer, IOMMA 2015 was a great learning experience – an experience that would’ve been incomplete had it not been for Romuald Requena, Marion Jolly, Jerome Galabert, Patrick Mathieu, Agnes Revelen among others.