The Association Latinissimo can no longer stage the 14th Babel Med Music Festival which would have taken place from the 15 – 17 March 2018, at Dock des Suds in Marseille, following the 79% reduction to the subsidy of their principal partner: the Provence-Alps-Côte d’Azur Region. 

The unexpected and incomprehensible withdrawal of this partner’s support just three months before the event was due to take place – despite the region’s promise, on the basis of their proposal to finance an initiative with college students and apprentices during Babel Med Music 2018 – has put the event in jeopardy, after 13 glorious years which brought together 180,000 spectators and above all 26,000 professionals from the music industry. 
The organising committee was informed only a week before the plenary meeting (which took place last Friday 15th December) of the change to the Region’s commitment to Babel Med Music – a decision, which was therefore forced to cancel the event, despite the fact that the association and its partners had started preparing the 14th edition some time ago.

Since the autumn, these teams had been preparing the groundwork for the 2018 event, sifting through the 900 applications sent in by music groups from around the world. After an initial selection process and the preliminary preparations for the event, the regional branch of the selection committee – to which representatives of the Region were invited – was assembled in November.
The brutal, unexpected announcement regarding the drastic reduction of the subsidies from the Provence-Alps-Côte d’Azur Region is making impossible in such a short space of time to reinvent a new version of the event.

This executive decision will result in a series of very serious consequences for the cultural life of the region.


Over and above the loss of 204 jobs within the organisation, this withdrawal of funds poses political questions about support for economic and cultural events in the region, for Babel Med Music has always regenerated live performance in the region in a unique way with regards to:  
  • with the thousands of Euros generated through hundreds of contracts signed between artists and programmers, through connections made via networking with other musical industry professionals (over 2,000 professionals from the four corners of the globe each year: artistic directors, producers, tour managers, agents, artists, journalists, private companies and representatives from institutions the world over) with a palpable impact on national and international festivals and also on the Provence-Alps-Côte d’Azur Region – a self-declared « Terre de festivals ».
  • 204 jobs in multiple areas of work, too numerous to mention, under the umbrella of Babel Med Music providing 8,080 hours of work (production, commercialisation, administration, communication, events management, technicians, catering, bar, security…).
    IMMEDIATE SOCIAL SCHOCK: 204 jobs slashed immediately.
  • With over 4,000 nights spent in hotels and more than 15 companies in the service industry, with obvious repercussions, in particular for restaurants and transport services.
  • in the professional sector with a huge turn-out from organisations from all 5 continents: from South Korea to Australia, the States to South Africa via the whole of Europe.
  • in terms of international relations, since over the years the festival has hosted several Ministers of Culture (France, Guinea, Senegal, Cape Verde…), Consuls and consulate staff, representatives from international institutions (Morocco, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Cap-Verde)…
  • in the national and international press with media coverage featuring the Provence-Alps-Côte d’Azur Region in the four corners of the globe through Babel in the Wall Street International Magazine (United States), the BBC (England), Rai 3 (Italy), Songlines (England), El Mundo (Spain), Die Tageszeitung (Germany), Beat Latino (United States), Radio France, Le Monde, Libération, Les Echos, La Provence, La Marseillaise, (etc.) and for the media in more than 20 countries.
  • in terms of cultural and economic exchanges in the Mediterranean, establishing Marseille as a geo-strategic capital with delegations invited to the festival every year from Spain, Italy, Turkey, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Greece, Israel…
  • in relation to new initiatives linked to tourism. The 2,000 music industry professionals from around the world are the best ambassadors for the region following their attendance at Babel Med Music. The event has a global reach and is an undeniable draw to the region.
  • On a European scale, over the last few years Babel Med Music has become a landmark event in the calendar of the EFWMF - European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals - a network of 45 of the largest European world music festivals.
  • Each year, 30% of the programme showcases artists from the region. Babel Med Music has served as a catalyst boosting the careers of local artists and exporting and promoting the regional music industry, inviting buyers from all over the world to discover Marseille and appreciate the quality and diversity of artists from the Provence-Alps-Côte d’Azur Region.

  • Since 2007, Babel Med Music, in partnership with the Region and the Aix-Marseille Board of Education, has also invited college students and apprentices to take part in workshops to raise awareness about the risks to hearing related to loud music. 
Despite the support of the all the major actors in the sector and after having investigated all possible alternatives, we regret that we are obliged to cancel the 14th Babel Med Music Festival.
We have already received the support of several partners and professionals whom we have had to inform of the cancellation of the event and we would urge you to pass on this information.
Please send us your messages of support to this dedicated email address:
Your emails may be published and/ or passed on to the institutions concerned.


Culture and the economy are inseparable. Since 2005 Babel Med Music has been a case in point. We are resolutely determined to keep up the good work, for artists, professionals and of course for audiences...


Every year, Babel Med Music was:

2 000 professionals, 150 stands, 20 conferences
5 prizes awarded, 7 regional showcases
2 matinées for 600 college students
7 shows for young people at Babel Minots
14 documentary films screened at the Écrans de Babel
15 000 spectators at 30 concerts over 3 nights
150 musicians from 5 continents - 27 hours of music

204 employees.