All you need is Net, singer tells MIDEM

Conference turned focus to artists and the Web

CANNES -- The Internet is the new '60s, folk rocker Donovan told reporters as the MIDEM international music conference got under way here Monday.

"The dream of the '60s, of me and John Lennon and the others, was: How do we speak to everybody on the planet at the same time?" said Donovan, whose career has been revived in TV commercials using his hits. "The first answer was via satellite, but that didn't connect to everyone. Then John would say, 'How about telepathy?'

"Then we forgot about it until now; we realize that the Internet fulfills that dream of communicating with everyone. I'm not afraid of the Internet, because it's the dream we had. The Internet is the new '60s, as far as I'm concerned."

Donovan, who had received the medal of Officier dans L'Ordre des Arts et des Letttres from the French government Sunday, was on hand for a showcase and to promote a biographical documentary, "Sunshine Superman: The Journey of Donovan."

The Scottish-born singer-songwriter, who was to perform a showcase at MIDEM on Monday night, said he would make what he expected would be his last world tour beginning in 2010.

Rain fell steadily on the French Riviera all day as the conference focused on how artists can relate to their fans via the Internet without the traditional backing of record labels.

At a banquet in the Carlton, legendary French singer Charles Aznavour was to receive the MIDEM Lifetime Achievement Award.

Also Monday night, the British at MIDEM showcase, which in the past rocked the joint at the Hotel Martinez, was to take place in an auditorium at the Palais des Festivals. Artists were to include the Mercurymen, the Travelling Band, General Fiasco, Patrick Wolf, Seth Lakeman and Jamie Cullum.

The celebrated Swiss Jazz Club at the Carlton Hotel is not running this year, reportedly because of currency concerns, with MIDEM putting on its own jazz showcases in the Hotel Majestic.