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MTV tunes Euro concerts

Cabler looking to p'gram live tours, other events

CANNES — MTV Networks Europe redoubled its commitment to live music at Midem Tuesday, announcing a swath of new concert programming and revealing that its flagship spectacle, the MTV Europe Music Awards, will this year be held in Frankfurt.

MTVE is looking to its American parent for much of the programming but is also investing in local live fare. Beyond such staples as the MTVE awards, “VH1 Storytellers” and “MTV Live,” the music cabler will pick up material from European concert tours, festivals and other events.

Among the initiatives is new show “Fashionably Loud Europe 2001,” to be staged April 20 in Milan. MTVE also is the key promoter for the upcoming Euro tour of rap-metal hybrid Limp Bizkit.

Big plans

The initiative is the thin edge of a wedge — MTVE also is looking to ink smaller-scale deals, such as MTV’s U.S. arrangement with club chain-concert promoter House of Blues, which is seeking to set up shop in Europe, according to an insider.

MTVE, now in 89 million homes, expects its kudocast to reach some 400 million people, including viewership from one-time carriage deals. Eighth annual extravaganza goes out Nov. 8from Frankfurt’s cavernous Festhalle.

Elsewhere at Midem, Sweden’s Polar Music Prize, which recognizes significant contributions to music, was awarded to Burt Bacharach, synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog and influential avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen.

But the biggest accolade went to vet producer David Foster, who took Midem’s person of the year honors at a star-laden dinner in the venerable Carlton Hotel Tuesday night.

In the less grandiose venues, the music played on. Performances included U.K. reggae act Steel Pulse, Cuba’s Orishas and, on the electronic front, DJ Assault from the U.S.

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