The love for music, not money, is usually what inspires musicians to pursue a career in music, but it remains a business. Nobody understands this better than Martin Myers, founder of the Music Exchange (#MEX19), South Africa’s only entertainment-economy-focused conference.“Our aim is to empower musicians so they can look after their rights associated with the craft they love. MEX connects them with all the right people who can give their careers a push. “It’s an opportunity to get to know all of the collecting agencies and the roles they play in the industry. They can also listen to the stories of and mix with like-minded people who share inspiration and advise. It is a chance to learn from one another.”The conference returns to Cape Town for the ninth time from 13 to 15 September at the Radisson Red Hotel at the V &A Waterfront. The theme of this year’s conference will be “rights”.Digital monetisation and understanding your rights, be it legal (including what a proper legal contract looks like and how to navigate the small claims court), or rights in the digital economy, all will be unpacked, demystified and opportunities explored at MEX19. Myers says this is an ideal opportunity for established or ambitious young artists, publicists, producers, DJs, managers, venue owners, record labels and agencies to gain invaluable insight.“Key decision-makers of some of the most important music bodies in South Africa will attend this year conference,” he says.The Southern African Music Rights Organisation will be in attendance at MEX19, as well as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Africori, Yoel Kenan; Active Music Publishers chief executive officer John Fishlock; KFM station manager Steve Werner and advocate Barry Varkel, among others.Artists include Chad Saaiman, RJ Benjamin and MEX chairperson and the legend Sipho Mabuse. Booking agents and promoters Lesley Wells, Craig Parks and Lauren Parks will also be sharing their knowledge, along with community radio specialist Selwyn Bartlett. MEX19 will also welcome back longstanding partners Paul Bothner Music.Since its inception, Music Exchange has enjoyed support from some of the world’s biggest names in production, songwriting, composition, management, public relations, digital strategy and live performance. After last year’s event, the chief operating officer (COO) of the Recording Industry of South Africa, Nhlanhla Paul Sibisi, remarked, “MEX18 was a real eye-opener, in terms of how it was well organised and the selection of speakers. Each speaker covered the topic eloquently and with passion. I walked out of MEX18 feeling empowered. It presented each attendee with a range of business opportunities, all of which can be capitalised on almost immediately.”Earlier this year, Music Exchange was honoured and recognised by the Western Cape government for its contribution to arts and culture.Limited delegates tickets for MEX19 are available through Quicket.Full conference tickets, for all days, cost R500, which includes lunch on Saturday and Sunday. For booking details and more information, go to http://www.musicexchange.co.za WIN! WIN! WIN! V To win one of five full conference tickets, email your name, surname and area to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject MEX.