21 augustus 2014

5 Must Attend Music Conferences

If our festival bucket list kick-started the planning of an epic trip, then it’s time to squeeze some conferences in there too. The conference is where business meets pleasure, and where industry and fans come together for days (and sometimes weeks) of panels, discussions, workshops…and a whole lot of parties and gigs. Here, in no particular order, are 5 of the best to get stuck into this year.

1. Winter Music Conference [Miami, USA]

As someone who lived in Miami for three years, Winter Music Conference is ten days of the most chaotic heaven one can imagine. Each year, at the end of March, thousands of artists, music industry delegates and dance music enthusiasts flock to the sunny city of Miami to attend many of the 500+ events, parties, seminars and workshops. With annual parties like Get Lost, Paradise, Last Resort, and more, there is literally always something to do, somewhere to go and someone to see, and the entire city is buzzing with an energy that is infectious. One of the best things about WMC is that you don’t need a pass to attend. Tickets to events are sold independently which makes it easier to pick and choose which to attend. Time management is very important!

2. London Electronic Music Event (LEME) [England]

LEME is the UK’s premier annual electronic music conference, featuring over 30 production workshops, industry panel discussions, artist keynotes, networking sessions and live performances. Now in it’s 3rd year, LEME returns again with a powerhouse of artists and speakers, including Theo Parish and Red D (FCL), in-studio production workshops, and master classes on topics including bigger bass lines, compression and acoustics in the home studio, as well as industry panels like “What Is ‘Underground’ And Does It Matter?”, “The Art Of Sampling,” and “Role Of The Record Label Today,” and of course, after parties around the city. LEME is the perfect place to step up your game as an aspiring artist, network, and hear from some of the best minds in the industry today. 

3. IMS Ibiza [Spain]

Now in its 7th year, IMS Ibiza is regarded as one of the most important music industry gatherings in the world, officially signaling the start to the Ibiza season. During the day there are keynote presentations and seminars from key players in the industry on a wide array of subjects, as well as conversations with musical giants like Nile Rodgers. Hosted by the one and only Pete Tong, and founded by figureheads Ben Turner, Danny Whittle and Mark Netto,IMS offers even the most experienced industry heads the chance to share ideas with their peers, elders and the next generation. But the cherry on top is the Grand Finale, taking place at the Unesco World Heritage Site of Dalt Vila, with artists like Sven Vath, Maya Jane Coles, and Seth Troxler rocking thousands. Plus, it’s in sunny Ibiza – can’t be beat.

4. Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) [Netherlands]

This Amsterdam festival is the place for the industry to round off the year, but it’s much more than a music conference. The uber-professional city-wide five dayer is a raver’s paradise: almost every club in the city is in on the action, with line-ups that would put London, Berlin and Paris to shame happening twenty times a night, in venues as diverse as a gasworks (Gashouder) and an old newspaper mill (Trouw), right down to intimate canal-front bars and stadiums. The daytime is for checking out new technology and visiting panels and seminars with A-listers, with an equal amount of learning and networking rounding things off. No one loves their clubbing more than the Dutch, and few cities host it better: ADE is the epitome of this. 

5. Brighton Music Conference (BMC) [England]

Though the BMC is only in its first year, the buzz around this event couldn’t be stronger, standing out as one of the more educational conferences of today, with 60 workshops, panels and talks covering all you need to know to be successful in the industry. Discussions throughout will touch on topics like “The Future of Artist – Fan Connections,” “New Revenue Streams,” and “The Current State of Electronic Music – What’s Coming Next,” with guests speakers from Beatport, Spotify, Spinnin’ Records, and artists like Eats Everything and Dave Clarke, as well as artists like Skream, AND.ID, Dave Clarke, DJ Pierre, DJ Spen, Sebo K, Mat Playford, Psycatron, and Dave Seaman performing in clubs and venues around the city by night. 

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