Report and photos courtesy kate at imd.dj
The aim of the first International Music Summit was to establish itself as a global forum that will address the challenges faced in the electronic music world today. Those with even a passing interest in dance music will be aware that there is already an annual Winter Music Conference held in Miami. However, whilst this is still one of the main networking events for the industry, it has become more about the parties than anything else.
In contrast, with the strap line ‘Back To Business’ and Pete Tong at the helm, the IMS made it’s intentions clear from the outset with it’s invite-only policy and intimate panels and speeches. The conference was logically staged in the unofficial capital of the dance music world, Ibiza, which provided the conference with a wonderful array of locations in the sense of both business and pleasure. An impressive array of the world’s most senior and authoritative figures from the industry gathered to debate and discuss the future of the industry including input and performances from artists such as Pete Tong, Francois K, Layo & Bushwaka!, Radioslave, Tom Middleton and Mark Brown.
Kicking things off was a panel entitled ‘Synch or Swim?’ which looked into synch issues and was moderated by Kerri Mason of Billboard magazine. Bruno Roussel, who has edited music for massive US shows such as Six Feet Under and Medium, provided some interesting insights alongside Jason Bentley from radio station KCRW and Neil Barnes of former Leftfield fame. After a key-note speech from David Levy (Amy Winehouse, Bjork’s agent) in the early afternoon, Tom Middleton headed-up an hour long workshop in which he demonstrated the composition of a track that was to become the IMS anthem.
Francois K lent his considerable presence to the proceedings next, giving an insightful talk which drew on wealth of experience and knowledge as he explained how he has sustained a career in the industry for 25 years.
The hot topic of discussion was covered in the second panel named ‘Ibiza: The Year of Change? This was a historical event in itself! Never before has every major club promoter from the island sat together with a member of the Ibiza consell to discuss the change in laws in Ibiza. No more day parties, no more after hours!! Isn’t this what Ibiza is all about? The discussion passed off without incident until Andrea Pelino from Circo Loco freely admitted that ‘Italians like to dance during the daytime, or as the sun rises out at sea, which is why DC10 has been such a global success story over the last decade.’ Andy Mackay from Ibiza Rocks then turned the argument on its head by suggesting that he was happy with the changes in the law as it would force parties underground and therefore spawn a wave of creativity in the process. The day was ended with a key-note speech from Sarah Tinsley regarding Groove Armada’s partnership with Bacardi.
With the business side of the day wrapped up everyone’s attention was diverted to the official opening party at the beautiful Can Atzaro hotel. A broad palette of musical tastes were catered for with Richard Norris from Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve opening with a mellow selection, followed by a Baleric set from Jason Bentley and a dubstep set from Francois K. Layo & Bushwacka rounded off a fantastic opening day with a warm and vibey house set.
Day two’s line up looked just as strong as what had preceded and began with a panel looking into the digital platform. Delegates included Beatport CEO Jonas Temple and Andrew Keen, author of the controversial ‘The Cult of the Amateur’ who was also delivering a key-note speech later in the day. The commercial aspect of the industry was covered in a brands- themed discussion which was moderated by Matt Jager from Naked Communications. IMS founder Pete Tong sat in on this one alongside co-founder Ben Turner who talked about of the potential partnerships that can be established, giving Sunday Best’s collaboration with Vauxhall Corsa as a great example.
Other highlights from Day two was the panel on how to enhance your DJ image and Soul Avengerz remixing, to great effect, the IMS anthem which was created yesterday by Tom Middleton. Wayne from the Soul Avengerz had the delegates in stitches and it this panel was an extremely insightful showcase on how to use remix packages.
Kicking off the evening’s events at the Hotel Fenicia was Fred Deakin who served up a cocktail of chilled out beats and sounds while all the delegates chatted and mingled. Tom Middleton carried on in similar vein with his usual eclectic grooviness! Mark Brown then turned the heat up a notch with some good old house grooves and was the first DJ to play the IMS anthem – it went down a storm! Sarah Main finished off the evening with a great set that left everyone’s toes tapping.
The final day of the IMS kicked off with the intriguing debate on Live vs Labels and was followed by one of the most eagerly awaited panels; the DJ Mag Top 100. Lesley Wright, Editor of DJ Mag clearly stated from the outset that the DJ Mag Top 100 was not a ‘Best DJ’ competition, and that it is a popularity contest… the arguments ensued and this panel proved to get the most reaction out of the delegates. Other panels included the IMS Think Tank. The days events finished off nicely with the founders giving a speech.
The conference ended on a high with its grand finale event at Pikes Hotel. Pikes’ tennis court was converted into a fantastic venue and all the delegates enjoyed the summer breeze and the music. The drinks were flowing and the mood was high. The highlight of the evening was the new South African 2 piece Goldfish, who had the audience enraptured and dancing their flip flops off!! Pete Tong & Rob da Bank rounding off the evening with an impressive set that had everyone revved up ready to head off for the opening of Pure Pacha with Sander Kleinenberg.
A fantastic conference, very organised, extremely insightful and interesting and a great first year.
:: www.internationalmusicsummit.com ::