It was that time of the year again where we all creep out of our caves to welcome the season with one of the most important events of the summer, the International Music Summit 2013.
First day of the IMS and we attended two of the most interesting panels of the whole summit. First to come was the panel of ‘Where does all the money go?’ and I have to say right away the question remained unanswered… It seems that the big fish do not have much interest in solving the problem, right now there is no suitable solution to make sure that all the money collected (about 25 million pound only in the UK per year!) finally arrives in the hand of the producers. Ok, there are a bunch of problems that need to be resolved but, let’s face it, if there would be a definite need to sort it out it would be done already. One member of the audience at the end said that what we need is a new file format that includes something similar to the known ISRC code that can be embedded in any sound file in order to be able to recognize it and count the number of plays each track has to then balance the payment to each track and his producer by the number of plays. This would ensure that, even if the producer is not registered in an association to protect the author’s rights, his track would have a unique code to identify it. Another proposal was to install the music recognition service ‘Shazam’, e.g. via a simple microphone, in the clubs to identify the tracks played, but as tracks that are not published yet are not in their system this can fail. Another possibility is to install a kind of ‘Black Box’ in each club to record the music played to later analyze and catalog it. By any means the whole panel ended with no suitable solution and them oney collected will still go to a few mainstream artists that get the most plays.
Next on the list was the panel ‘Changing face of Ibiza’ and it was clearly dominated by two persons, Guy Gerber and David Vincent from Sankeys. Guy Gerber talked about his new party ‘Wisdom of the glove’ and explained that the idea behind it is as simple as it can be – he just wanted to do something different by declaring one single glove the theme of his night. On top he said he will auction the glove for 150.000 Dollars and donate the money to charity and to a new record label – ‘Charity Records’ that he wants to create – big laughter was on his side. He on top stated that he likes the challenge of doing something really strange in order to motivate the crowd to be creative themselves. David Vincent stated on the question ‘where is the underground?’ that any club that promotes a party via posters and flyers can impossible call this underground, as the real underground happens in private locations, villas or ‘caves’ without public access – to which we totally agree. Another question was that nowadays the DJs and the punchers control the exit of a party and that the DJs today can play multiple venues as before the clubs controlled if and where these DsJ can play if they have contract with one venue. One popular example is Solomun playing Sundays in Pacha and hosting his Diynamic Neon Nights in Sankeys on Tuesdays. The question of if and when the new club ‘Bomba’ is opening remained unanswered, Mark Neto was the speaker for this new venue but could not clearly state a yes or no. All agreed to the fact that the big clubs still have a strong vote on who is going to do what on their territory, and that the different municipalities have their own take on what they allow and what not. The representative from Ushuaia said to the fact that they go more and more VIP that in his opinion the crowd who can access this beach club are between 30 and 50 and got enough money to spend so it would be legitimate to charge the sometimes absurd prices – well you all know what we think about that… But at the end of the day everybody who pays this amount of money is contributing to the frenzy so it is up to each one of us to decide whether this is fair or not.
Second day was all about artists, we attended two panels again, first ot come was ‘Empowering women in music’ with Francesca Lombardo, Kate Matheou, Lynn Cosgrave, Anja Schneider, Maria May and Judy Weinstein. The main topic was on how women can survive and thrive in a still mascuiline dominated wobusiness and one thing came out clear – some of the best promoters and managers are women, best example is Judy Weinstein, she dedicated her whole life to dance music, she e.g. created Def Mix back in 1987 together with David Morales, writing music history straight away. And she is still so young at heart, having seen 25 years of insights of our industry and knowing each and everybody who has to say something. So finally, at the end of the panel, she got surprised by getting the Pioneer special award for her lifetime carreer and broke out in tears.
The second panel was ‘New faces, new thinking’ with David August, Eats Everything, Francesca Lombardo again as she truly is the new italian queen of house, Hot since 82, Sam Evitt from Method music managing acts like Disclosure and finally Steven Braines from Crown Management having Maya Jane Coles under his wings. It was all about how the hell you can make yourself known in such an enormous pool of producers that is growing each and every day as EDM gets bigger and bigger. The essence was that three factors are essential for success: first of all talent (even if there are a few out there who equal talent with money…), then persistance and third a good portion of luck to be in the right place at the right time. You have to be 110% convinced that you are special and your music is worth being heard, then you have to go out, show your face and hand out your music personally to DJs, clubowners, PRs and all sorts of people who can open the door to a label for you. Eats Everything is around for almost 20 years but just recently had his breakthrough, he himself stated ‘i must have been making shit music that nobody ever took notice of me’ and all of a sudden he is on the rise with some incredible productions. What do we learn from that? Quality is more than ever the most important thing, if your production does not suit certain standards you better go back to the studio and improve it.
Day three is always a bit lower so we took our time and attended quite late, missing out Nile Rodgers who was the star of last year’s IMS but we laughed and applauded so much last year already…
The most interesting panel for me was the very last Keynote interview with Sven Väth talking about his 30 years of DJing, his early carreer as a popstar with ‘Sueño Latino’ and Cocoon in general. He truly is a living legend and dedicated his whole life to dance music, still playing only vinyl answering on how is relationship with bnew technologies of mixing and DJing with the simple phrase ‘two decks and a mixer’ – fantastic. Having seen it all here he says that Ibiza is not Miami and will never be anything else then Ibiza. The whole VIP frenzy and all that comes with it is not helping the island to protect what is so precious – the combination of people coming from all over the world to party, whatever their background is, how much or not money they have or any other differences, here on the floors is where it all happens. We can only agree. You will find an exclusive interview with him in our first print edition this year, to be published first week of July.
All together we can say that the IMS is a very important date on the island’s calendar, it marks the end of the winter season and takes off just before the whole opening orgy is happening, bringing together members of the music industry and those who want to get into it to meet, exchange and get inspired on what is going on in our world.
The final highlight was the massive party in d’Alt Villa, featirung artists like Maya Jane Coles, Tensnake live, Sven Väth, Solomun and Scuba. It is the only day where n event of that scale takes place and truly crowns the IMS year after year:
see the video highlights here:
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