EDMBiz Artist Panel, which included, Richie Hawtin, Rebecca & Fiona, Jono Grant and Tony McGuinness (Above & Beyond), Steve Angello, Kaskade and moderator Jason Bentley.
For all the dissent around the importance or artists, the politics of outside investors, and Avicii as an arena draw, participants at the EDMBiz conference were uniformly reveling in their newfound cred. And despite concerns about bubbles bursting, most indicators were positive: Ticket sales for Live Nation's Identity Festival, for instance, are triple what they were last year at this time, according to David Brady of Spin Artist Agency, who represents headliner Eric Prydz. Here the are some of the top nuggets from EDM bizzers at Day two's panels:
"There have been difficulties and some decisions to adjust along the way, but when you've got a format where the music has grown literally in two years from club level to arenas, we're going to have our challenges. We as leaders in the business are going to have to overcome working with our promoters to achieve that."
- David Brady, Spin Artist Agency on his client Avicii's much-talked-about tour troubles
"Interscope is not an EDM label by any stretch; in fact I'm pretty sure Jimmy [Iovine] doesn't like dance music. I would bet on that. So I have to get creative and come from a different perspective. He's a music producer, so I have to find producers, and slowly implement them into the system to give value to these guys for Jimmy, for music that he doesn't even really like."
- Dave Rene, Interscope
"In some ways [the EDM explosion is] a little bit scary. The challenge now is to work even harder to not let it slip through our fingers, and keep control. The people behind the scenes have matured; if this happened 20 years ago, we would have lost control. It needed to gestate."
- Richie Hawtin, artist
"Some of the Bassnectar shows still do amazingly well, but we find sales slow down when you get rid of the GA floor and start to get to the 100 or 200 level."
-Jake Schneider, Madison House (Bassnectar's agent)
"It's a conference, with a badge. It's very official…I couldn't imagine this type of seminar happening around what electronic musicians do two years ago."
Kevin Kusatsu of Tmwrk (manages Diplo, A-Trak, Duck Sauce).
"Ingress, egress, traffic, municipalities It really is building a temporary city. There are thousands of line items in our budgets."
- Phil Blaine, Insomniac, on building Electric Daisy Concert
"Our guys have a younger crowd, generally speaking 16-20 as a whole. We came on early in the dubstep thing and made a conscious effort to go hard ticket. Nightclubs didn't want to have an underage crowd who weren't buying drinks or bottles. Bass music artists were hard ticket acts first, putting them into more of a band space. Now our bigger acts are crossing over, and hard tickets shows are selling out."
- Kevin Gimble, Circle Talent, Founder (Chase & Status, Flux Pavilion)
"I used to fight back and say we're in the business of selling records, but that's completely changed now. Now it's dependent on the deal."
- Glenn Mendlinger, EMI/Astralwerks, on how 360 deals, like Swedish House Mafia's, have changed his reaction to tour promotion
"For artists like David Guetta, it's really important that it's a global story with a global backup system that works, with offices, and music-minded, good people who do all that work. It's a very easy misunderstanding that you can do it all yourself; put it online and it happens. That's where a label is a very important part of the equation.
- Bart Cools, EMI, EVP/Head of Dance Network
"If we had free parties everyday, production would be shit. We'd be playing on a table with no speakers because it's free."
- Steve Angello, artist (and in Swedish House Mafia)
"Try to throw a free party and people in L.A. riot."
- Kaskade, artist (who tried that in 2011)
"Maybe you should drop the 'D,' perhaps it tightens the spectrum too much. Not everything we do is danceable. Maybe it should be 'EM,' and leave it as open as possible."
- Richie Hawtin