The International Music Summit wrapped up earlier today in Ibiza after its third and final day of panels. Before the conference-goers went to hear Maya Jane Coles DJ the first of many official after parties, they heard speakers continue conversations begun the previous two days about the future of dance music. Day three’s panels seemed to connect around the growing pains of an exploding market, increasingly focused in the United States for the first time.
The panel entitled “Is the American Style of Doing Business Killing the Heart of Dance Music” might have been a leading question, but it wasn’t a trap American panelists David Waxman of Ultra Records or Arash Shirazi of The Bullitt Agency were willing to fall into. Waxman proclaimed “electronic music has been going on in the United States [for a while], but the difference now is the power of the internet [in making it more widely available and popular].”
Waxman also stated that while “EDM” as a genre itself might be a fad, dance music will prevail in the long term no matter what.
Still, in a moment of irony that might have been lost on some, Maria May of CAA’s London office decried the direction of the industry as favoring “winning” over “caring.”
Thus, the results of the America “killing the heart of dance music” debate were inconclusive. More definitive, however, were answers to a series of questions posed to the audience through an instant electronic response system provided by Turning Technologies. Dubbed The IMS Vote, questions included “is Dick Clark Productions announcing an EDM award show good for the genre?” (71% of attendees said no), and “are social media numbers now more valuable to a DJ's wider career than record sales?” (65% said yes).
Elsewhere during the conference, New York nightlife impresario Judy Weinstein was awarded the IMS Pioneer Award for her contributions to the cause of furthering dance music worldwide. New Age and ambient producer Jean Michel Jarre was announced as an ambassador for the Association for Electronic Music, joining Nile Rogers as a global spokesperson for the industry group that is closely allied with IMS.
As the sun set on the Mediterranean, the official business of IMS is barely under way; official parties continue throughout the weekend with season opening parties at Pacha and Space. Even for the most professional of industry folk, these parties can be more of a focus than the daytime conferences, proving that even while the Americans might be dominating conversation and the market, the Europeans still dominate as world class clubbers and partiers.