Since its inception over a decade ago, the International Music Summit has regularly brought together the great and the good of the electronic music community and this year’s 11th edition looks set to be no different, with deadmau5, Black Coffee and Seth Troxler among the star speakers announced for IMS 2018.
Taking place at the Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza May 23-25, the three-day conference will additionally feature talks from Pandora’s Michael Addicott (manager of curation) and Jonathan Barnes (head of label licensing) — who will be revealing the secrets behind getting your music heard by the platform’s 73 million active users — and dotBlockchain Media CEO Benji Rogers on how blockchain technology can help grow the industry.
Deadmau5’s IMS appearance will see him speak to delegates direct from his Canadian studio about his unique approach to music production. Mau5trap label COO Chris Johnson will also be on hand to discuss building and, just as importantly, sustaining a career in electronic music.
Further insights on breaking an EDM act internationally will be provided by South African house DJ/producer Black Coffee and his team, including managers Lionel Marciano and Amaru Da Costa and WME U.K. partner David Levy.
The timely issue of sexual harassment in DJ and dance culture will, meanwhile, be the focus of a panel chaired by the shesaid.so network, with mental health and wellbeing also set to be a key topic throughout the event, including a keynote interview with Bradley Gunn, a British dance obsessive who has Asperger’s and advocates sober raving.
From the financial management world, lawyers Maximilien Jazani and Thomas St John — who represent David Guetta and Calvin Harris, respectively — will be dispensing advice on tax and wealth management in “Artist Tax 101.”
Elsewhere, the subject of emerging party destinations will be debated by Darren James–Thomas (FMLY Agency), Thomas Heyne (creator of Scorpios Mykonos), Gustavo Pereira (NEOPOP/BPM Portugal) and Mark Newton (Broadwick Live, responsible for international European festivals Snowbombing and Hideout).
In line with previous editions, there will also be milestone celebrations of pioneering electronic labels, artists and events with Barcelona’s Sònar Festival and British EDM label Positiva Records both marking their 25th anniversaries at the conference, as well as the founders of U.K.-based label/clubbing brand Toolroom discussing 15 years of success.
Representing the next generation of dance executives, ‘Young Guns Network Present Disrupters, No Rules” brings together four young entrepreneurs, including Sync Sync founder Mich Mellard and KRPT network founder Inder Phull, to discuss today’s electronic music scene. Coda Agency’s Mike Malak will touch upon similar ground in “KID Talks.”
Other panel topics include the timeless issue of drug testing at dance music events (led by professor of criminology and director of UK drug safety company The Loop, Fiona Measham) and the proactively-titled “Give It Away Or Make It Pay,” chaired by Association for Electronic Music CEO Mark Lawrence alongside BBC Radio 1 DJ Danny Howard, Axtone label and artist manager Simon Hills and AEI Group director of culture and partnerships Jenni Cochrane.
“I feel that we’re covering a broader set of conversations, from the challenges and positives of parenting in the music industry, to the sexual harassment issues around our genre,” IMS co-founder Ben Turner tells Billboard.
Praising the involvement of organizations such as shesaid.so and Young Guns Network for providing “a welcome injection of fresh thinking” he goes on to say that the conference still has “a lot to get right,” including a higher ratio of female speakers, “but I certainly feel we’re talking about the issues of the moment and learning to talk more with our industry about the pressures and topics they want us to push.”
“Now we live in a culture where Ted Talks and podcasts are around us 24/7, I do think all conference curators need to dig deeper than ever to provide something [people] can’t get sitting at home or walking down the street on their phone,” says Turner.
“We curate from a position of living and breathing the industry all year round, but we’ve also learnt as we get older, to open up the floor to people with different thoughts and perspectives,” he adds, citing an increase in the number of interactive talks and a new open mic networking panel as some of the ways that IMS plans to continue “standing out from the noise.”
“Entering our 11th year, it’s vital for IMS Ibiza to assemble the best and brightest minds in the industry to debate the issues that affect us most and to discuss routes to progress and succeed,” adds co-founder Pete Tong in a statement.
“I’m really proud to announce our latest wave of speakers, who represent all sides of the electronic music industry, from accomplished leaders who bring a wealth of experience through to the new generation who bring fresh ideas and thinking to push our genre forwards,” says Tong, “welcoming all to IMS Ibiza in May.”