Miami’s annual Winter Music Conference has been canceled due to concerns over the spreading coronavirus, organizers announced Monday (March 9), following Florida Governor Ron Desantis‘ state of emergency declaration earlier in the day. WMC had been scheduled for March 16-19.
The announcement follows last week’s news that Miami’s popular Ultra Music Festival was officially canceled, also due to the coronavirus.
Launched in 1985, WMC is a music conference held every March in Miami and is part of the larger event known as Miami Music Week, a 10-year-old week-long marathon of dance music concerts and parties. Drawing an estimated 100,000 attendees and 3,500 music professionals from more than 70 countries at its height, WMC hosts a schedule of events, parties, seminars and workshops and serves as one of the largest industry networking events in the dance/electronic music genre. Though the Ultra Music Festival was originally spawned by the conference, it eventually surpassed it in terms of influence, and its parent company went on to acquire WMC in 2018.
“Due to the Florida Governor’s Declaration of a public health emergency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Interim Guidance for COVID-19, the 35th edition of Winter Music Conference, originally scheduled for March 16-19, 2020, will be rescheduled,” the conference announced in an online statement. “After spending the past ten months preparing for the event with our team, panelists and event partners, we are profoundly disappointed, however, there is nothing more important than the health, safety and physical well-being of our attendees and employees.”
WMC is telling badge holders to stand by for further updates.
This year’s Winter Music Conference was slated to host speakers including YouTube’s Lyor Cohen, Ultra Music founder Patrick Moxey and dance music duo Sofi Tukker, among others.
On Friday, WMC panelists were instructed to “put a pause on any travel plans” due to concerns around the coronavirus, with the promise of an official statement in coming days.
“I want to personally thank you for supporting the rebuilding of this brand, which has been so important to so many of us through out our careers,” wrote WMC director David Ireland in an email. “Without you there would be no WMC, and we truly appreciate your time and efforts.”
WMC is just the latest major music event to have been shut down over coronavirus fears. Along with Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Austin’s South by Southwest was canceled last Friday and international events including Tomorrowland Winter in France and Ultra Abu Dhabi were shut down earlier last week.
Despite the cancellation of Ultra and WMC, Miami Music Week — which is scheduled to take place between March 16-22 — so far appears to be moving forward. Only one major party at that event has yet been canceled: Damian Lazarus‘ Get Lost event in the city of Hialeah.
— Winter Music Conference (@WMCtweets) March 9, 2020