Highlights from IMS, Ibiza – Day 1 & 2.


The annual conference for Electronic Music industry professionals and artists a-like is of course, the International Music Summit (IMS), Ibiza.  A huge melting pot of individuals from all corners of the industry with one thing in common – MUSIC!

Day 1 of IMS opened with introductions from IMS partners including IMS co founder Ben Turner and Andreea Magdalina of SHESAID.SO, a leading female empowerment organisation. Andreea gave the first keynote address which focussed on connecting and empowering marginalised communities in the music industry with a focus on women’s rights. Her address was entitled “The Future of Feminism in Men” – a bold title which supports the SHESAID.SO message that “men are our allies” and that it will take the support of BOTH men and women to bring women to a place within the music industry of equal opportunity, treatment and pay.

Andreea Magdalina – SHESAID.SO

Discussions followed including the IMS Business Report presented by Kevin Watson (IMS Business Report; Author; UK) and The Data Debate (also moderated by Kevin Watson) with panelists including Chris Cooke (CMU Insights; Founder / Managing Director; UK), Duco Smit (tappit; Chief Commercial Officer; Netherlands) and Georgia Meyer (Midia Research; Analyst; UK). Interesting statistics were gathered from the report including;
  • Female Techno DJs dominated the festival circuit in 2018. Analysis by Festicket shows that Nina Kraviz played twice as many festivals as the leading band, The Killers, with 34 in total. Amelie Lens and Charlotte de Witte also feature in the Top 5. In addition, Nina, Amelie & Charlotte have grown their Instagram, YouTube & Spotify fanbases faster than the Top 5 DJs in the Viberate rankings over the past year
  • Forbes latest report shows estimated earnings of highest-paid DJs fell significantly in 2018. The Top 10 total of $261m in 2018 was the lowest since 2013
  • Global recorded music revenues (for all genres) grew by 9.7% in 2018, driven by streaming across all geographies, with Latin and North America showing the greatest growth.
It was discussed how data will become more and more vital as digital technology and measurement tools evolve;
“Cashless is the next step of data capture, you can tie that back into social which is also interesting. We’re focussed on the live data on-site”.
Duco Smith – Tappit
SHESAID.SO returned to the stage to present an interesting debate on “Restoring Community To The Dance Floor”. Moderated by Bill Brewster (Writer/DJ), he opened the debate by saying: “Our scene (Electronic Music) was built on the shoulders of marginalised people in the late 1960s/early 70s in New York and the 1980s in Chicago in places like The Sanctuary and Paradise Garage and these clubs were seen as places for the Black and Brown LGBTQ communities to get away from the everyday problems of the world that were actually occurring on their doorsteps. Now in 2019, I feel we need to re-connect ourselves with same marginalised people on dance floors as the scene that was founded by African American in the 70s/80s is now mostly white and heterosexual and to some extent Dance Music has lost its roots.”. The panel consisted of Kae Burke (House of Yes), Nadine Artois (Pussy Palace), Nissan Logan( Moonshine ), Sophia Kearney (The Weird & The Wonderful) all of whom have created and/or run nights for marginalised communities today plus Seth Troxler who said “Our label, Tuskegee was born for this very reason. Myself and the Martinez Brothers were sat together and realised there aren’t many other star DJs of colour or even just people of colour in Dance Music anymore and we wanted to create a label to promote people of colour to add some diversity musically to Electronic Music in the next realm.”.

Restoring Community To The Dance Floor

Day 2 at IMS focussed mainly on Mental Heath within the industry. DJ Magazine presented a talk titled ‘A Twist In My Sobriety” where it was discussed how hard it is to be sober when a lot of other people in the club aren’t. The panel included Cathal Smyth (Artist; UK), Clare Scivier (Your Green Room; Founder, UK), Ean Golden (DJ Tech Tools; Artist / Founder; USA), Luciano (Artist; Chile) and it was Moderated by Carl Loben (DJ Magazine; Editor; UK). Luciano spoke candidly about his two years of sobriety and said: “It’s part of it. It’s a part of the behaviour to associate going to dance  with having a shot or drugs. It has to do with the behaviour. I chose to say that I cannot live this way because I’ll suffer the consequence. I decided to take a twist in order to keep doing what I do well, my talent was music and my passion was music. The gift that was given to me was to give music to all the people around. I had to be more humble and less stupid to make the most of the opportunity given to me.”

Luciano who spoke candidly about is journey to sobriety

As well as Mental Health, the impact of single use plastic within the industry was discussed. Worrying statistics   were shared to highlight just how serious the situation of plastic in the industry is, including;
  • UK festivals produce 23.500 tonnes of waste each year.
  • Audiences at UK festivals consume 10 million plastic bottles per year.
  • UK festivals use 5 million litres of fuel and emit almost 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every single year.
Panelist Vivie-Ann Bakos (Artist – Blond:Ish) said “We want to remove single-use plastics from the music industry. Think about small actionable stuff that we can actually get people to do. Let’s change our hospitality riders to be plastic free. The whole point is that we make these tiny steps so we can then move onto the next layer.” and Sandra Benbeniste of Ibiza Preservation Fund; Executive Director; Spain added; “Ibiza plastic free is possible. Just join the movement! Spread the word and lead by example. You can really use your influence to make it happen.”.

“Bye Bye To Plastic” panel – Claire O’Neill (A Greener Festival) Jolyon Klean (Orca Sound Project; Founder; UK) Karin Koopmans (Heartfeldt Foundation; Founder/ Campaign Leader; USA) Sandra Benbeniste (Ibiza Preservation Foundation; Executive Director; Spain) Vivie-Ann Bakos (Artist – BLOND:ISH / Bye Bye Plastic; Canada) Zak Day (Oceanic Global Foundation; Musical Partnerships; UK) Moderated by Mark Lawrence (Black Rock Publishing / AFEM; Director / Consultant; Spain)

Day 2 closed with a long and much needed discussion on Mental Health which opened with Pete Tong and the father of the late Avicii, Klas Bergling who introduced The Tim Bergling Foundation. He said “We are setting up the foundation to focus on preventative work for mental illness and suicide and we are also looking at threatened animals and nature which was Tim’s passion as well as climate which us very connected to this.”. He expressed his frustration with what is deemed acceptable within the industry saying: “It’s not many jobs that you can drink while you work, or you’re allowed to. If you start drinking at your job, your manager is supposed to take care of you quickly’.

The discussion of Mental Health continued with a panel including world renowned music artist and mental health campaigner Professor Green, esteemed DJ and producer Luciano, ground breaking DJ Sasha and many other industry professionals and health practitioners who have all had experience of addiction or mental health problems. It was a somewhat sobering end to Day 2 as we thought about all the talent and artists the industry has lost through addiction and/or depression when ultimately Dance Music is all about freedom of expression and high energy.  At the same time, there was a sense of movement in the right direction that such discussions are now openly taking place, encouraging people who are struggling to reach out and ask for help.

Pete Tong and Klas Bergling

Stay tuned for highlights from Day 3 at IMS plus everything you need to know about what went down at the official IMS parties!





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An adept industry insider, Matt has serviced many great brands for a number of years. Integral to the Electric Mode family and a firm extension of our future plans his experience is both trusted and notable.

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