After a glorious, sunny Great Escape, we were very lucky and got to carry on the sunny vibes by heading to Ibiza for the International Music Summit (IMS). This annual conference just keeps getting better and this year's did not disappoint.
Day 1 began with Ben Turner and Blaise James' presentation on the launch of their Remedy State Retreat which happened prior to IMS out on the Isle. Looking after yourself and each other, both physically and mentally was going to be an ongoing theme throughout the conference especially on the first day where panels discussed Mental Well Being, the #metoo movement and even a keynote on how to sleep better. The industry can be a tough and relentless, which was especially prevalent with the loss of Avicci earlier this year which Pete Tong addressed in a moving Keynote. Keeping with the theme next panel of the day looked at our Duty of Care, discussing the issues faced with touring DJs, and what we can do as an industry as a whole and those on their team to ensure their health is seen as a priority and that early warning signs are spotted. There was relevant case studies both from the electronic music scene and other parts of the music industry discussed by the panel which included managers, artists and industry professionals such as; Mathew Stuart (ATC Management), Christine Brown (Help Musicians), Dan Tait (Pioneer Sounds), Danny Howard (Artist), Kelly Money (Little Empire Music) and Pete Tong.
With the focus in the past 12 months on the #metoo movement within the movie industry one of the panels discussed how these kind of initiatives have affected the electronic music scene and the wider music scene, where sexual misconduct has not only been rife but has often been glamorised in lyrics and music videos and what solutions can be put in place to put an end to these experiences and make the dance music sector more inclusive.
Of course Ibiza wouldn’t be Ibiza without a pool side party and we enjoyed meeting up with clients and friends at the Ministry of Sound networking party later in the afternoon and then we joined DJ Mag for an exclusive David Morales set on the rooftop.
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Day 2 started for us with a discussion on Drug Testing at events, a key topic back here in the UK, especially within the festival scene. We do seem to be moving towards a more open discussion on this, with more and more festivals introducing some kind of testing within their sites, after Secret Garden Party led the way a couple of years ago. The highlight of the conference for me was the Keynote with Bradley Gunn Raver, who is the viral sensation filmed all over the world with his unstoppable dancing. Bradley has Aspergers Syndrome and the chat really brought forward how music and sober raving is good for the soul and that it is all about the music, Bradley discussed how his love of raving has helped him develop his social skills and channel his energy into his work. We also got a sneak preview of Bradley’s debut track ‘Love Life and Rave’ which he has produced with Phutek.
After an afternoon of meetings it was then time for the highlight of everyone’s IMS Ibiza, the now yearly AFEM lounge sponsored by Ticketmaster up on the roof of the Hard Rock Hotel. This year was even more special as we announced our exclusive partnership with MixMag, which means all content will link to Ticketmaster events and we will be providing a white label ticket shop for their website.
Ticketmaster Artist Services were busy scribbling notes in panels, sprinting between venues for gigs and picking up the bar tabs.