International Music Summit (IMS) 2019 completes a successful twelfth edition in Ibiza and brings an incredible IMS Week to an end. The powerful three-day summit saw over 1,200 delegates and press from over 50 countries take part in important discussions with global business leaders and artists on the most pressing topics that affect our industry today, serving as a catalyst for industry and personal growth and positive change.
Recognised globally as the leading platform for networking with the electronic music industry, IMS Ibiza delegates benefited from the latest in AI technology to make connections and meet with fellow attendees, with over 68,000 networking recommendations made and 13,500 messages sent via the official IMS Ibiza app.
In addition to the three-day summit, IMS Week delivered a schedule of unmissable events including Remedy State presents ARETÉ (an exclusive entertainment industry focused wellness retreat), daily yoga sessions, Ibiza club openings, the first event Ibiza club broadcast from Boiler Room, and over twenty networking events and parties across the island, including the IMS Dalt Vila seven hour closing finale, broadcast live on radio in forty countries globally on Nicole Moudaber Presents In The MOOD.
IMS Ibiza was co-curated in partnership with shesaid.so, the leading female empowerment organisation in the music industry, the two organisations sharing the same key ideology and vision of creating an environment that supports collaborations, creativity and positive values, breaking down gender stereotypes and promoting and increasing the profile of women who are making an impact in the industry.
To mark such a significant partnership, IMS Ibiza 2019 opened with a powerful keynote address from shesaid.so founder, Andreea Magdalina titled THE FUTURE OF FEMINISM IS MEN.
“We are simply rooting for a restoration of balance” –Andreea Magdalina (shesaid.so, Founder, Romania)
As a statement of intent for the week, the keynote focused on the importance of both men and women in taking a stand on gender inequality issues in order to help collectively create a balanced working environment. This sentiment was echoed across the three-day summit in a series of important discussions around the representation of minority groups within club culture:
“It’s about mentorship apprenticeship and taking the extra effort to nurture the people in your company It’s our opportunity to not just put them behind the bar, but give them the opportunity to become the manager. A lot of us are in the position to give money or jobs to unrepresented people.” –Kae Burke (House Of Yes, Founder & Creative Director, USA)
RESTORING COMMUNITY TO THE DANCEFLOOR, presented by shesaid.so, placed emphasis on ensuring the music industry was not marginalising the communities that initially built dance music, a topic that brought passionate input from all involved. shesaid.so also hosted a further two key sessions focused on understanding how diversity exists beyond gender and curating balanced festival line-ups.
“Being a trans black women is at the top of being hated in the world. That’s the way it is and it’s sad. The whole point of a party is going somewhere and feeling safe.” -Seth Troxler (Artist, USA)
Getting down to business, IMS Ibiza revealed the IMS Business Report 2019; an in-depth economic study of the Electronic Music Industry, covering all aspects of the genre, delivered by Kevin Watson (IMS Business Report, Author, UK).
Th 2019 report highlighted positive movement in many areas including an IFPI survey ranking Dance/ Electronic as the world’s 3rd most popular music genre, behind Pop and Rock. An upward trajectory has been observed with female Techno DJs dominating the festival circuit in 2018 with Nina Kraviz, Amelie Lens and Charlotte de Witte leading the charge. CERCLE, the livestream DJ performance platform was highlighted of particular note as it has generated more than 135 million YouTube views since launch in France in 2016.
Declines were also observed with the overall Electronic Music industry value dipping 1% in 2018 and an acceleration in closure of nightclub venues decline in nightclub venues is accelerating, related to a number of high-profile closures around the world in recent months. Pivoting from such a statistic, Fabric’s Keith Reilly received the Pioneer DJ Award and delivered an honest key note speech followed by an extended debate on club culture hosted by Resident Advisor,featuring twelve leading voices in electronic music from artists to promoters to managers and journalists. Rising and unmanageable artist fees and a dependency on social media were central to a heated debate on how collectively we can save club culture.
“I’ve met some of the coolest people clubbing and if we price them out we’re going to be blank and boring.” -Keith Reilly (Fabric, Creative Director, UK
A powerful and moving day two of IMS Ibiza put a spotlight on the current mental health crisis within the electronic music industry, uniting artists, electronic music leaders and mental health professionals for frank discussions covering personal experiences with mental health and substance abuse issues and collectively taking first steps towards tackling this problem. A fascinating discussion led by DJ Mag explored the conscious decisions of artists and industry professionals who are making an active and sober effort to manage their health for longevity within the industry.
Klas Bergling, father of the late Swedish DJ and producer Tim Bergling, known as Avicii, bravely shared his experiences in a moving and intimate interview with BBC Radio 1’s Pete Tong. He shared the ethics and philosophy of the newly created Tim Bergling foundation, once again drawing attention to the importance of recognising and treating the early signs of deteriorating mental health, anxiety and depression for performing artists and those working in the music industry.
Mr Bergling paid tribute to his son and outlined some of the areas that may have contributed to a deterioration of his state of mind, pointing at a punishing schedule, lack of sleep, pressure to perform and alcohol abuse all contributing to depression and anxiety.
Following on from his interview, Klas Bergling participated in an extended MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS DEBATE, joined by world renowned music artist and mental health campaigner Professor Green, esteemed DJ and producer Luciano, ground breaking DJ Sasha and nineteen other electronic music industry professionals and health practitioners. The discussion centred on what the music industry could do to protect the health of all those that work within it and saw The Association for Electronic Music announce the newly created Electronic Music Industry Guide To Mental Health, available to download soon.
In BYE BYE PLASTIC, experts and passionate artists discussed how we can make positive changes evolving our industry for a greener future alongside the reduction of single-use plastics by the introduction of an environmental rider for all artists. It was highlighted that according to ‘The Show Must Go On, An Alarming Report From Festival Thinktank – Powerful Thinking’, UK festivals produce 23,500 tonnes of waste with audiences consuming 10 million plastic bottles per year. Environmental efforts continued outside of the summit room with a beach clean on Playa d’en Bossa, IMS providing delegate bags made from recycled plastic bottles and no single use plastic straws at IMS Dalt Vila.
As a globally focused summit, IMS Ibiza explored the wave of artists, events and clubs from across Eastern Europe who have firmly put the region on the map from Romania to Poland and Ukraine. THE EASTERNBLOC featuring artists Nastia and Alexandra, highlighted how some regions in Eastern Europe are partying more responsibly, giving their events more longevity without the risk of putting people’s lives in danger.
Spotlight was also shone on the individuals and organisations that are helping put one of the most conflicted regions in the world, Palestine, on the map whilst identifying the challenges the region faces.
“When Boiler Room came they (police) took all of their equipment for two weeks just to check through the footage. I have British and Italian friends who can’t come back to the country because they were on the Palestinian side five times. They can ban you for ten years for no reason.” -SAMA’ (Artist, Palestine)
Data-driven streaming and digital strategies were an important cornerstone of 2019 discussions, with STREAMING IN THE DJ BOOTH, THE BIG DATA and THE DATA DEBATE examining the role of streaming solutions for artists and how to use data to your advantage as a fan and artist. As always the summit expanded beyond the core business of music to cover creativity and technique, as illustrated by Grammy-nominated hitmaker Jax Jones (Artist, UK) who broke down his track ‘Breathe’ with Ina Wroldsen, during a captivating and light-hearted Production Masterclass with Point Blank Music School, advising delegates that a hit track not only needs good music but a good story behind it too.
Day three in the summit suite opened with a lively conversation with the most notable figures operating on the island today in THE GREAT ANNUAL IBIZA DEBATE followed by 20 YEARS OF COCOON with the legendary Sven Väth (Artist, Germany) and charismatic keynotes from Charlotte de Witte (Artist, Belgium) and Zane Lowe (Apple Music; Global Creative Director; New Zealand / USA), both in conversation with Pete Tong the intimate discussions covered their respective journeys in the industry and plans for the future.
“I was young and a girl. I had no idea this would be my job. And I didn’t feel secure to share my own identity so picking a male identity ‘Raving George’ made me more comfortable. People coming to my show were quite surprised.” –Charlotte de Witte
Celebrating an icon of our industry, the IMS Legends Award was proudly presented to Café Mambo founder Javier Anadon in the warm company of industry figures and close friends at a gala dinner hosted at beautiful rural hotel Casa Maca.
A seven-hour music celebration marked the grand-finale of IMS Ibiza at the 2,500 year old UNESCO World Heritage Site.IMS Dalt Vila featured some of the world’s leading house and techno artists including Luciano, Adam Beyer, Ida Engberg, plus a closing set from Charlotte De Witte broadcast live on the globally syndicated radio show Nicole Moudaber Presents In The MOOD in partnership with Mixcloud.
IMS Ibiza has again unquestionably upheld itself as the key annual networking event for all electronic music industry professionals, a place where the international dance community congregates to network, share business opportunities, discuss new technologies and tackle key industry challenges face on.