Inward investment in electronic music is at an all time high currently as brands, companies and investors look to capitalise on the perceived explosion of this crazy new youth movement. The Americans have rebranded it ‘EDM’, but for anyone who knows dance music of course, that hashtag friendly acronym somewhat devalues the lengthy grass roots of the scene and the steady quarter of a century of self-evolution that dance music has gone through.
Perhaps what has attracted these new investors to dance music is the fact that the industry has steered itself successfully, by no one hand, to commercial and critical success on a global level. It is still growing. And more importantly, it has survived and exponentially grown with each new successive generation – usually the point when a youth movement dies.
The fractured, small business driven nature of the industry, a million tiny feet powering the behemoth, is probably what attracted media mogul Robert F.X Sillerman to consolidate many of electronic music’s most successful businesses under his one SFX Entertainment roof. They are worth more together.
In order to continue to attract inward investment in ever greater amounts though, the dance music industry needs to grow up. And we know it. That’s why I’m particularly excited by Brighton Music Conference (BMC), the UK’s first annual business conference for EDM.
Whilst partying is still on the cards over the event’s two days, BMC‘s primary focus will be on business and education and the quality of the speakers lined up – as well as the issues that will be debated on the panels – speaks volumes about how serious BMC takes its dance music business.
Speakers from Beatport, Native Instruments, Pioneer, Ableton, Sennheiser, Mixcloud, Spinnin’ Records, PRS For Music, Funktion-One, Point Blank, and Spotify will all be present at BMC.
The official opening panel of BMC is titled The Current State of Electronic Music – What’s Coming Next. Beatport’s Terry Weerasinghe, VP of Music Services, will discuss that issue with Resident Advisor Editor Ryan Keeling, DJ Magazine’s MD Martin Carvell, and Ari Evans, Founder & CEO of the exciting new US platform LessThan3. Other talks at the trade conference will cover important topics such as The Future of Artist – Fan Connections, Royalty Distribution, Sync Licensing, and New Revenue Streams. Altogether eight important issues will be discussed by dance music’s brightest at the trade conference (tickets £76).
There’s also education on the cards at BMC. To dance music veterans, nurturing the next generation of DJs, producers, label owners, and ravers has always been part of the scene’s mantra: fresh blood, keeps the partying going long into the next day.
The two-day exhibition part of BMC will feature 38 talks and seminars covering everything from technology showcases by Ableton, and Native Instruments, to How To Set Up A Label, 21st Century DJing, How To Get An Agent, Piracy, and Is PR Worth It?. And all for a very reasonable £12 (two day pass). Incredible value for what will be an intensive crash course in electronic music career advancement.
Aspiring artists will even be able to rub shoulders with some of dance music’s most respectable artists, including DJ Eats Everything, who will be put under the live interview spotlight. There will also be discussion on the History of Electronic Music with Bill Brewster, co-author of the seminal book Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, DJ Mag’s Carl Loben, and Dave Haslam, who was a resident DJ of the famous Madchester venue The Haçienda. Huw Owen, Producer of BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix will also sit on a panel about The Role of Radio alongside Mixcloud founder Nikhil Shah, and Funktion-One’s renowned soundsystem designer Tony Andrews will discuss The Importance of Audio Quality.
Other DJs confirmed to do talks and Q&As at the BMC exhibition include Dave Clarke, Steve Mac and Orbital (TBC). Altogether 30 companies will showcase the latest music kit and electronic music initiatives including Sennheiser, Loopmasters, National Association of Disc Jockeys, and ACS.
Sounds like dance music is growing up.
BMC Super early bird tickets
Super early bird tickets are now on sale.
Trade conference: £76 (limited spaces, £86 from Feb 14)
Exhibition: £5 (£8 from Feb 1)
Brighton Music Conference
When: April 11 & 12 2014
Where: Brighton Dome & Brighton’s top clubs
More info: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter.