IMS Ibiza 2017 Recap

7 June 2017






From the dialogue of the SUMMIT room to the WALLS of Dalt Vila, IMS 10 LIVEd up to its reputation as the go-to BUSINESS FORUM for electronic music


Confirming its position at the vanguard of presenting educational, inspirational and motivational discussions within the electronic music industry, the tenth edition of International Music Summit (IMS) Ibiza provided another hugely insightful and successful event with a key focus on not only connecting electronic music culture but also protecting and progressing it.

Across four days 1,200 members of the global electronic music community from 48 different countries assembled at Ibiza’s Hard Rock Hotel for a series of lively and engaging debates covering the most pressing issues facing the industry today, resulting in three very strong themes:


The gender debate was prevalent throughout the summit, as IMS partnered with both SheSaid.So, a network created to empower women in the industry and Smirnoff Sound Collective’s Diversity in Music initiative. A topic strongly deliberated by almost every delegate present, IMS co-founder Ben Turner has vowed the conference will host a gender diversity debate every year until it is “no longer an issue that needs discussing”.

Many present also remarked that now is the time for less talk and more action; The Black Madonna firmly proclaiming in her own separate keynote:

 “Stop debating it, it’s not a debatable fact, it’s like climate change, it’s like evolution. Even debating this topic… we are so far past that.”

Leading international artists including Dixon, Jesse Rose and Agoria all remarked on the importance of remaining focused on self well-being and shared personal truths of how they all find their own individual balance.

Moving on from health issues to that of hedonism, senior music industry execs from both sides of the Atlantic expressed their frustrations with how the authorities deal with the question of drugs. LWE promoter Alice Favre said she hoped that London would follow other cities’ leads in allowing drug testing at venues. “I’d really like to be at the forefront of pushing that forward.” Eddie Dean, CEO of RPM Presents, lamented that the US conversation had progressed nowhere near as far. “If the world ‘drug’ comes up in a meeting, everybody just ducks. It’s crazy.”

The closure of the iconic Space and the opening of its replacement Hï Ibiza featured heavily on the Annual Ibiza Debate. Whilst heralding a new era for the island the topic sparked significant dialogue on sustainability and the effect the ambition of the island and the rise of VIP culture is having on the working class of Ibiza, with Seth Troxler passionately noting “everyone has their own taste and everyone should have a place that they can go to.”

Issues of welfare did not stop there as Art Department’s Jonny White, Wade Cawood (CEO Pulse Global) and Jack Baucher (CEO Tears for Tigers) came together to introduce MAAC and discuss how they will help protect endangered wildlife through the music industry. They revealed staggering statistics – during IMS Ibiza alone over 300 Elephants will have been culled globally.

The Association For Electronic Music’s CEO Mark Lawrence invited industry professionals including Austin Kramer of Spotify and Sulinna Ong of Deezer to discuss digital consumption of music in all its forms as the dominant and accepted consumption method. This is a conversation that not only reaffirmed streaming as the most galvanizing way to break new music in 2017 but also to cultivate a sustainably strong listenership.

Highly anticipated and iconic keynotes came throughout the conference from artists such as New Order’s Bernard Sumner, The Black Madonna, Masters at Work, The Martinez Brothers and Dixon.

Bernard Sumner’s conversation with Pete Tong made for a remarkable interview and arguably one of the most memorable highlights. Referencing the recent tragic events in his native Manchester, Bernard remarked “It’s just gut-wrenching, heart-breaking. It just seems completely barbaric and pointless, and breaks my heart.” He went on to passionately recount his experiences of Ibiza in the late 1980s, attending early super clubs and recording his seminal 1989 album Technique on the island.

The Martinez Brothers in conversation with Pete Tong shared their youthful recollections of life in New York City and gave a key piece of advice for the next generation on how to achieve sustainable success.

“Persistence…The Power of Persistence” 

Closing the tenth edition of IMS, the audience was treated to a personal interview with Innervisons very own Dixon. This rare public interview with BBC Radio1’s B.Traits went deep into the inner visions of this innovative artist.

The summit finished seamlessly; moving everyone’s attention from the dialogue of the conference room to the walls of UNESCO World Heritage Site Dalt Vila with a stellar b2b line up befitting such a milestone year, creating an incredible atmosphere and marking the start of what could become one of the most important Ibiza seasons ever.

IMS co-founder Ben Turner states: “More than any other year, the talks seemed to really resonate far and wide. We are in the age of transparency, and I hope people felt our speakers were being open and honest about their challenges. Its been a truly inspiring decade and this was a great way to celebrate it.”