On day three of IMS Ibiza one of the most legendary electronic brands of our time was welcomed to the stage as Enric Palau (Sónar Festival, Co-Director, Spain) Georgia Taglietti (Sónar Festival, Head of Communications, Spain) shared their story with Ben Turner. 25 YEARS OF SÓNAR – SHAPING UNDERGROUND CULTURE was a frank and revealing session covering the powerful impact of the festival on the electronic music scene and culminated with the announcement that Sónar would receive the 2018 Pioneer DJ Award.
Celebrating another milestone 25 YEARS OF POSITIVA RECORDS – THE CHANGING FACE OF A&R bought together two of the leading figureheads of the label recalled fond memories of the inception of the label and underlined why the label is so strong and relevant. Jason Ellis (Positiva/Virgin Records, A&R Director: 2008-present, UK) and Nick Halkes (Positiva/EMI Dance, Founder/Managing Director:1993-1999) highlighted the incredible back catalogue and string of anthems that sound tracked the heyday and the hedonism of Ibiza through the ’90s and the many that went on to crossover to be huge chart hits, including Shapeshifters’ ‘Lola’s Theme’ and David Guetta’s ‘When Love Takes Over’.
Dean Wilson (SEVEN20, CEO, USA) one of the most successful and most respected artist managers in the electronic music business, co-founder of ThreeSixZero, long-term manager of deadmau5, and now representing his new company, Seven20 Management sat with Pete Tong and pinpointed the ups and down of discovering new talent, his not so easy move to the US in 2011, along with the progression of megastar Calvin Harris. Wilson also talked honestly about the motives behind his company partnering with Live Nation / Roc Nation ‘We knew we needed help, no one would answer our calls, no one would answer our calls. We didn’t really understand the US market’.
Joining the conversation from via live steam from his home studio was Deadmau5 (Artist, Canada). Animated, engaging and of course disruptive, stating “I’m really happy where I’m at right now. I’m kind of in the middle. “I’ve pissed enough people off that I’ll never be right at the top and I’m worth enough money that I’ll never be at the bottom”. Zimmerman also covered his experiences with major labels, “‘EMI was a funny relationship’”, as well as his future plans and his new video game venture.
The artistic and cultural impact of Burning Man was examined in BLACK ROCK CITY x IBIZA: CULTURAL OPPOSITES OR KINDRED SPIRITS. Seth Troxler (Artist, USA) recalled how it took the full experience of Black Rock City to capture his love, “People dragged me to Burning Man and I hated it. Then the sun came up and I couldn’t stop smiling.” Adding the full panel’s outlook that Burning Man really is a city and community, Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley (Burning Man Project, Communications Manager, USA) confirmed that for those attending it profoundly changes their way of thinking and attitude to life. The panel ended on a powerful quote from Ed Karney, manager of Seth Troxler who passionately spoke on the need to bring the focus of Ibiza away from VIP culture and back to the people that love electronic music, noting “if you don’t look at where the kids are coming from all of this will fizzle off into a bunch of middle aged people like myself, who are kind of looking back thinking, what happened?
This community thread was echoed in THE ANNUAL IBIZA DEBATE which focused on how to keep the scene moving forward whilst maintaining a focus on sustainability and impact on the island
Becoming a parent is traditionally perceived as a hindrance in one’s career in the music business, particularly if you’re a woman or an artist, in general. The open discussion PRACTICAL PARENTING – HOSTED BY SHESAID.SO talked about creating more awareness in this space and juggling family life, Hosted by Andreea Magdalina (Shesaid.so, Founder, USA) the discussion highlighted struggles from artist managers and artist themselves, including La Fleur who commented, “I toured until I was 7 months pregnant. I wanted to wait for the right time in my career but I realised that there was never going to be a right time. Now, I think I’m more ahead of my career than I was back then.”
Also on day three Declan McGlynn (Point Blank, Music Journalist, UK) hosted Andrea Oliva (Artist, Switzerland) for a DJ Skills masterclass, “I like it to be chaotic. Chaos causes creativity.” said the ANTS resident before delivering insight into his unique approach to DJing and performing to a live crowd.
This year see’s BURN Residency evolve into a 9-month programme that provides 10 emerging DJs opportunities to build their careers outside of their home country. In partnership with DJ Mag, BURN Residency hosted a discussion on HOW TO BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL TOURING DJ. Loco Dice (Artist, Germany) recommended, “Never stop dreaming, dreams come true. I had a dream and it came true” focus from the full panel was very much on true life balance and surrounding yourself with positivity. Nastia (Artist, Ukraine) talked frankly about her rise as a global name, family life and how true balance relies on making the right priorities