• Kristopher Kesoglides

Winter Music Conference 2014


The 29th Annual Winter Music Conference was celebrated last month down in Miami, Florida. The conference was held at the Miami Convention Center and brought out music representatives, industry workers and artists from all around the world, as per usual. Over the course of 10 days, March 21st – 30th, there were over 300 official WMC events, panels, parties and networking opportunities for people to meet and socialize over a summery cocktail and an exchange of business cards.

Although WMC places a focus on Electronic Dance Music, live acts were very well incorporated into the week’s worth of festivities. More recently, the conference has added a panel to discuss the collaborative efforts between DJ’s and live musicians, considering the rise of dance music and its festival-pronged nature. Hip-hop artists, alternative bands and vocalists had an enormous presence throughout the week. One act in particular, Equanimous Minds, drew massive appeal.

Equanimous Minds

A trio that incorporates a house DJ/Producer, live percussionist and an electronic violinist played a total of three events during the conference, including an album release party. A powerful mix of ambient deep house, suspenseful, tribal percussion and passionate violin leads orchestrated an addictive groove for the crowd. At their release party at the Astor Hotel in Miami, the trio brought on a couple of guest performers to add to an already impressive collection of musical elements. Two-thirds of the trio, drummer Bopa King Carre and violinist Gray Devio, spoke as panelists on the aforementioned panel, “Bridging the Gap: DJ and Live musician” and the whole group performed at one of the most renowned WMC events, the International Dance Music Awards.

International Dance Music Awards

Founded along with Winter Music Conference, the IDMA’s are the only awards that focus primarily focus on the Electronic Dance Music scene. Over two million votes are cast from 209 countries each year to recognize artists, DJs, events, clubs and companies spanning 57 categories. The 29th annual IDMA’s were held at the intimate Colony Theatre. Guest appearances were made by well-known names including Dannic, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Foxes, Hardwell, R3hab and Martin Garrix. Representatives of Spotify, Pioneer, Ultra Music Festival, Tomorrowland and Spinnin’ Records also attended and were recognized in certain categories. WMC badge holders were allowed to attend on first come, first serve basis.

DJs From Mars

Sporting a couple of fancy cardboard boxes, with a twist on the famous theatrical faces of comedy and tragedy, this duo wasted no time at WMC’s Industry Social. Miami was only a small stop on their current international tour. Wreaking fame off of one of their more familiar songs, that was paired with a mockingly intricate tutorial music video, “Phat Ass Drop” helped score this team a number 95 spot on DJ mag’s top 100. Their headlining spot at a small dive bar in downtown Miami allowed the duo to trace their humble beginnings while the crowd was in the palm of their hands. A clever display of alien antics and key mash-ups called was a perfect mix for a brainwashing performance.

Electric Beach Festival

Held every year at Nikki Beach, this mini festival hires some of the top acts in the EDM scene. This year, beach goers had the opportunity to see names such as Plastic Funk, Sick Individuals and Dvbbs. As an all day event, partygoers were allowed to come and go as they pleased, choosing between indoor and outdoor stages, as well as genre specified tents. Sick Individuals headlined the indoor club, and proved to be an outstanding electro act, blurring lines between upscale bottle service customers and beach ravers.

Takeaway

Winter Music Conference 2014 was yet another successful year of making connections, building networks and opening huge windows of opportunities for many artists. It was the epitome of the model of the music and entertainment industry. Countless artists, DJs, promoters, event planners, managers, publicists, journalists, CEO’s, sound & lighting engineers would meet during the day, exchange a handshake and a business card, then go on to let loose over a cocktail in the evening. The drive and passion in the Miami air was inspiring. The love for music and the arts brought together people from all around the world, and will forever continue to do so.


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