The Miami Winter Music Conference (or ‘WMC’) is an annual festival of dance music that takes place each year under the warm Miami sun. The conference first began in 1985 but since then has grown to become one of the most respected events on the dance music scene. The WMC provides an opportunity for some serious networking for dance music insiders, as well as the chance to gain valuable exposure for those who are looking to make their mark on the scene. While the event has become incredibly popular with producers, DJs, promoters and record label insiders from the US, a good proportion of the 300,000 attendees are made up of visitors from overseas, particularly countries like the UK, France and Spain.
So what is it that attracts people to the WMC? Miami flights are not cheap so there must be something other than the promise of partying? As the WMC has developed over the years, a whole series of events have grown up within it and around it, so that now the event has a comprehensive schedule of lectures, panel discussions and exhibits. There are also competitions – for a range of industry careers, including VJs and DJs – which provide the chance for valuable exposure, both to a new, American audience and to the industry figures attending, who might just spot a talent they want to develop. One of the highlights of the week are the annual International Dance Music Awards, which are decided on votes from more than two million music enthusiasts in 206 countries around the world. There are 57 categories of awards, recognizing legendary industry contribution, as well as the best in up and coming talent.
Of course it’s not just the serious side of the dance music business that the WMC is known for. In a place like Miami it would almost be a crime not to get out and enjoy the weather and that’s where the WMC pool parties come in. Ever wanted to network your way to a record deal while sitting by the pool listening to a gorgeous DJ, surrounded by lots of tanned people in swimwear? Well at the WMC you’re likely to get closer to this dream than anywhere else! The WMC pool parties really are legendary and are attended by the cream of the electronic music world, many of whom will take to the decks, to the delight of the partying crowd.
Tickets for the WMC go on sale in the autumn of the year before the March event and the ticket price varies quite a lot depending on when you register. If you register for the event in early autumn then you will pay around $300 for your ticket. After that the prices continues to go up until the month of the WMC itself (March) when you’re looking at paying between $450 and $500. The fee will buy you a WMC badge and this guarantees entry into most of the events, panel discussions, forums etc. It will also get you into a number of the parties and club nights, but some tend to charge extra – usually in the region of around $10 or more.
If you want to book yourself in for a trip to the WMC it’s a good idea to book this in early, both from the point of view of getting the best deals on Miami flights and also the early bird ticket prices for the event itself. Whether you’re looking for a step up in your career or you just want to indulge in the latest music technology, you’ll find an event, exhibit or club night at the WMC where you can do just that.
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