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Review: IMS Ibiza 2013 Day 1

Let the opinions fly...

Yesterday saw two long-awaited days: the first sunny day of the week and first day of the IMS conference. Ibiza Gran Hotel was filled with the world's leading dance music industry decision makers and enthusiasts discussing the topics behind this year's title ‘Beyond the Boom Boom.'

New figures show that the global electronic dance music industry is now worth an estimated $4.5 billion annually, and with a whopping 20,000 tracks released on Beatport each week, and Shazam helping you discreetly discover what that catchy new song is you can't get enough of, the industry's worth is only going to soar.

The topic ‘The Changing Face of Ibiza' was revisited from 2012, and Ibiza Entertainment's Mark Netto pointed out that although ‘change isn't always as openly embraced in Ibiza as you may think,' 2013 is definitely the year for it. With less exclusivity and clubs ‘DJ-sharing' (we see the likes of Loco Dice, Luciano and Solomun with fingers in many a musical pie this season) it seems this change is inspired by cooperation and a united front where the intention is for a purely packed island and an all round successful season.

Pacha and Ushuaïa have definitely had the biggest musical makeovers; Ushuaïa director Yann Pissenem, who referred to the poolside club as an ‘amusement park' for adults, seems keen to show an openness for not just structural change such as the new Tower but also musically, introducing more ‘underground' events such as house and techno heavyweight Loco Dice's Thursday residency. Meanwhile David Vincent discusses Sankeys' ‘Seven Wonders of the Week' and we can clearly expect a huge and exciting progression from this club this summer. Having closed Sankeys Manchester could this be Sankeys Ibiza's summer? With residencies from contemporary artists and labels such as Finnebassen and Hypercolour, Vincent is keen to book the artists who are going to be ‘the ambassadors of the island ten years on'. He also questioned the labelling of ‘underground' for Sankeys (‘it's not underground if you advertise and put posters up everywhere') and provided the alternative label ‘advertised forward-thinking music.' Guy Gerber's humour kept the atmosphere between these club honchos from getting too heavy, describing his new residency, Wisdom of the Glove at Pacha, as his response to an industry that he believes could be starting to take itself too seriously.

A highlight of the day was Pete Tong's engage with music critic Bob Lefsetz who in typical fashion held nothing back, sharing his opinion on Shazam, Facebook and Daft Punk's comeback, stating ‘one of the hardest things to do is follow up on success, and the longer you wait the harder it becomes'. He ended on a positive note, saying that Electronic Dance Music creates an experience that can't be replicated by re-watching footage of an event or by live streaming, and that is one of the reasons its popularity continues to grow so rapidly.

With so many strong opinions aired and topics covered on the first day, it'll be interesting to see what the next two days, and of course the nights at Dalt Vila have in store.

Words - Lydia Laws, Photos - James Chapman

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