Established in 1985, Miami’s legendary Winter Music Conference is the largest longstanding dance and electronic dance music gathering of its kind recognized around the globe. Generating over a billion unique viewer media impressions year round, with over 2 million attendees from more than 209 recorded countries and territories, the WMC is, without a doubt, a pivotal platform for the advancement of the industry. For many years WMC, Miami Music Week, and Ultra Music Festival were considered one in the same.
While thousands of EDM enthusiasts were busy gearing up for Miami Music Week and Ultra Music Festival, many did not take notice that one of the area’s biggest events has been keeping a very quiet profile for quite some time now…
The official press release confirming the dates for the 2018 edition was never announced, the website has yet to be updated over the course of an entire year, not to mention the company’s social media accounts have remained dormant.
Despite surviving over three decades of musical trends, and sustaining their imprint as a pivotal platform, there seemed to be more cracks in their foundation than met the eye – like in 2011, when the partnership with Ultra Music Festival fizzled.
With the monumental success that came of Miami Music Week and Ultra Music Festival, it seems as though the WMC were left with little room to continue to branch out and triumph. Now that the end of March is quickly approaching, the grim reality is slowly being realized by all…
“It’s a miracle WMC held on as long as they did,” says IMS’ Turner. “We have to salute Bill Kelly for his incredible contribution and hanging in for this long. For the record, IMS has been asked many times by people there to jump in and run a summit during Miami at this time but we always declined out of respect for their event and their space. I also think it’s now off people’s radar as a ‘must-attend’ and that Art Basel has a much of a pull now for the electronic industry, and that sadly it’s time is up for March.”
It seems as though despite their incredible accomplishments throughout the decades, they were not able to keep up with the shift in values of dance music as a whole. Although the “death” of their platform has seemingly been confirmed, the ironic aspect is that they have ultimately met their goal: influencing dance music in America and the world.
RIP Winter Music Conference, February 1985- March 2017; you will be missed!
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