It feels like we are beating a dead horse when it comes to Winter Music Conference vs. Ultra Music Festival news -- even Louis Puig got in on the action by accusing Ultra of forcing booked acts to sign exclusivity contracts (something the festival's been doing for years) and greed.
On the other end, booking agency Windish Agency has come to Ultra's defense. In a statement, agent Steve Goodgold says, "One would assume that the WMC representatives would have had an open
communication with the people that make the week such a success. They
did not. Instead, they simply made a poor decision by themselves to
shift the dates and ran with it."
Goodgold further states that WMC's date change is "reckless, because a large portion of the 65,000 people discussed above will rush to purchase airfare, book their hotel, and take off work assuming they will experience the usual week of events."
Windish Agency represents acts like Annie Mac, Benga, Chromeo, Crystal Castles, Cut Copy, Diplo, The Hacker, Hot Chip, Midnight Juggernauts, Miss Kittin, Simian Mobile Disco, and more.
Like many readers commented when we posted Puig's statement, the argument boils down to hurt egos and money. Somebody is going to be the loser come March. Question is, who?
Earlier, we said many local nightclubs have told us they saw the week of Ultra as the safer bet, but some are now telling us they will book acts for either week as long as the space is available and the demand is there. Seems like the only way we'll know the winner of this fight will be at the end of March.
Read Goodgold's full statement below:
I think that what is happening right now with the WMC is very upsetting. While I have great respect for the conference itself, I believe what they have done here is made a tremendous error. The WMC has happened at the same time in March for the last seven plus years that I can remember (one year the dates shifted by a week because Easter fell on an unusual date in March). What is happening right now is not a WMC versus ULTRA thing, at all. It's unfortunate that it would be painted in such a way by WMC. It is a gross inconsideration by the WMC for event planners worldwide and Artist scheduling. WMC's date announcement undermines the work performed by thousands of people who have been building events for the 4th week of March. Ultra Music Festival is only one element of the entire week.
It has been the hard work and dedication of the dance music industry itself (Artists, Managers, Agents, Nightclub Owners, Promoters, Record Labels, Publicists, Radio Stations, Websites, Vendors and more) which has enabled the success of this 'electronic music celebration/gathering' for the past decade. Each year a substantial amount of work is done by an enormous amount of people to create a week long calendar of amazing events that happen 24 hours a day. This is all done with passion (and much pain) to give music fans unforgettable experiences. This takes a lot of planning time. Artists' schedules are booked as early as 6 months to 1 year out. The fact is that there are many artists (especially the larger known ones) who are already contracted to perform in Miami the week of March 23 - 27, and contracted to perform elsewhere in the world from March 8 - 12.
Considering that this time period effects so many lives, one would assume that the WMC representatives would have had an open communication with the people that make the week such a success. They did not. Instead, they simply made a poor decision by themselves to shift the dates and ran with it. We are also learning that the dates announced are directly linked to the WMC's inability to secure a venue within the normal week. So what now? They expect an entire army of people that make the week the success it is to just change their entire lives to accommodate their dates? We can't do it for the reasons I have listed above. There are too many contracts already in place and too many schedules already solidified.
Each year approximately 65,000+ people descend upon Miami to participate in the amazing events, yet less than 4,000 people participate in the conference itself. The WMC's own press release states, "During WMC, more than 500 annual industry gatherings and performance events boast one of the most sought after aggregations of legendary and emerging artists to be found in the world." That is correct, and the events they are mentioning are produced by people they neglected to consult with before setting these dates.
The WMC's announcement is reckless, because a large portion of the 65,000 people discussed above will rush to purchase airfare, book their hotel, and take off work assuming they will experience the usual week of events. Those people will gradually learn between now and then that the premiere events with the biggest Artists will be happening March 23 - 27. Is that fair to the Electronic Dance Music audience? I don't think so. I think it is important for the general public to be aware of this now. ULTRA has announced that it will occur at the end of the month as always, and so will hundreds of the annual events that the people have come to love. People coming to Miami in 2011 should buy their plane tickets wisely.
The Windish Agency