After much speculation, Winter Music Conference has announced it will indeed return this year. The storied industry gathering will be a three-day conference at the Faena Forum in Miami Beach. It's smaller in scale than past editions. Last year's conference spanned four days, and it ran six days in 2011.
WMC also seems to be taking full advantage of Miami Music Week's midweek dates, meaning it won't have to compete with the MMW climax: the 24-hour, nonstop partying that happens during the weekend. Not that it matters much to partygoers, because they aren't the conference's target demographic. Instead, WMC is meant for people in the industry — musicians, producers, agents, publicists — who are looking to network. Still, this means a majority of attendees won't have to decide between going to the conference or staying out well past sunrise.
According to the organizers, during the event, the conference will announce WMC's future plans, which include once again making it a must-attend industry event.
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Registration is open, with presale tickets available for $195 through March 19. Prices will jump to $249 at the door.
The panels that have been announced so far include discussions about A&R (artists and repertoire), licensing and streaming, and music publicity, as well as a panel featuring as yet unannounced "heavyweight champions" from the industry. These topics are not out of the norm for WMC, which is unfortunate because discussions touching on the #MeToo movement, marginalized groups in the industry, emerging dance genres, and new ways of distributing music could add some much-needed relevance and help the conference stand out from other industry events.
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Also returning are the International Dance Music Awards, including 21 categories such as Best Live Performance, Best Album, and Best Club. Voting is open to the public.
Winter Music Conference 2018. Tuesday, March 20, through Thursday, March 22, at Faena Forum, 3300-3398 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; faena.com. Tickets cost $195 via eventbrite.com through March 19 and $249 at the door.