Did Winter Music Conference organizers concede defeat? Not exactly.
The largest US conference devoted to electronic music is expanding to 10 days in 2012. From March 16 to 25, WMC 2012 will take over Miami in what promises to be an endless array of events that combine music, fashion, and, yes, conferences.
That means WMC will once again occur at the same time as Ultra Music Festival, which is scheduled for March 23 to 25.
It seems organizers are finally listening to some of the criticism that has been thrown its way the last few years, mostly that it's losing ground to other national music gatherings like SXSW while its local relevancy has also dwindled.
For the past few years, Ultra and the surrounding parties seemed to have eclipsed WMC, with the week resembling more MTV Spring Break than an actual music conference.
In a press release, co-founder Bill Kelly explained WMC's expansion as "an easy decision given the high demand of
artists, businesses and industry delegates. Miami Beach and the greater
Miami area boast some of the most celebrated event and club venues as
well as the hotels and resorts that comprise South Beach's famed Art
Deco District. Hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops and every sort of
possible entertainment venue are filled to capacity during WMC Week to
the point where five days just wasn't enough."
In addition to the sanctioned parties and club events (which will supposedly go on for the entire 10-day duration of the conference), WMC will also introduce events like Music Meets Fashion (March 16 and 17) and WMC Rocks (March 23 to 25). We are really excited for WMC Rocks -- not the name, though, that could be changed -- which is being described as "indie rock meets electronica programming."
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Badges are now on sale via wintermusicconference.com for $275 (that's an early-bird rate, so don't expect it to last for long) and includes admission to the conference, sanctioned parties, the IDMAs, and more. Only thing missing is the guaranteed admission to Ultra -- which probably means it's not water under the bridge just yet between WMC and UMF.
Still, WMC may have realized that the best way to grow is to embrace the monster it created. Organizers also seem to be willing to take greater risks in adding new programming that will hopefully attract new and possibly younger attendees.
Can we finally ditch the forgettable Miami Music Week name and go back to calling it Winter Music Conference?