WHAT'S KILLING THE SOUL AT WMC?
WMC has always focused on the less soulful side of dance music. But soulful parties were always a big hit. From the Future parties to MAW at Opium Gardens to Naked Music at Niki Beach, soulful parties were large and successful. So our question is: WHAT'S KILLING THE SOUL AT WMC? We've heard a variety of answers from Ultra, the lack of corporate funds, to the overall rudeness experienced in South Beach.
We asked a few attendees for their take on the situation...
TRACY FORTSON- TRASCAPADES (NYC)
My short answer: Money, Power, Respect (and the lack of each)
DJ WASABI- DJ (MIA)
Hey familia im on the same boat with Tracy.. Been tellin folks about an area in Miami thats growing rapidly "Wynwood Art Design District".. Lots of new indoor and outdoor venues and some have both. I'm sure the owners would appreciate a little extra business.. Less hassle and mainly less of a Bar guarantee. In southbeach what they do is corner you 2 see the Value/Quality of your party! People I see it happening all the time.. Why do u think all of the dope spots rarely have Deep/Soulful/Afro .. They only allow BIG NAME DJ's 2 play that music.. When the up an coming DJ's go and show their proposals with ALL the links and soundcloud mixes, the GM's turn it down cause they look at it as "It's gonna be too dark in here". I've heard the comments people.. It fucking kills me. Music does not have color. If its good its good & if its wack its wack! Grrrr!
JOHN CROOMS- PHOTOGRAPHER (ATL)
It's money , we don't spend it .
DJ NIMBUS- DJ (HOU)
I'd say the cost to the event promoters via the venues aren't helping anything. If the venues are demanding insane guarantees based on the "popularity" of that weekend, it then passes cost off to consumers, who may end up opting out, and then also, some of the promoters are not interested in taking unnecessary risks that only equate to financial gain for the venue, and an inevitable loss to them.
Miami, money, people's perception of how they're suppose to act. Lack of understanding with the soulful scene.
I really think that WMC needs a change of venue, I think Miami has become stale and that venues look at as an opportunity to impact their bottom line. Somewhere really edgy and different..but that would take someone willing to think outside the box
DJ SIR THOMAS- DJ (ATL)
My personal thought is its a combination of all thoses things but mainly the financing. I do agree that 'Ultra' and all the progressive dance parties dominate the spaces but i also feel that WMC schedules in conjunction with that because of the influx of people. I feel what's really killing the SOUL is the lack of support from "US" the dancers-Dj's-consumers of the music and its not intentional but if you really think about it there's 50 small soulful parties to every 1 progressive party because there are so many of us that just wanna be heard that they are willing to do a party anywhere at any time just to say they played in Miami. Its too hard to compete with 'Shelter', MAW & the chicago folks & the NY folks, personally i think there needs to be a lil more collaboration and do something along the line of SouthPort in Miami. I mean the conference is like 7-8 days long, find a major venue and schedule a weeks worth of Soulfull entertainment at that spot with the big names & some new guys that way the venue is sure to make their money (cause that always a complaint about the deep house crowd 'low alcohol sales') the promoters all get their day to shine & the people dont have to go from Downtown to Collins to 14th Street to Wasington to Lincoln to catch their favorite DJ. We all agree in our own cities that the DEEP scene is small & then we make it seem smaller by doing multiple parties & the same time on the same night on opposite ends of town (or the strip i this matter)..........Just my thoughts.
IAN FRIDAY- DJ/PRODUCER (NYC)
Well, it is a complicated in my opinion. Firstly it is difficult to get the support and attention of the WMC if 98% of the people that attend including promoters, deejays and party people do not actually pay to participate in the conference. If we did that then perhaps we could get better deals for clubs, hotel rooms, etc. Ultra Festival had 165,000 participants that spend money. Many of our participants don't want to spend money for party admission, drinks, etc. This is an issue with the culture worldwide. In recent years less people attended from Europe because of the global recession. The conference used to be a place where music business happened but because of the internet one doesn't need to go to Miami to conduct business or to network like before. Thus the dropoff of label sponsored events. The digitization of music has had an impact on labels having money to have promotional events. We need to appeal to to a younger audience so that we can appeal to brands so that we can have access to sponsorship, media coverage, etc. Those are just a few of my thoughts.
ANONYMOUS- DJ/PRODUCER (US)
Well 1st I haven't been goin for a few years & I know that has hurt the conference terribly.......
But seriously I agree with many of the points already mentioned but I think as well with the increase as all have mentioned hotels are almost double than when I started going, drinks have been the same pretty much, but the greediness of the hotels & venues ie: bar guarantees and such just got out of hand.
I have for the last few years have substituted Miami for Detroit's DEMF which is a little more electronic than soulful but the youth is there & there's always going to be a demographic of the youth that want to hear and do something different. I have doin my best to provide that with an annual event I do. If others came there to do the same we may have a new breeding ground.
And to top it off really for me I'm kind of over Miami, a new backdrop would be great. But that's a whole other conversation.
Just my two cents...