Ibiza International Music Summit—Tribal Elders Gather For The Coachella Symposium

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David Ireland
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On Thursday April 12th, the night before all things Coachella sprung to life, the gents from IMS decided to have a warm up lap before their main conference held in Ibiza May 23 - 25. No better place than Coachella for a warm up.

The Coachella symposium was held at the ACE Hotel in Palm Springs and attended by a who’s who of EDM industry veterans, or as we like to call it, Tribal Elders.

A few of those “Elders” in attendance included Pete Tong, Paul Oakenfold, James Barton of Cream/Creamfields, Patrick Moxy of Ultra Records, Paul Morris of AM Only, Jason Bentley (KCRW) and many other influential industry players that have helped shape the business and scene for the last 20 years.

The underlying tone, or overlying perhaps, was the state of electronic music and how incredibly fast it is growing. Some of the topics at hand were:

“How do we handle this?”

“Is this a good thing?”

“Are brands going to come in and ruin everything?”

And of course a few time old questions like:

“What’s happened to the music industry?”

“What’s next?”

After some networking and catching up over some cocktails (thanks 42 Below! Your Moscow Mules are welcome at the Magnetic offices anytime) the main event was underway.

A quick speech from Tatiana Simonian (Music Industry Relations at Twitter) set the stage nicely for the headline act: a one-on-one interview with the infamous Bob Lefsetz—industry insider and founder of the Lefsetz Letter. If you are not familiar with Bob Lefsetz you should go check out his newsletter and join the party. Guy is a very interesting individual to say the least.

Pete Tong (the host) seemed to be under the impression that he was going to be conducting an interview of sorts, errr nope.

Once Bob got the mic in hand it was alllllll Lefsetz and his stream of consciousness that entertained, rattled and gently prodded at the room—like a Gatling gun. Watching Tong trying to contain Lefsetz was kind of like watching Cuba trying to defeat the ‘92 “Dream Team,” it just wasn’t happening.

Leaving the symposium I got the feeling that the sleeping giants, well, aren’t asleep anymore. The next four years or so are going to be very interesting to say the least.