Ultra Music Festival has announced some big news today. At a press conference this morning, the festival announced that it is acquiring Winter Music Conference.
There had been speculation about Winter Music Conference and how much it had in the tank. Facing stuff competition from Amsterdam Music Event, EDMbiz in Las Vegas and IMS in Ibiza, it was struggling to maintain itself as the face of dance music conferences around the globe. Also the shifting priorities for many going to Miami away from the larger business side of things to non-stop parties has not helped the conference.
"WMC will allow veterans and newcomers alike to develop themselves and their organizations to become competitive players in the industry," says UMF Marketing and New Media Manager Albert Berdellans via Billboard. "We are very excited to contribute to the vision of Miami as a hub of entertainment, culture and business."
WMC co-founder Bill Kelly will remain with WMC to help continue his vision. The announcement comes in the midst of Winter Music Conference, which is not in its second day. Details for the conference were announced very late, which led to speculation about whether or not it was happening in 2018 and beyond, but this acquisition seems to have assuaged those worries.
"A couple years ago, we revisited the idea of coming together," Kelly says via Billboard. "At that point the Amsterdam Dance Event and International Music Summit in Ibiza had formed over the course of the last five years or so, but Ibiza is a very small island, it's very expensive, and it's not easily available to businesses and fans. Over the years, the significance of WMC slightly diminished because of those, so to bring (attention) back to Miami, this acquisition was necessary."
Winter Music Conference is currently going on and ends tomorrow. There has always been a slight disconnect between WMC and Miami Music Week, which is also part of Ultra. Hopefully this will bridge that.
Another big piece of news is Ultra expanding to China with Ultra Beijing, June 16 and 17 of 2018, as well as Shanghai in September.