Electronic Music Conference Nov 28 – Dec 02, 2016 Sydney, Australia
Founded in 2012, Sydney’s annual Electronic Music Conference has established itself as Asia Pacific’s premier industry event. The two day 2016 incarnation of the Electronic Music Conference presented a wide variety of work shops, master classes and presentations that covered everything from how to master tracks, via the strength of Berlin’s club scene, to the importance of art in electronic music, which attracted hundreds of tastemakers, thought and business leaders, artists, delegates and aspiring DJs and producers.
Junkee Media CEO, Neil Ackland, opened the conference with a keynote before Amsterdam’s “night mayor” (yup, that’s a thing) Mirik Milan showed the Sydneysiders, whose nightlife has been recently been dramatically diminished by lock out laws and related regulations, how a vibrant night life spawns social, cultural and economic benefits.
The Coming to you panel with reps from Boiler Room, the world’s leading independent and underground music broadcaster, Sydney Opera House and Red Bull shed light on the world of live streaming and its merits in a world of increasing ticket prices and festival costs, especially with the advent of virtual and augmented reality enhancing the way performances can be experienced.
The Art of Rave forum accentuated the importance of the medium being the message and that art is not merely an ornament for music, but an essential component with the visual aesthetic enriching the experience for the recipient.
It was good to hear from Sydney based production house Toby and Pete’s Toby Pike that the importance of a live show should be a priority for electronic musicians and that they should feel obliged to create an experience out of their live shows in order to compete with a ‘live band setting’, a thought backed up by Bionic League’s Martin Phillips (the creator of Daft Punk’s ALIVE 2007 Pyramid stage show).
Alison Wonderland’s opening keynote on the second day of the conference covered a lot of topics, including her thoughts on Sydney’s controversial lockouts, her thoughts on her live show ideas, and her new album.
Ministry of Sound’s Duncan Collins and Inertia Group’s Colin Daniels agreed that Spotify is definitely the way forward in music listening, going as far as claiming that it will eventually replace radio as we know it. Given aforementioned prognosis, the takeaway was that surrounding yourself as budding artist with a capable team that is aware of where technology is headed and how it will impact on the music business.
The over-saturation of Australia’s festival landscape was also a topic: With the abundance of boutique-y small festivals, it was identified that a need for multi-day, large scale festivals is being created and that the move of big name festivals from overseas is both anticipated and will be welcomed around these shores.
The conference concluded with EMC Play – a mini-fest spread across multiple venues around Sydney with a myriad of high caliber electronic artists spinning until the wee hours – an excellent bookend for a conference that despite its specific title has a lot to offer for anyone remotely interested In music in general.
Photos by KAVV