Last year I was writing in my recap "...If you have been following my daily Miami diary on InDaMix Worldwide (now also archived here on Spirit Of House), you know about my mixed emotions of this years Winter Music Conference (WMC) and M3 Summit...". Basically, I got home with the same overall feeling from this years conference as I did not see an improvement of things. In fact I would say there was another downfall this year, albeit not as strong as last year. Considering the fact that the people behind the M3 Summit, lots of artists, DJs and labels decided to skip this year, I don't think I'm alone with my feelings.
Of course you can meet your contacts and friends, and you can make new contacts, check out new talents and parties - and not to forget to mention that Miami is a great place to chill and to get out of your everyday life. However with so many people and labels not being present, one asks himself if it isn't time for some radical changes. There have been to many parties again this year (not as much as last year, but lots of interesting parties were concentrated over two days), the change from vinyl to digital format no longer makes Miami the place where to promote new music (as lots of music is sent out before over the internet to create the buzz), and again there was a lack of interest and enthusiam compared to previous years.
Maybe things should change back to the beginnings when the WMC was taking place at the Hilton hotel, with everybody hanging out at the pool of said hotel. Back in those days, you could see people such as Louie Vega hanging out poolside at the conference hotel - nowadays you won't see them unless you have a meeting or go checking them out at the parties where they play. Now when we talk about the DJ's, we have to talk about the fact that there seems to be an unstoppable trend that DJs want to play every day at least once (the reason might also be that party organisers want their name to attract the audience) - the result being sets short as 45 or 60 minutes. We could start argueing "shorts DJs sets (one hour or less)" vs "long DJ sets (several hours)" now, but that is not the point. The point is what a DJ can do in such a short time. Some DJs I spoke to say they used the time to play their productions (or music to be released on their label), others were very outspoken about the fact they had a hard time interacting with the crowd and creating a vibe. As a rection, some DJ's will not accept gigs next year if they are not at least two hours long.
When it comes to networking, you gotta chose the 'right' party where you expect to meet most of the industry people. But what party is this gonna be? As there were no Defected and KingStreet parties this year, and with the Masters at Work party being a night event in downtown Miami, it came down to the Soul on the Beach party to be a central networking event - but many people did arrive in the afternoon on that day, so they missed this party... And many of the other parties attracted a very specific audience, and not most of the community as the aforementioned do. The result is the same as last year: some people that were in Miami I did not see at all...
To conclude, let me once more quote from my last years recap: "...Remember that a couple of years ago we were talking about the tunes of the conference? Can I name the tunes of Miami 2006? No, I can't. Of course I have my favorites, but I simply don't feel able to judge what tunes defined this years Miami. Would it be the tunes the got most plays? Would it be the tunes with the greatest reaction from the crowd? In my opinion it would be the tunes that everybody talkes in the streets, but most seemed to be overhelmed by all the music around..." Nothing needs to be added to this statement.