Brighton Music Conference (BMC) has well and truly cemented itself as one of the fundamental industry events for dance music and all that goes with it. With a musical history that boasts so strong, it is remarkable that the UK has only just established itself with one of the core annual industry events alongside the likes of the Amsterdam Dance Event, the Winter Music Conference and the International Music Summit.
In 2014, the BMC became the UK’s first annual dance music conference to be run by the industry for the industry, providing a relaxed yet professional environment for both industry professionals and consumers to meet and network. Building off the successes of last year’s event, we were treated to the best in new tech, organisations, showcases, Q&A’s, talks that covered all areas in dance music, and of course a whole host of different networking parties.
It is easy to see why Brighton, of all places, was chosen as the host for an event that is so vital for a blossoming genre to move forward. As well as Brighton being a forward thinking place in itself, musicians such as Norman Cook, John Digweed and Cristian Vogel made Brighton a dance music stronghold in 90s. Now with a revitalised pulse of new acts and companies in the UK’s dance music industry, every spring Brighton entertains the genre’s glitterati and fans who converge on the Brighton Dome.
With so much happening over the two days, it’s hard to know where to start; the exhibition room in the Corn Exchange with masses of different equipment and businesses on show, the upstairs bar of the Dome where Native Instruments had workshops, or the four conference rooms (Dome Studio Theatre, Corn Exchange, Igloo Theatre, Dome Founders Room) holding interesting talks. On the Thursday I decided to immerse myself in all the insightful talks held by the industry figureheads about education, trends and issues within dance music, then delve into the fantastic array of different technologies and showcases on show.
No better place to start than with the first talk of the event, a subject that effects every aspect of music; Key Note – Save Our Clubs. At the tail end of last year, figures were released reporting that 50% of the UK’s nightclubs have closed since 2005 – a startling fact. Is it because young people are not going out anymore? Being a young person, I can safely say it isn’t. A panel of some of the world’s best club owners discussed that it is due to the UK’s old narrative on clubbing laws. Why not take note from the majority of Europe which have found a happy mediun, with the likes of Amsterdam, Paris and Zurich leading the way by introducing a “night-time mayor” (a role that bridges the gap between businesses, residents and the council).