So, what is the reason you go down to Miami every year? Is it to enjoy the great location, to chill or simply to enjoy the parties with your friends? Is it to do networking and meet the people you talk and chat all year long? Or is it to sign a contract in some way (get a production deal, sign your tracks to compilations or labels, get bookings as DJ)? Well, depending what the reason is you came down to this years Winter Music Conference (WMC), you either will call it a success or a disappointment - read on to find out about my feelings and whether I consider it a worthwhile experience or not.

Well, I've 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 (hold on - didn't I write the exact same words the past two years?? Yes in fact I did...). With a very few exceptions, I never really felt the vibe of the conference, it seemed to me everything was all-too relaxed. Where was the enthusiasm and interest one could witness a couple of years back? Why did the streets looks so empty, why haven't there been lines for most of the parties? And compared to last year, it appeared to me that even more artists, DJ's and labels decided to skip this years WMC.

Yes I know some consider this years WMC a success - but this is solely THEIR feeling, and that does not represent the general feeling that I got after speaking to a lot of people during and after the conference. Of course, if you went to those sure-shot parties such as Shelter or Defected, you knew they would be crowded with a great vibe. But when checking out those smaller parties with lesser known labels or DJs involved, then you ended up too often in empty places. A shame that is, but honestly when you have five or more interesting parties going on at the same time, you know in advance it had to happen that way. This makes networking a hard process as you would have to plan in advance who to meet when and where - but do you really want to plan every minute of your Miami stay? I guess we all know the answer...

Another increasing negative trend to be mentioned is the politics by clubs and bars in Miami Beach, resulting in more and more parties being moved outside of Miami Beach, with downtown Miami currently looking to be the winner as there are some great clubs there with a great interior and sound systems that beat everything you could hear in Miami Beach.

Oh, and then don't forget that it should be all about the music. But wait, why is it that there was so much older music (not to say classics) played this year? And then again I have to look what I've been writing in the recaps of 2006 and 2007: "...Remember that a couple of years ago we were talking about the tunes of the conference? Can I name the tunes of Miami? 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 talks in the streets, but most seemed to be overwhelmed by all the music around..." Oh, that is all so true for this year again.

Should I "call it a day" when it comes to the WMC? Possibly that would be the best thing, however one should never give hope that things turn to the better, but haven't we all done that for the past years already? Honestly, I don't have much hope (to say the least) that next year will be better unless some things are changed - let's think of the WMC going back to their origins/roots with everything taking place at the Hilton Hotel in the lobby and around the pool, or a complete change of location. No, we don't consider that old rumor of moving things to Las Vegas being a reasonable option, but wouldn't it be interesting to experience a whole new culture? Not sure if that would work at all (as we don't know if the Americans would be willing to travel around the world to attend as all others do every year), but Tokyo could be an interesting option... Or then just cancel the WMC and make the South African Music Conference THE place to go (yes, there are people that made that exact decision already). There are plenty of other options, the responsible people of the WMC just have to accept the fact that their conference needs improvements sooner than later. After all, I guess only time will tell...

So my feelings put in a few words: I consider this years WMC a disappointment, another downfall compared to how it was a couple of years ago.

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