IMS celebrates 10 years with annual Ibiza event

An event to mark the official start of the summer season, International Music Summit (IMS) has gained a reputation over the past decade as one of the most important conferences in the world. Appropriately set in the home of dance music, industry-goers from far and near gathered between 23rd and 26th May to celebrate 10 years of the event, which was originally started by Ben Turner, Danny Whittle, Mark Netto, Pete Tong & Simeon Friend. The event has grown in stature and popularity each year, with all important names in dance music flocking to Ibiza, and this year, the hedonistic backdrop of the Hard Rock Hotel.

Key Ambassadors at the 10 year anniversary included year included the likes of Black Coffee, Loco Dice, Seth Troxler, Carl Craig, Nile Rodgers, B-Traits, The Black Madonna and many more. And with the focus on the number 10, with 10 male and 10 female speakers announced, this is how it went down:

On a sunny day 1, Kevin Watson was on hand to present what is always a highlight in the dance music calendar; the IMS Business report. The multi-page document shows the annual value of the genre in 2017, and how dance share sales have doubled the figures seen 3 years ago. Interesting social media stats showed (unsurprising) huge growth for the likes of Martin Garrix and The Chainsmokers in the past 12 months. Whilst on the more social side of things, Mixmag’s Nick DC spoke to The Black Madonna about the prejudices women face in a male dominated industry. A stand out quote from The Black Madonna read:

“Stop debating it, it’s not a debatable fact, it’s like climate change, it’s like evolution. Even debating this topic…we are so far past that.”


Day 2 saw legends Pete Tong and Loco Dice discuss the importance of mentoring the next generation of big electronic artists, as part of the BURN residency, whilst Denis Doeland‘s conference on digital eco-systems explained how Hardwell’s bot responds to a mind-boggling 23,000 people in a minute using blockchain; just one of many technological systems in place that will improve our industry over the coming years.

Matt Abbott, Director of Label Worx added that we have seen a 50 x growth in streaming in the past 2 years, which is only set to increase. A concept Sulinna Ong, Vice President of Deezer, agreed with, adding:

“The concept was always one of selling a physical product. Streaming has come along, and gone against the concept of ownership. Streaming now has the bulk share of revenue. And our focus now is to ask the question – how do we best promote that in Deezer?”


Day 3 played host to arguably the highlight of IMS, the 10th annual Ibiza debate. Grego O’Halloran from Ibiza Voice led the debate which included the likes of HEART Ibiza, Hot Since 82, Seth Troxler, and Johannes Goller of Cocoon. The debate will be remembered for a heated exchange between Yann Pissenem, owner and CEO of Ushuaïa Ibizaand Privilege‘s Dave Browning. With Yann defending the “VIP culture” that his revolutionary hotel and beach club had brought to the island, adding that the ravers who attend now will be more financially secure in future and will want a more relaxing experience in 20 years’ time, something his club can offer. Dave, was quite on the contrary, adding:

“I was born on the dance floor. Ibiza’s changing dramatically but we throw warehouse parties and we want people to come in there with sweat. We will work with VIPs of course, but we’re certainly not giving the club to VIPs. That club’s for dancers – you come there, you come to sweat.”

This came after a touching moment whereby Mo Chaudry, a pioneer of the island and builder of CREAM’s lifework was honoured, following his death earlier this year.

As always, IMS is not IMS without the iconic end of week party set at Dalt Vila, a unique world heritage sight set at the summit of the stunning old Ibiza Town area. The climax of B2B sets from the likes of Maceo Plex & Tale Of Us, and Dixon B2B Kenlou echoed around the breathtaking venue and brought the end to another successful and brilliantly organised IMS week. In marking a landmark 10th year, International Music Summit closed another highly successful week, and opened what is sure to be a highly successful season.

Ibiza 2017 starts right here!



(BA Hons Journalism), 30, London. NCTJ-accredited journalist and dance music lover specialising in interviews, features, editorial work, and reviews.

[email protected]