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DJmag in Miami

We interview WMC co-founder Bill Kelly

DJmag joins the rest of the dance fraternity in looking forward to the Miami Music Conference 2011 which takes place between the 8th - 12th of March. Offering a mix of pool parties, club events, talks and panels, it’s an essential piece of winter sun and a place where new alliances are formed between DJs, clubs, labels and ravers.

We also return to the newly refurbished Shelborne on 23rd March to kick off our 'DJmag at the Shelborne Poolside Sessions' with a DJmag hosted party meaning we get two doses of the Miami sun in one month.

We caught with WMC co-founder and vice president Bill Kelly to find out his plans for 2011 and ask about the separation between the WMC and the Ultra Music Festival.

After celebrating quarter of a century last year, what is your vision for WMC as a whole over the next 25? How do you see it developing and evolving?
“A quarter of a century has seen much evolution in the dance music scene in which current trends have placed the DJ and technology hand in hand, making their performance squarely centre stage. I envision the next 25 years for WMC as a revolution in making dance music more of a live platform for artists, DJs and musicians as this form of music continues to gain popularity. Although great music, technology and a single performance by a mix master DJ are the norm we must see a transformation to multi performer with live musicians as a revolutionary platform in order to elevate the entire dance music community to the next level. I see Winter Music Conference as the visionary for this change in the coming years.”

What are some of the highlights for you in 2011 both in terms of the conference and the parties around that?
“Moving forward the Winter Music Conference will champion the changes to which I’ve just addressed. Our forum will discuss the necessary changes needed to bring about the ‘LIVE’ elements  to future performances. We’ve seen percussionists and other musicians join the ranks for our top tiered DJ’s appearances around the world but not as the standard and that needs to change. Our fans and patrons deserve the best performance possible so that it can gain wider acceptance as the most popular form of music globally. We will strive to introduce these live performances into our 2011 program and include them in our daily workshops and demonstrations. We are very excited to present a series of these performances as a basis for many of the parties and networking functions taking place each day and night by the beach, pool sides and hundreds of clubs and venues through-out Miami and Miami-Beach.”

Is there any particular reason that the Winter Music Conference and Ultra Music Festival are at different ends of the month this time around? It seems to have surprised many people.
Where our organization is concerned, there actually isn’t a particular reason.  We had an agreement with Ultra whereby Ultra would present its event during the WMC dates. They broke away from the agreement last minute. That being said, there are many positive developments that have also resulted from Ultra’s decision to split with WMC.  While there was a sort of synergy between WMC and the Ultra Music Festival, they are two very different events with different objectives.  WMC’s focus has always been about bringing both emerging and legendary talent and industry together, to network, collaborate, discuss business, and perform amongst their peers.   While WMC week has grown into a massive multi-faceted event there is still an incredibly strong sense of cohesion about the program and amongst our event participants even with 100s of events of every type happening throughout the week.”