Now in its second year, the Brighton Music Conference is a gathering on the South coast of England (less than an hour outside London) with a dual focus on education and business for the Dance Music community. Alongside panel discussions and talks from industry heavyweights, there’s a strong presence from technology companies and education institutions as well as an “Academy” for aspiring electronic musicians and DJs.

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Visiting the conference for the first time (in blazing sunshine I might add- almost unheard of in the UK), the BMC immediately felt smaller and friendlier than other similar events. Held inside a stunning arts venue and theatre, the conference space felt compact without ever being claustrophobic. The keynote speech had the theme of “Unity,” a feeling which really carried through the whole weekend. The industry panels were interesting, illuminating and at times infuriating, always sparking lively debate and giving a lot of food for thought.

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]We all bounce about the world attending this and that, and the way that the UK is embracing the growth of dance music now, the timing couldn’t be better to offer the global community a UK based event to support and develop that growth. I was properly hooked into the subjects covered in the Pro seminars. But I liked the idea of splitting things up a little (between Pro and Academy). After all, up and coming producers want to know more about the foundations of how to get a foot in the door and understand the basic structures of the industry rather than sitting through a seminar on the inner complexities of neighbouring rights or sync placement!
– Richard Earnshaw (Spiritchaser) [/quote]

The convention area had a very strong Tech bias, with most of the major music-making and DJ equipment makers out in force, creating a sea of flashing lights, faders and dials just waiting to be fiddled with. Although far from empty, the space was quiet enough to have some in-depth conversations and make connections with delegates from all corners of the music industry.

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Founded by Trance music superstar John “00” Fleming with an aim to represent “an affordable professional platform to meet under one roof”, this year’s professional conference hosted discussions with representatives from Spotify, Beatport and Youtube, covering many of the industry’s current hot topics with titles such as “The Future Of Digital Broadcasting” and “Innovation/Inspiration: New Revenue Streams In The Electronic Music Industry.”

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]BMC has grown since last year and we’re getting some key industry players involved. I’m on the BMC Advisory Board and it’s great to be able to contribute to something that I’m passionate about. The education side is so important, as things are constantly changing in the industry and we’re all constantly learning…from complete beginners to us seasoned pros. It’s been a real pleasure to able to share my experience & knowledge chairing and speaking on the panels. BMC is in it’s early stages and it can only get busier each year so it’s still quite calm which is a good thing. People can approach me and speak to me directly in a relaxed environment and being in my hometown I feel like a bit of a host and quite proud too.
– Seamus Haji (Big Love)[/quote]

Add on some fantastic evening events over the weekend including parties hosted by Mobilee Records, Believe Digital and DJ Mag, a seaside location and a very reasonable price tag, the BMC looks like it’s on the way to becoming a strong alternative to ADE, IMS and even WMC, especially for those who like their industry gatherings a little smaller and more intimate. Whether a professional artist or just a music lover, the UK’s only electronic music conference is definitely something to consider if you’re looking for an excuse to vacation in England next year…

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