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IMS Ibiza: The Big Themes

It’s frequently said that clubland and dance music are pioneers that shape and reflect culture for everyone. This year’s IMS Ibiza was no exception – the panels, discussions and concerns of the dance music industry echoed the global themes that are affecting the broader music industry and, ultimately, the wider world. With the dance music industry valued at £7.3bn – down 2% on last year – it is no surprise that there was a certain amount of concern and time for reflection across the conference to understand what the industry needs to do to make sure it stays vibrant and growing.

As the official technology partner for IMS Ibiza, Tappit was proud to support and provide event tech at both the conference and at the legendary Dalt Vila party that launches the season in Ibiza.

The big trends that Tappit noticed emerging from IMS Ibiza included:

  1.     Data

From streaming, tracklisting and fan engagement to creating brand partnerships and booking line ups – the power of data was omnipresent. Chris Cooke’s keynote address sought to clarify and empower artists so they could differentiate and understand data and take control of their own value. The report is here and is incredibly useful. Building on Cooke’s insight, our very own Chief Commercial Officer, Duco Smit explained how promoters and event organisers can also maximise insight and efficiencies through the use of cashless and RFID technologies, whilst Ketan Rahangdale from Unitea explained how data can empower and create new brand partnership opportunities to add even more value to artists, events and brands alike.

  1.     Equality, Diversity and Care

The challenge of ensuring a gender-balanced and diverse representation on stage and in the industry was addressed throughout the conference. Thought-provoking and constructive advice was offered throughout the event on what needs to be done to achieve better balance both for the industry and individually. Artists Luciano and Professor Green shared their experiences in an extended mental health crisis debate featuring 22 leading figures across music and mental health.

  1.     Social Media

Both the power and the curse of social media were discussed across the conference. From the impact on mental health through to the use of social media to decide line ups, track success and direct to fan engagement, social media was a theme throughout the week. Fabric’s Creative Director Keith Reilly was particularly passionate about the negative impact of social media on creating a vibrant club scene.

  1.    Evolution and Future-Proofing

One of the biggest concerns for the summit was around the challenge of ensuring that the legendary club scene remains high-quality and accessible for future generations. Nick McCabe, recently appointed CEO of Pacha, explained his mission to keep Pacha in its premium slot whilst delivering an amazing experience for all club-goers. Another hot topic was the pressures felt to pay DJs to perform – which are causing industry-wide pricing challenges. All agreed that there needs to be a balance where the hugely unique experience that Ibiza provides does not come at the cost of preventing the next generation from embracing and evolving the vibrant club scene.


With the stunning views, incredible opening parties and topical and challenging debates – it’s clear that IMS Ibiza will continue to be an essential point in the calendar for the music industry for years to come.

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