With the first edition of South American Music Conference taking place last year in December and being a huge success, Nikki from IDM has brought to you a write up of the event and an insight to the biggest dance music gathering in South America. Here's what he has to say:
The journey to South America began with a long haul flight via Madrid. None of us look forward to long flights, but this trip was more like a school outing as many of the international press and DJ's ended up meeting Madrid to take the same plane to Argentina. The departure lounge was like a who's who of clubland, where you could rub shoulders with the likes of Danny Rampling, Justin Robertson and Way Out West.
On arrival in Buenos Aires, we were greeted by friendly faces, blue skies and sunshine, which immediately banished the feelings of tiredness. We got stuck in the rush hour traffic on the way to the hotel, but it didn't matter as it gave us all time to take in the sights of the city. After being dropped off the hotel it was time to round everyone up and off to the conference.
It was very exiting being part of the first South American Music Conference and there press representatives from France, Italy, Spain, USA and the UK who were all eager to see what the event was all about. There were a small number stands representing local companies such as record shops, radio stations and magazines, though this is an area which will undoubtedly develop and more companies will want to get involved as the event grows.
The seminars were well attended and well thought out. The seminars brought together local and international DJ's and Music industry professionals to discuss topics such as How to DJ, Technology, DJ Agencies, Festivals and Record Labels. They even had headphones for the delegates and seminar speakers to wear to listen to translations, so that language was never a barrier.
Said Christian Smith: 'The panels were interesting and I enjoyed participating and giving my input. Usually panels (especially the ones in Miami at WMC) are very boring, but the people in BA showed allot of enthusiasm and I was really happy to be a part of it.'
The next day was the closing party and as it didn't start until 4pm everyone had time to take in the sites, hit the shops, soak up some rays or eat some steak. The Sheraton Hotel seemed to be where most of the Dj's and press were staying and the pool was the perfect place to relax and do interviews. Although you needed your factor 30 suncream on or you'd be glowing by the time you hit the party later!
On arrival at the party it was a blessing to get inside out of the heat and into the cool air-conditioned venue. The party was just getting started and everyone seemed to be walking around to see what all the rooms were like and checking out what was on offer and where their favourite DJ's would be playing. Each stage had an LED display running across the front on the stage which told the crowd which DJ they were watching, which was an excellent touch.
DJ's that were rocked it early on were, Justin Roberston, Danny Rampling, Lucien Foort and DJ Dero. As the sun started to set the venue really started to fill up and the atmosphere intensified. Way Out West were the only live act at the event putting on a great performance to a responsive crowd. Said Jody Westenoff : 'I had a fantastic time !! Very enjoyable weekend away, in sunny Argentina ! Extremely well organised event, massive venue, beautiful crowd, great hospitality !! Lets hope this becomes a regular event.'
All four rooms were amazing with the likes of Pete Tong, Nick Warren, Ricthie Hawtin and Francois K whipping the crowds up into a frenzy. The energy in the main room was amazing at the end of Judge Jules' set as they released silver confetti from the ceiling onto the crowd.
Said Jules: 'The SAMC event was every bit as good as the best festivals that the UK and Holland have to offer, which in its first year is an amazing achievement.'
No one wanted the party to end when the music stopped at 6am and party goers spilled out into the city to continue the party elsewhere. One such party was at Mint where clubbers were still partying at 10am and some DJ's realised that they might miss their flights home and had to rush back to the hotel to get their things! Not mentioning any names of course, but you know who you are! People in Buenos Aires really love to party and they were so friendly and welcoming. Many of the DJ's loved it so much they asked for their flights to be changed so they can stay for a few days more.
For the first time the South American Music Conference has been staged the event was undoubtedly a success and it was an honour to be part of it. The event organisers are passionate about helping to promote the South American Music scene, which makes a refreshing change. They have ambitious plans for next year, which will include the South American Music Awards and a bigger and better party. The 2005 event will take place in October so make sure you book time off work to come as it is an experience not to be missed.
Words: Nikki Wright @ IDM
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