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IMS Ibiza 2022 Programming Puts Focus On the Metaverse, Climate & Ukraine

IMS Ibiza is returning to its namesake island next month with a robust roster of events that reflect some of the most current and pressing issues in electronic music. Today (March 24) the leading dance music industry conference announced its run of programming for the three-day event, happening at Destino Pacha Ibiza Resort on April 27-29, 2022.

Keynote interviews and presentations include a conversation between YouTube’s global head of music Lyor Cohen and IMS cofounder and dance scene leader Pete Tong, keynote artist interviews with artists Blond:ish, Duan Duran, Kerri Chandler, Becky Hill, Laurent Garnier and Nora En Pure. Beatport CEO Robb McDaniels will present the opening keynote on the dance industry’s path to recovery after two years of the pandemic, the Association For Electronic Music’s Silvia Montell will present a keynote on what the AFEM has accomplished in its first ten years and an interview on surviving the event industry with Wilf Gregory of UK ticketing platform Skiddle Presents.

In keeping with IMS’ 2022 theme “In Pursuit of Purpose” a conversation between Ukrainian artists Artbat and Nastia, along with artist manager Chris Braun, will focus on the current crisis in Ukraine. Legendary producer/artist Brian Eno will take part in a discussion about the music industry’s impact on the world’s climate, while Marina Ponti of the United Nations will discuss sustainability in the music industry.

“Lockdown taught us many lessons, most of which many in the industry seem too quick to have forgotten,” IMS cofounder Ben Turner tells Billboard of this consciously-minded programming. “Of course, there is an urgent need to get back to business, but not at any price. IMS’s title in 2020 is ‘In Pursuit of Purpose,’ and is designed to guide our curation into a world where we all think more about what we’re doing and why and hopefully we continue to go some way to setting a positive agenda for the genre.”

IMS Ibiza will also feature special programming dedicated to Web3 and the metaverse as the concepts become increasingly relevant in the dance music space. Metaverse agencies Pixelynx, EQ Exchange & CELO, will share information on navigating and harnessing the opportunities of this emerging technology with guests including Audius, Blond:ish, Deadmau5, Friends With Benefits presented by female-oriented industry group shesaid.so, Richie Hawtin, Seven20 and more. 

“An explosion of new music fans, technologies and opportunities are in front of us right now and it’s incredible to see electronic music once again leading the way with NFTs, metaverse and all things web3,” says Turner. “We’re delighted that over 20 companies from this space are coming to share the knowledge and the vision.”

Jaguar

Additional programming includes a dinner honoring Defected Records’ Founder Simon Dunmore that will be hosted by YouTube. Case study presentations featuring labels and artists including Bicep will offer insights on how electronic industry brands are redefining success. Maria May, CAA’s head of electronic in the UK will join BBC Radio 1 host Sarah Story and others will take part in a “speed networking” event in front of the summit audience to demonstrate the effectiveness of peer to peer support, with a focus on women.

John Boyle will once again present IMS’ annual Business Report, which uses in-depth data to determine the economic health and total valuation of the global dance music industry. Other programming includes best practices presentations for YouTube and TikTok, a women in dance music report hosted by BBC Radio 1 host Jaguar and various masterclass and instructional workshops. See the complete IMS lineup at the event’s website.

The conference marks the opening weekend for many clubs on the island, with many hosting their special events in tandem with the summit. While late April is earlier than when the island traditionally opens up, many venue owners are keen to move forward after two years of pandemic-related club closures. IMS itself will close with a major party in Ibiza’s historic Dalt Villa with artists including Jamie Jones, The Blessed Madonna, Prospa and more.

“We have turned up the heat on IMS 2022, inspired by the freedom of our new venue Destino Pacha Resort,” says Turner, “and we hope it will bring our community back together positively and proactively.”