announced its acquisition Winter Music Conference (WMC) during a press conference in Miami on March 21. In addition, Ultra acquired the International Dance Music Awards. The landmark deal was apparently in the works for a while, according to WMC co-founder Bill Kelly, who will retain his position to continue his vision for the conference.
The merger seemed like a natural fit for Kelly and Russell Faibisch, Ultra’s Co-founder, Chairman & CEO, who began the festival as a way to cap f the business side WMC with a celebration dance music. During the press conference, Faibisch also commented on the the impact WMC has had on the dance music industry and their combined vision for moving forward.
Ultra’s acquisition comes after its initial success and growth came as a result its positioning at the end the Winter Music Conference — a feeder system it soon outgrew. Years contention began between the once-neighborly events, which was confounded by the newer addition Miami Music Week as it slowly began to take the focus away from the business aspect the industry and channeled it more into non-stop parties taking center stage in Miami.
Weeks ago, media outlets began speculating over whether EDM’s longest-standing conference would see a 33rd edition in 2018. The week-long event had been waning attendance in recent years, but WMC announced it would return in the days leading to Ultra Miami.
Kelly said he’s excited about the new business model.
Berdellans also announced that UMF would expand into China with Ultra Beijing, June 16-17, 2018, as well as Shanghai some time in September. Ultra now hosts 47 events and festivals in 24 countries across six continents.