EDC Promoter Sells Out To Live Nation?
Live Nation Entertainment is close to finalizing a deal to acquire about a 50% stake in Insomniac Events for $50 million, according to people familiar with the matter.
Insomniac Events, which produces electronic-dance-music festivals and is known for its Electric Daisy Carnival, which drew more than 300,000 fans to Las Vegas last year, would be a coup for Live Nation, the nation’s biggest concert promoter.
Live Nation had been competing over the past year with bidders including SFX Entertainment’s Robert Sillerman, who has helped consolidate both the radio and live-entertainment industries and has been snapping up a variety companies that specialize in DJ-driven music called EDM. SFX had offered at least $100 million for Insomniac, according to people familiar with the matter. Behind the fight over Insomniac is a scramble to capitalize on the growing popularity of EDM as technology drives interest in music created on computers rather than traditional instruments.
A growing number of DJs now garner rock-star salaries and headline festivals where just 10 years ago they were eclipsed by singing, guitar-playing bands. Insomniac keeps its books private, and founder Pasquale Rotella was quoted in Billboard Magazine last year as saying that his company comes “very close to losing money” despite selling out most of its events. Mr. Rotella has faced controversy stemming from drug-related deaths of concert-goers that attended the events. The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this year that at least 14 people who had attended Insomniac events died in drug-related incidents since 2006.
Mr. Rotella has supported new safety measures at venues such as increasing law enforcement at festivals, warning fans about drug dangers on event websites and displaying emergency services text numbers at events.
He is under indictment on bribery and other charges in connection with raves at the Los Angeles Coliseum and adjoining Sports Arena, where county prosecutors allege he conspired with a partner to keep security costs down by making illicit payments to a stadium manager. They have pleaded not guilty. Despite its troubled history, Insomniac has a strong brand, and the ability to attract hundreds of thousands of young fans to its rave-like events. The Electric Daisy Carnival has been held in California, Colorado, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Texas and Puerto Rico, and tickets quickly sell out.
Insomniac also bolsters Live Nation’s growing EDM portfolio: The concert-promotion giant last year acquired Los Angeles-based dance-music-event promoter HARD Events, as well as Cream, a British company that hosts club nights in Ibiza and Creamfields festivals around the world.
Joining with a corporate giant doesn’t appear to jibe with the image Mr. Rotella has cultivated. At a conference he organized last summer, Mr. Rotella said he didn’t want to be a promoter. “My passion is not selling tickets and making money. I want to create an experience,” he said.
Supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, who recently entered a partnership with Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte to operate music festivals and nightclubs around the country, had considered buying Insomniac Events three years ago for a lower valuation, according to a person familiar with the matter, but decided to pass.
Live Nation and Insomniac each declined to comment.
Posted by Hannah Karp (via Wall Street Journal)
Free Download: I Need Your Love (Angle Mash)
San Diego native & official Club Killers DJ Angle is hooking you up with his high energy dutch inspired mash up banger of Calvin Harris’ current hit “I Need Your Love”! Drop this one time in front of your crowd & I’m 100% sure you will add this to your peak hour set. I first played this gem on my House Of Dreamz Vol 3 mix (CK Radio Episode 38) which was recorded live at Yost Theater back in October and it’s been a staple in my big room set as well as my Friday night mixes on 102.7 KIIS FM in Los Angeles.
Keep coming back every week. I will be posting exclusive Club Killers edits every week right here for all DJs to download.
Keep looking ahead.
Posted by Alex Dreamz
A word with Wolfgang Gartner.
In a recent interview with White Raver Rafting, Wolfgang Gartner, also known as Joey Youngman, turned what could have been one of those generic Q&A sessions into one of the most honest and interesting interviews that an artist has gave in a while. With the interview touching on subjects from the beginning of Wolfgang’s career to the future of EDM, the real Wolfgang Gartner personality came out during this interview.
Q. A lot of new electronic dance music fans don’t know that you use to produce Deep House under the name Mario Fabriani. I’m curious as to why you decided to step away from that aspect of dance music. Why don’t you produce different styles under monikers like Eric Prydz does with Pryda and Cirez D?
A. Well there’s a few things that are sorta inaccurate about that question. I used to produce underground house, but most of it wasn’t deep house. It was mostly disco house and chicago house, and I released a majority of it under my real name, Joey Youngman, along with 7 other aliases, one of them being Mario Fabriani. What Eric Prydz does with Pryda and Cirez D is nothing like going from electro house to underground house. He’s still making music in a vein that he can play in his DJ sets, that still meshes with his output under his own name, and isn’t a major departure from it. There are a ton of reasons I don’t make underground house anymore. First and foremost, it’s underground. I got tired of living beneath the surface. I wanted my music to get more exposure and reach more people, I felt it deserved it, and there was no way to do that without changing the music. I still love all that stuff. I did a “90′s house mix” recently and gave it out to the blogs for people to download and I’ll probably do another one again soon. I would probably enjoy making it still, but the bottom line is I just don’t have time. Underground house is still underground, it doesn’t generate the type of exposure or music sales these days to base a career on. So what that equates to is that it would be a hobby – something I would be doing strictly for fun. And at the moment I’m so overwhelmed with everything in the world of Wolfgang Gartner – touring, keeping up with my release schedule, myriad daily issues and tasks of coordinating with my team to make sure things run smoothly and we make the right decisions, everything that my career has become over the past 5 years, that I don’t have time for a hobby. I guess that’s what it really comes down to. I still love it, but underground house is a hobby, and I’m too busy for a hobby right now. Maybe one day I’ll take a step back and start playing around with it again.
Hakkasan Las Vegas Bets Big On EDM.
Hakkasan Las Vegas celebrated its official opening at the MGM Grand Las Vegas April 26-28 with a star-studded weekend, both on the guest list and behind the decks. The 80,000-square-foot nightclub/restaurant has been under development for over two years, and is the most-anticipated new opening of the EDM era.
Crowds dotted with models and celebrities filled the massive venue’s many environments for sets from Hakkasan’s hard-won roster of exclusive resident DJs, many of who were playing at other Vegas clubs last year at this time.
“DJs are not DJs anymore,” Angel Management Group CEO Neil Moffitt, who developed and is now running the space for MGM, told a group of journalists during a pre-opening tour. “Calvin Harris is the most successful songwriter in the world right now.”
But he also asserted that Hakkasan was safe from the EDM bubble-burst many have called inevitable, saying that the venue is “positioned to be successful no matter where music goes. In the lifespan of this property, it will change.” He spoke to the club’s structural mutability – like movable walls that can shrink the main room to accommodate smaller crowds – as a means of responding to changes in the market, and keeping the venue from becoming a purely Friday-Saturday affair.
Deadmau5 opened the proceedings with an “Unhooked” set (as in, without his helmet) on Friday, visibly working hard and mixing spontaneous beats into his own classics like “Some Chords.” The main room’s high-res LED cobweb, which traces the full length of the ceiling, pulsed and glowed, just as the mau5’s cube might at one of his concert dates. Rev Run played hip-hop in the more intimate Ling Ling Lounge – a wide rectangle rimmed with tables and a thin strip of LED panels – ceding the booth to surprise guest Miguel, who performed two songs. (Moffitt intimated that Hakkasan resident Tiësto, who has a history of sneaking in small gigs at Vegas lounges, had expressed interest in playing the room.)
Calvin Harris, who just this past week broke one of Michael Jackson’s chart records in the U.K. (spawning eight Top 10 hits from his album “18 Months”), rocked the club’s massive main room on Saturday night, while Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Hudgens, and Pharrell (celebrating his 40th birthday) lounged in cloistered private lounges above the dance floor, lined in laser-cut marble lattice (one of many premium finishes throughout the venue). Harris got a peak-hour visit from Tiësto, who entered the booth just as he dropped his hit “Feel So Close.” The crowd sang along as the nitrogen jets spewed chilly white smoke from the ceiling, creating a big-room moment by any definition.
While Moffitt said that Hakkasan was created in part to “appeal to a kid who saved up” to make the trip to Vegas, he also acknowledged that its financial model was not based on general admission. “The economics for venues like this, they don’t work [if everyone is] paying $30,” Moffitt explains. “Bottle poppers subsidize the GA.” Indeed, the amount of real estate committed to tables far outweighed that for democratic dance space.
While he declined to share the cost of the venue – which has been placed anywhere from $60 to $80 million – Moffitt claimed it was “worth the investment.” He also revealed that he planned to roll out more Hakkasans worldwide, “probably not with 80,000-square-foot facilities; not many markets can support that,” but some “continuation of the brand, maybe with food.”
Posted by Zel McCarthy & Kerri Mason (via Billboard)
Civil Suit Between Michael Jackson’s Mother and AEG Live Could Cost Billions.
As Michael Jackson’s highly anticipated comeback shows approached, promoter AEG was so desperate to become No. 1 in the concert industry that its executives ruthlessly pushed the pop star to perform, caring little about his health, an attorney said Monday.
In his opening statement, Brian Panish, who represents Jackson’s mother and his three children, told the jury that Anschutz Entertainment Group was willing to do whatever it took to catch up to its competitor, Live Nation.
But AEG’s attorneys countered that it was Jackson who initially wanted to perform again because he was deeply in debt and insisted on hiring Dr. Conrad Murray. Murray administered the fatal dose of propofol that killed the singer shortly before he was scheduled to appear in a series of shows in London in 2009. Murray was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
“This case is about the choices we make and the personal responsibility that comes with them,” said defense attorney Marvin Putnam.
Putnam also said the trial would lift the veil on Jackson’s private persona. “We are going to show some ugly stuff,” he warned.
The lawsuit pits Jackson’s family against an entertainment conglomerate with deep pockets and a strong foothold in Los Angeles. It is expected to last four months and could put the singer’s eccentric lifestyle in the spotlight. Jackson fans from as far away as Italy showed up for a chance to win one of two seats in the courtroom.
Filed in 2010 by Jackson’s mother, Katherine, and his three children — Prince, Paris and Blanket — the suit accuses AEG’s concert and promotions arm, along with executives Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware, of negligently hiring and controlling Murray.
Panish began his opening statement by talking about the pop star’s addiction to prescription drugs, which began after he suffered burns making a Pepsi commercial in 1984. He described Murray as a financially strapped doctor susceptible to pressure because he was behind on child support payments and in danger of losing his Las Vegas home to foreclosure.
But it was AEG, Panish said, who was ultimately responsible for the music legend’s 2009 death. Panish said experts will testify that the economic loss from Jackson’s death was $1.5 billion.
“Michael had a problem, Dr. Murray had a problem and AEG had a problem,” Panish told the jury of six men and six women. “You know what AEG’s problem was? They were not No. 1 in the concert business but they wanted to be.”
Panish projected slides of emails exchanged among AEG executives that surfaced last year. In one dated June 14, 2009, tour manager Gongaware responds to director Kenny Ortega’s plea to stay on top of Jackson’s health, as Murray had not allowed the singer to attend rehearsals one day.
Gongaware replied, “We want to remind [Murray] that it is AEG, not MJ who is paying his salary. We want him to understand what is expected of him.”
Turning to the jury, Panish asked, “Does this sound like a company that exercised reasonable care in supervising and retaining a doctor? Remember that in 11 days Michael Jackson is dead.”
AEG, however, said although it was common knowledge that Jackson had abused prescription painkillers, company officials were unaware he used propofol. “It wasn’t painkillers that killed Michael Jackson; propofol killed Michael Jackson,” Putnam said.
Putnam brought up Murray’s contract with AEG that would have paid the doctor $150,000 a month. It was never signed by Jackson or AEG.
In fact, Putnam said, Murray worked for Jackson and the doctor’s salary would have been an advance to Jackson, similar to the near-$30 million advance the company promised to pay for production costs and his mansion in Holmby Hills.
In addition to the 02 Arena in London where Jackson was slated to perform, AEG owns Staples Center and Home Depot Center in Southern California. A high-profile political player in Los Angeles, AEG built L.A. Live and is now working with the city to build a downtown NFL stadium.
The lawsuit is aimed at its subsidiary, AEG Live, known as a powerhouse in the concert industry. It produces festivals, including the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and oversees long-running shows of Las Vegas entertainers such as Celine Dion. It is also promoting the upcoming Rolling Stones tour.
Although Jackson had agreed to only 50 dates in London, AEG proposed a three-year worldwide tour in which one executive estimated ticket sales could exceed $450 million. Billboard magazine estimated AEG’s profits would hit $115 million for the London shows, with Jackson earning $1 million a night. Putnam said that Jackson would receive 90% of the profits from the London shows.
If the singer failed to generate enough money to pay back the advances, the lawsuit said, AEG could seize his assets, among them a valuable catalog that includes songs by the Beatles, Aretha Franklin and the Jackson family.
Randy Jackson, Michael’s brother, was in court Monday, along with his sister Rebbie and mother, Katherine. “We love you Mrs. Jackson,” a fan called out when Katherine entered the courtroom.
About a dozen Jackson supporters vied for the two available seats to the public through a lottery system.
One seat went to Samantha De Gosson, a 38-year-old photographer from Pasadena, who said the opportunity was bittersweet.
“I’m happy I can go in, but not looking forward about what’s going to be said,” she said. “This is a trial where Michael Jackson will be thrown under the bus by both parties. It’s not really about justice. It’s about who’s going to make money.”
Posted by Jeff Gottlieb & Corina Knoll (via Los Angeles Times)
Diplo settles ‘Harlem Shake’ legal dispute, clears samples for Baauer.
The rise of “Harlem Shake” from niche hit to Billboard No. 1 super-meme has been delineated in any number of thinkpieces and Web 4.0 infographics, but the mystery of how Baauer would end up making money off a song that contained unlicensed samples has remained mostly unsolved.
Unsolved, that is, until Diplo cleared things up. During a lengthy and wide-ranging interview at the second weekend of Coachella, the Mad Decent label boss explained how he was able to help Baauer — despite the fact that the young producer had signed an indemnity form that held him solely responsible for any intellectual property disputes that arose from “Harlem Shake.”
“We didn’t know there were any samples in the song to begin with,” Diplo said. “But when it came to clear the samples — because otherwise he would make negative money — we wanted to help him out.”
The line “do the Harlem Shake,” arguably the most important sample in the song (and certainly in the cornucopia of viral videos that feature people losing their collective minds as soon as that vocal hits), is a sample from “Miller Time,” a song by rap collective Plastic Little. “Jayson [Musson] was in a band called Plastic Little and he hit us up and said the album never got licensed or published, so we just cut a deal where he could make some money off that,” Diplo explained.
“Harlem Shake” also has a Puerto Rican connection, as Hector Delgado (now an evangelical preacher) is the man behind the voice that says “con los terroristas” in the songs intro. Delgado also sought compensation. Cue Diplo: “The Puerto Rican guys, they kept calling me because I know everyone in Puerto Rico, so I just sorted that out. It wasn’t even them, it was Universal Publishing.”
Diplo says Mad Decent (and Jeffries, a sub-imprint which signs individual songs, as opposed to artists) passed on giving the record to Universal to distribute and went to Warner instead, a potential cause of added frustration for Universal. “But we had enough clout that we sorted it out,” Diplo said. (In March, the New York Times reported that Universal was negotiating a settlement with Mad Decent, and Delgado’s folks told Rolling Stone that Mad Decent was being “more than cooperative.”)
Samples aside, “Harlem Shake” represented much more than a meme for Diplo. “Honestly, that record was the thing that saved the label, because a year ago we were going to fold because we couldn’t figure out how to make money,” he explained while sipping on a beer in front of Major Lazer’s trailer at Coachella. “Then we just started giving music out for free and it worked out.”
The evolution of “Harlem Shake” led some, including the Guardian, to ask if the song would end up “killing sampling.” It seems the answer is a simple “no.”
Posted by Kia Makarechi (via Huffington Post)
Skrillex talks 12-year-old haters, illegal downloads and more.
At the IMS Engage conference in Hollywood last week, Skrillex happily invited a budding producer in the room to throw his USB of music up to the stage. It’s as good an indication as any of how the 25-year-old superstar goes about his business. With a seemingly endless reserve of enthusiasm, his conversation with Summit Series co-founder Jeff Rosenthal freely bounced around topics for close to an hour.
Early in the chat, Skrillex revealed his plans for a studio compound in Los Angeles where laptop producers can come together to make music. “I recently purchased a building in Chinatown where I’m building studios for ‘in the box’ producers – when I say ‘in the box’ I mean producers that use computers,” he said. “There’s nothing like that in Hollywood right now. I like the fact that we share music and we share ideas.”
During questions from the floor, Skrillex was asked about “the kickback” from an older generation of DJs and artists against his brand of dance music. “I think there’s so much criticism that’s great,” he told the room. “People love it, or they hate it. If you look at a painting in an art gallery, even if you hate it, at least it makes you feel something.
“You’ve got this new, loud, bombastic punk rock energy that’s coming in with electronic music, then you have the old-school techno, which comes from a different place and energy, even though it’s all electronic music. We’re all coming together – there wasn’t a Yuma tent [where underground house and techno names played] last year at Coachella, and now there is.”
“A lot of it is internet hype,” he added of the firestorm that follows him around. “Something that’s negative can seem a lot louder than positivity. When you click on the Facebook profile of someone who’s hating, it’s a 12-year-old kid talking crap.”
The producer also pointed out that he’s never cared if people get his music for free. “I guess essentially what the blogs are doing is illegal, but I’ve always been cool with that,” he said. “Any time I have a release, I want all the blogs to post it and I want people to download that stuff. There’s a certain group of people who download the stuff who don’t buy records anyway, and other people do. I’m not trying to fight the way it’s going.
“A lot of people think there was this giant machine behind the Bangarang record, but we did no advertising or radio campaigns,” he added. “It 100-percent came from my Facebook, then the blogs started to pick it up. So social media is everything.”
Posted by Jack Tegoning (via In The Mix)
A word with Hakkasan’s Neil Moffitt.
Over the last few years the center of the electronic dance world in the United States has shifted to Las Vegas, where top D.J.’s now earn some of their biggest paychecks from casino megaclubs.
The latest arrival to this scene is Hakkasan Las Vegas, part of an international chain of high-end Cantonese restaurants, which has its grand opening this week.
Developed at the MGM Grand at a reported cost of $100 million, the club is 80,000 square feet of Vegas-style chinoiserie, and is the city’s biggest nightclub, according to Neil Moffitt, chief executive of the Angel Management Group, which will manage the club with the Hakkasan company. Along with another new space, Light, it represents the next stage in Las Vegas’s evolution as a luxury mecca for electronic dance music, or E.D.M.
Mr. Moffitt, 46, a veteran of the British dance business, has been the driving force behind the club. He spoke recently about Hakkasan, dance music’s role in the Las Vegas hospitality industry and the comparative economics of dance and rock. Here are edited excerpts from that conversation.
Q. How did the nightclubs of Las Vegas reach their current level of competition for the big names in dance music?
A. My first foray into the electronic-music market in Las Vegas was Paul Oakenfold at Ice in 2004. At that time there was the odd stand-alone room that might have a D.J. on Wednesday night. D.J.’s going from L.A. or Chicago would stop off here, get a suntan, a nice dinner and a check. It was never a serious market.
Then in 2007 there was the decline in the gaming market, and all of a sudden casinos are scrambling for revenue. Pure became the market leader. There were rumors about $1 million nights, Paris Hilton here, another celebrity there. And they all looked at it and said, “Wow, this business can generate a lot of money.”
So nightclub after nightclub started to get built, and over the last six years Las Vegas has invested in bringing a new demographic to this market, which is primarily food and beverage and hospitality driven.
Q. How does Hakkasan fit into this?
A. It’s sort of the first of its kind, and it has been built with change in mind. The nearer you are to the restaurant, the more of the DNA of the restaurant is in it. Farther away, whilst it will contain some of the restaurant, it will take on a feel of its own. It doesn’t ooze rave; it oozes class.
Downstairs we have the Ling Ling Club, a 10,000-square-foot experience, and a separate, more intimate and V.I.P. environment known as the Ling Ling Lounge, which offers a more relaxed atmosphere with top-notch mixology. Upstairs is the main room, which I could call a gladiatorial, high-energy room with a very intense sound-and-light show. To the right, the Pavilion can act as part of the main room, or independently.
A. If someone were to shoot “Fight Club 2,” they could film it in that room. A very intense experience. It reminds me of when we had Tiësto at Godskitchen, my nightclub in Birmingham. I remember getting in the D.J. booth, and the energy in that room.
Q. These days people talk about an “arms race” in the E.D.M. business, and no place seems to symbolize that better than Las Vegas and these elaborate new clubs.
A. It’s an evolution. For years people have been charged a ton of money to go into mediocre buildings with poor facilities and can’t believe they paid that much money to sit next to the toilet. And they leave disenchanted.
Las Vegas itself has evolved. We’ve been through the financial crisis, and people are selective about where they spend their money. They don’t want to go to poor venues and eat poor food. Customers expect a certain level of service and environment. Maybe we still haven’t reached the peak.
Hakkasan Las Vegas is a Michelin-star restaurant that has evolved into a nightclub. That’s where we are. If some people see that as an arms race, maybe it’s just sour grapes.
Q. How do the economics of running these clubs and putting on big dance events compare to the other side of the live-music business?
A. E.D.M. today is what hip-hop was to the MTV generation. We have D.J.’s capable of producing enough ticket sales to compete with Grammy-winning live artists.
If you think about a rock ’n’ roll concert, you’re lucky if these guys will come onstage and do an hour and 20 minutes. We are getting three to four hours of value out of our D.J.’s. We can get 6,000 or 7,000 people through the doors who are willing to pay to see them, probably at an average ticket price higher than I could get for a live act. And it’s a show!
Tiësto was booked to play for me on New Year’s Eve at a casino in Atlantic City, in a room that held 5,000 people. I had absolutely no problem selling that out, and no problem making money. Six weeks prior to that I had a date with a live artist who had terrible problems selling out, and no problem losing money. And yet people think this guy is a superstar.
Q. Another big concern is that this is an economic bubble, with D.J. fees rising and $100 million deals being done. Do you agree with that?
A. A lot of people out there are saying that D.J.’s are getting paid too much. It’s correct that the fees are escalating. But that’s because of demand — demand from competitors and also demand from consumers. These guys are very sophisticated, with sophisticated management.
No, I don’t think the bubble is going to burst in the foreseeable future. But I do think that for people who jump into this world with limited understanding, whether you’re promoting a rock act or an E.D.M. act, there will be casualties.
Posted by Ben Sisario (via The New York Times)
Tiësto unveils “Take Me”, first solo production of 2013.
Aside from his collaboration with Quintion and Alvaro for one of Ultra’s anthems and a slew of remixes, Tiësto has yet to out a standalone production in 2013. That is until now, as he’s previewed his forthcoming original record, “Take Me,” a big room gem with signature flare and vocal efforts from Kyler England. Having made way for colleagues all year, Tiësto carves a May 14th slot out of his Musical Freedom imprint to unleash “Take Me” on the summer
Posted by Dylan Farella (via Dancing Astronaut)
Calvin Harris breaks Michael Jackson’s UK chart record.
Calvin Harris has become the first artist ever to get eight Top Ten hits from the same album.
The DJ and producer entered the record books this weekend (April 21) when his track with Ellie Goulding rose from Number 11 to Number Seven. ‘I Need Your Love’ followed seven previous hit singles including to chart-toppers in the shape of ‘We Found Love’ featuring Rihanna and the Florence Welch collaboration ‘Sweet Nothing’. Harris takes the title from Michael Jackson, whose 1987 album ‘Bad’ spawned seven Top Ten efforts. Jackson’s next album ‘Dangerous’ matched the same feat four years later.
Martin Talbot, from the Official Charts Company, said in a statement: “Many artists only achieve a handful of hits in their entire careers. So for any act to secure three or four from one album is an excellent achievement. In turn, eight top 10s from one album is not just impressive, it is absolutely remarkable. And, of course, record breaking. Congratulations to Calvin Harris, the modern day hitmaker.”
Tweeting about the record, Harris wrote: “8 top 10s from my album 18 Months now! So happy!!!” Before adding, tongue in cheek:
Posted by David Miller (Via NME)
Can you scratch better than SHAQ???
The legendary Shaquille O’Neal scratches better than most of the DJs I hear in the clubs currently! Shaq scratches it up with Miami Heat resident & S.K.A.M. Artist DJ Irie on NBA on TNT. Even Charles Barkley starts hating! Hahaha. Good laugh. Enjoy.
Posted by David Miller
Diplo sparks fist fight over DJ Bl3nd comment.
A fistfight broke out at the IMS Engage conference between representatives of Hashtag Management and Diplo manager Kevin Kusatsu, after a panel pairing Instagram founder Kevin Systrom and Diplo.
During the panel, Diplo hinted that DJ BL3ND — a social media phenom with over 133K Twitter followers and three million Facebook fans — might have purchased some of those fans, claiming that “he only plays shows in the OC.”
During the Q&A period after the panel, Hashtag Management founder and DJ BL3ND manager Steven Haddad addressed Diplo from the audience, saying that BL3ND had sold out events in New York and “hadn’t even played in the OC” in awhile. From the back of the room, Kusatsu shouted “Shut up,” seemingly unprovoked and out of context. But Diplo backtracked graciously, and gave BL3ND props for some of his early YouTube videos.
After the panel was over, Haddad and Kusatsu seemed to be having a civil conversation at the side of the room before an aggressive fight began very quickly. It was unclear who threw the first punch, but Satien Mehta of Haddad’s Hashtag Management — who was standing next to Haddad — was hit during the altercation. The two men had to be forcibly separated and continued to go at each other after IMS officials intervened.
Haddad returned to the hall after the fight and was seen speaking with security. Kusatsu did not reappear.
Both DJs shared their thoughts over twitter.
The IMS [International Music Summit] Engage conference is held at the beginning of the Ibiza season and is presented by Pete Tong.
Posted by Kerri Mason (via Billboard)