Music confab gets down to biz in Miami

Event focuses on club and dance music

MIAMI — As many as 10,000 record label execs, star European DJs and budding artists were expected to descend on Miami Beach for the annual Winter Music Conference beginning Sunday.

The confab focuses on the business of club and dance music. Over the four days, panel discussions will be held on topics such as trends in U.S. urban music and in key Euro markets; the impact of Latin rhythms; marketing of dance music over the Internet and newer technologies such as MP3; and the broadcast potential of the Web.

Aiming to provide a forum for distributors, producers and labels to market new material, license product and see unsigned talent, the conference also features more than 100 showcases at local clubs and venues.

Separate from the showcases, the confab hosts workshops where artists, songwriters and producers can pitch to and be critiqued by industry pros.

An exhibit hall will house equipment and musical instrument manufacturers, sound and lighting installers, Internet companies and purveyors of deejay/nightclub hardware, among other vendors.

Conference wraps Wednesday with the 16th annual Intl. Music Awards, which hands out kudos in more than 20 categories, including techno/trance record, dance video and new dance artist for solo and group (Jennifer Lopez was tapped for solo last year).

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