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Weekend Primer #112

The week's dance music news in handy bite-sized pieces

2018 Mar 23     
2 Bit Thugs

This week: YouTube, Armin Van Buuren, Together Ibiza, Printworks, Above & Beyond, Cocoon In The Park, elrow, Rainbow Events admit defeat and much, much more

1. If you regularly use YouTube to listen to music and watch music videos, you might find the experience soon gets a lot less enjoyable. At the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas this week, YouTube's head of music Lyor Cohen announced plans to introduce a lot more ads to music-oriented streams. The intention, he says, is to "frustrate and seduce" users into signing up for the company's paid-for music streaming services, such as YouTube Red and a soon-to-launch new service provisionally named Remix

2. The Winter Music Conference in Miami this week saw big names gathering for the 32nd annual International Dance Music Awards. Winners included Armin Van Buuren, Carl Cox, Nervo, Nina Kraviz, The Chainsmokers, Axwell ^ Ingrosso, Armada Music, Spotify, Ultra Music Festival, FL Studio and Pioneer DJ.

3. Speaking of Armin Van Buuren, the Dutch trance megastar is to become the first DJ to play in Saudi Arabia. As part of the programme of liberalisation embarked upon by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - which also sees women allowed to drive for the first time, and the Arab nation getting its first public cinemas - the country's laws against public dancing have been revoked, and Van Buuren will headline a party at King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah on 17 June.

4. Beatport have been fine-tuning their genre classifications again, with the arrival this week of a new category called 'Melodic House & Techno'. Beatport's Jack Bridges said: "With a new home for Melodic House & Techno, we’re also excited to take Deep House back to a sound more closely aligned with its origin story."

5. The sexual assault scandal around Canadian EDM star Datsik continued this week, with one alleged victim coming forward with evidence that suggests his former management company Deckstar were made aware of her complaint in October last year - although the company denies that this was the case.

6. It was National Record Day in Japan earlier this week, and to mark the occasion, some 30 top-flight turntablists - including Qbert, DJ Swamp, Kentaro and other DMC champions - dressed up in tuxedos, armed themselves with a stack of classical records and performed as "the world's first-ever turntable orchestra". It sounded like this...

7. Birmingham's Rainbow Events have decided not to proceed with their appeal against having their Rainbow Venues' licence revoked in November, saying that due to the "emotional and financial impact" of "the difficult and intimidating climate of licensing in Birmingham and across the UK" they will be focusing on live music promotion rather than venue management for the foreseeable future. The £24K raised to fight the appeal is to be returned to those who donated it.

8. Happier news from London's Ministry Of Sound, who've just announced they're opening a new "members' club and shared workspace" simply called The Ministry. It's to be housed in a Victorian former warehouse close to the legendary Gaunt St mothership, and is set to open this summer. The Ministry will feature a restaurant, a 70-foot bar, an outdoor terrace, a 40-seat cinema and a large event space, as well as four floors of offices and studios.

9. Also on the expansion flex right now are London's Printworks. Their new 3,000-capacity live arena opens its doors for the first time tonight, with a show by Django Django. Live D&B faves Pendulum are also set to play there on 14 April.

10. The Queen Elizabeth Hall at London's Southbank Centre is to host its first ever techno event. The 1,000-capacity space has previously been used for classical concerts but following a £35M refurb, it's now to be home to a monthly Friday night techno club (with a 2am licence) called Concrete Lates. The music policy leans towards the experimental and ambient end of the techno spectrum, with Pan Daijing, JASSS and Giant Swan lined up for the inaugural event on 9 April.

11. Over on the White Isle, Andy C, My Nu Leng, Pendulum, Sigma, Sub Focus, Disciples and Wilkinson have just been announced as residents for Together Ibiza at Amnesia (Tuesdays, 5 June-18 September), joining the already announced Chase & Status, Hannah Wants, MK, DJ EZ and Gorgon City. The roster of guests joining Black Coffee at Hï Ibiza on Saturdays was also expanded this week, with the addition of Âme, Henrik Schwarz, Jamie Jones, Guy Gerber, Damian Lazarus, Loco Dice, Luciano, &Me and more, while finally elrow's opening party at Amnesia on 26 May will be headlined by Pan-Pot, with support from Steve Lawler, Technasia, Toni Varga and more.

12. Not content with launching their new Open Air: festival in east London on 12 August, the Anjunabeats crew have just announced another big new outdoor event. Anjunabeach takes place not on the Goa beach of the same name, sadly, but at Huntington State Beach in California on 23 June. Label owners Above & Beyond will be there, naturally, but the rest of the line-up is still TBA.

13. Meanwhile up in Leeds, Cocoon In The Park returns to Temple Newsam on 14 July, with the line-up for their 10th anniversary event including Sven Väth (obvs), Apollonia, Seth Troxler B2B Craig Richards, Enzo Siragusa, Archie Hamilton and Tale Of Us.





Tags: YouTube, music streaming, WMC, International Dance Music Awards, Armin Van Buuren, Beatport, Saudi Arabia, turntable orchestra, Rainbow Venues, Ministry, Printworks, Above & Beyond, Anjunabeach, Southbank Centre, Together Ibiza, Hï Ibiza, Amnesia, Cocoon In The Park, Leeds, festivals, Ibiza