Billboard was the first to break the news today that Ultra Music Festival – the dominant player in what we all now call “Miami Music Week” – has officially acquired the Winter Music Conference, now entering its 33rd year.

This year’s Winter Music Conference was announced a mere fortnight ago, after widespread media speculation that the long-running industry gathering had collapsed. The conference, which once dominated the dance music industry gathering in Miami every March, has been running on fumes and was scrambling for relevance following the rise of EDM, Ultra and the rebranding of Miami Music Week.

According to Billboard, WMC co-founder Bill Kelly will stay with the conference:

“A couple years ago, we revisited the idea of coming together,” Kelly says. “At that point the Amsterdam Dance Event and International Music Summit in Ibiza had formed over the course of the last five years or so, but Ibiza is a very small island, it’s very expensive, and it’s not easily available to businesses and fans. Over the years, the significance of WMC slightly diminished because of those, so to bring (attention) back to Miami, this acquisition was necessary.”


Any time you write about WMC, some people get strangely defensive, as if you just told a Boomer that hippies suck or a Gen Xer that punk rock is dead. WMC will live on as some minor annex of Ultra Music Fest, but the whole “Underground is Alive!” sentiment that people still held for the ghost of WMC is certainly gone.