The final months of 2019 revealed an exciting new addition to the Scottish music industry’s events calendar, the Scottish Electronic Music Conference. Debuting on the 17th and 18th of July 2020 at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, the gathering will unite a roster of international industry-insiders with club-crazy Scots.
Across both days, visitors can take part in practical workshops including sessions with electronic masters Point Blank Music School. Most famous for elevating the career of a certain Patrick Topping.
Of course, there are also the classic seminar-style speaker panels, networking opportunities and A&R feedback forums, but something a little different on the menu are the product showcases. An ideal chance to catch a glimpse into the fast-paced world of music technology.
One of the most electrifying selling point of SEMCON (the event’s catchy nickname) has got to be it’s legendary guestlist of speakers and highly influential companies in the industry who will all be under one roof.
Defected Records, Void Acoustics, Jukebox Media, Pioneer,Beatport, Data Transmission and Scotland’s most cherished underground venue Sub Club are just a few of the names on the bill so far.
Did someone say afters?
In the land of clubbing, the real party starts at the afters. Closing the conference are the ‘After Dark’ parties, the details of which are still tightly under-wraps. But if the daytime programme is anything to go by, the night can only lead to better. We’re predicting an energetic blend of up and coming Scottish DJs alongside a few stellar names of the scene when it comes to the music.
With the buzzing record label Digital Groove and years of first-hand knowledge under his hat, event founder Derek McNee is certainly the right guy for the job. I had the chance to catch up with Derek and get the low-down on all things SEMCON. Here’s what he had to say:
What inspired you to launch SEMCON? And why now?
‘’The conference has been in our thoughts for many years as we felt Scotland really needed an event of this nature given that the country is so driven by electronic music. But for one reason or another we could not commit to the project until June last year when we made the decision to make it happen. ”
”Through our label we can see different levels of DJs, promoters and producers who would benefit from a little better direction or a touch more education or information on certain things. We feel that there is so much potential talent out there with very little or no platform to educate and inspire onto bigger and better things so we want to provide that vehicle.’’
What has the public reaction been like since the event was announced? Do you feel there’s a lot of support and hype for SEMCON to take place?
‘’The general public have been all over this since we announced it was happening. The feedback really has been a case of ‘at last’ we have something to attend of this nature in Scotland. The hype surrounding it has been great, we are receiving a lot of emails from people from all backgrounds so we are really happy with that. The support that has been shown from the industry has been phenomenal also, most of the top brands and professionals have been really supportive and we think that shows in the schedule as its full of pros at the very top of the game.’’
The event will welcome a legendary roster of highly respected industry names and companies, are there any particular panelists or workshops that you would recommend for visitors to check out?
‘’We really have a plethora of exciting activities ranging from Pioneer DJs brand new product showcase which even we don’t know what it is yet but we have been promised something special. Defected’s MD Wez Saunders and his team are on the main auditorium stage discussing their last 20 years in business with Carl Cox’s Ibiza promoters Dave Browning and Eoin Smyth are discussing the ‘White Isle Lowdown’. Masterclasses from Akai, Denon DJ, Serato to name a few but the list is vast and so exciting.
”We have speakers flying in from all over the world who are at the very top of the game and we will have some very special guests that we will keep a secret for now.’’
What message do you hope to get across to the Scottish electronic scene by hosting the event?
‘’Firstly, that this event is for absolutely everybody, which is really important to us, we have split the venue into 2 sections. ‘
The Academy’ which is designed for a wide range of capabilities from absolute beginners to students learning their way into the industry as well as pro’s who want to brush up on certain things.”
”Then there’s the ‘Professional Theatre’ which will drill right into things like business matters for pros, product masterclasses and A&R 1 to 1 Feedback. You can also get a flavour of what goes on at the world’s leading music school with Point Blank. We hope this will see people connect and help each other in their quest as well as getting involved in mini-workshops throughout both days.’’
‘’The overriding message is to pull everybody together to educate, network, inspire and of course dance.’’
Club culture in Scotland is undoubtedly thriving. With Edinburgh-based festivals such as FLY and Terminal V breaking records almost every annum. As well as our ever-growing export of shit hot DJs reaching worldwide recognition. It’s a wonder that an event on this scale has never taken place in the Scottish capital until now.
Save the date and secure your ticket now HERE.
For more information, head over to the official SEMCON website.