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Ibiza Virgins' Guide: International Music Summit (IMS)

Work hard, play hard(er)!

Uniting the innovative, the creative, and the disruptive from across the global electronic music ecosystem, International Music Summit broaches the most crucial business challenges and opportunities facing the entertainment industry today.

All these parties and festivals that you attend, whether here on Ibiza or back home, are the customer-facing experience of an intricate (and largely efficient) business network. International Music Summit aims to link all those strands into a coherent mission statement.

Plus, it's just nice to get together every now and again!

International Music Summit by James Chapman

It was created to engineer ethical change and be the catalyst for best practices and sustainable growth. At its core, International Music Summit positions itself as a thought-leadership platform for culture, education, technology and well-being.

Let's start with the basic but most frequently asked question: what actually is International Music Summit (IMS)?

What is IMS?

IMS is our music business get-together that takes place annually on Ibiza. If you're familiar with Miami Music Week (MMW, formerly Winter Music Conference - WMC), Barcelona's Sónar or Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) then the premise is pretty similar.

The conference pulls professionals from all corners of the industry.

This includes artists, promoters, venue operators, festival organisers, agents, managers, public relations, press, data analysts, sound engineers and generally any entrepreneurial mindset with even loose links to the music biz, which increasingly concerns crypto-finance, AI and web3.

International Music Summit by James Chapman

It's a great place for networking and putting a face to the name of somebody you've spent hours conversing with over email. For the ambitious, it's the ideal shop window to put yourself front and centre of potential employers and collaborators and advance your career.

Spread over three days, the conference comprises panels, keynote interviews, artists in conversation, seminars and brand activations, featuring experts in the field and some familiar faces. It's an opportunity to examine the state of play and thrash out prevailing issues.

Debate can get heated, but it's all constructive and conducted in good faith. Although there are always some disagreements, ultimately we collectively strive to make our scene more efficient, fun and safe.

And are there parties? Erm, what do you think?? All these DJs, promoters, club owners and PRs in one place for a prolonged period of time... well, nature takes its course. But more about those later!

International Music Summit | Destino Pacha Resort by James Chapman

Where is IMS held?

IMS does have form for moving around, but it usually has a two-year minimum tenure in each location. Currently, it is held at the deluxe clifftop retreat of Destino Pacha Resort, which overlooks Ibiza Town.

Previously it has also taken place at Ibiza Gran Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel.

Basically, it needs a central location, a large air-conned conference room, parking facilities and a bar, with hotel beds and a stage/dancefloor a welcomed bonus. Who knows where IMS might end up in years to come?

International Music Summit

Recurring themes and hot topics

IMS addresses the biggest trends and threats facing the scene. These are topical and reflective of the climate in any given year. 2022 was therefore heavily focused on the recovery from the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine, for instance.

That said, there are plenty of subjects that crop time and time again and show no signs of going away. This list includes:

  • IMS Business Report - chaired by data analyst Mark Mulligan, who gives a global overview
  • Themes covering diversity, inclusivity, representation and intersectionality
  • Discussion on sobriety, mental health and mindfulness
  • Music rights, licencing and royalties
  • Future stars of the scene
  • Emerging party destinations around the globe
  • Non-Fungible Tokens, decentralised currency, artificial intelligence and the metaverse
  • The Great Annual Ibiza Debate - we take a keen interest in this one, for obvious reasons

IMS Grand Finale | Dalt Vila by Victor Spinelli

Let's talk parties

As we said, IMS is the official curtain-raiser to the Ibiza clubbing season and that, naturally, means parties.

All of the clubs cluster their opening parties around IMS giving the island a proper opening weekend, the pinnacle of which is IMS Grand Finale - our annual alfresco party within the ancient walls of the Old Town.

Truly one of the world's unique party locations, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dalt Vila is a breathtaking setting. The fact we get to dance there only once per year makes it all the more magical. IMS Grand Finale marks the end of the conference, but the start of summer.

The party has a history of throwing together fantasy back-to-back pairings. Masters At Work and The Martinez Brothers, Maceo Plex and Tale Of Us, Nicole Moudaber and Sama' Abdulhadi all spring to mind from recent editions.

Then a headline act gets top billing. CAMELPHAT are the 2023 headliners and play the closing set. MORE INFO & BUY TICKETS

There are other parties too. IMS has an official opening party, as well as a Grand Finale after-party, which takes place immediately after the main event. Both take place at Club Chinois (pictured below) this year.

This year there are also the following parties taking place:

Friday 28 April

WILDCHILD at O Beach | 13:00 - 22:00
Ibiza Anthems opening party at Ibiza Rocks | 14:00 - 21:00
Pyramid Special at Amnesia | 23:00 - 07:00
Defected opening party at Eden | 23:59 - 06:00
Grand Opening Party at Pacha (SOLD OUT) | 23:59 - 07:00
Es Paradis Opening Party night one | 23:59 to 06:00

Saturday 29 April

Escape To Ibiza at O Beach | 13:00 - 22:00
The Signal at Ushuaïa (SOLD OUT) | 13:00 - 23:59
Applebum opening party at Ibiza Rocks | 14:00 - 21:00
The Signal at Hï Ibiza | 23:00 - 12:00
Jean Claude Ades at Akasha | 23:00 - 05:00
Lovin' Ibiza presents BANZAI at Pacha | 23:59 - 07:00
Es Paradis Opening Party night two | 23:59 - 06:00

Sunday 30 April

Paravana at O Beach | 13:00 - 22:00
Sunday Service at Ibiza Rocks | 14:00 - 21:00
CR20 20 Years of Crosstown Rebels at Akasha | 23:00 - 05:00
Grand Opening Party at Club Chinois | 23:45 - 05:00
WhoMadeWho & Jan Blomqvist at Pacha | 23:59 - 06:00
Ibiza White Experience at Eden | 23:59 - 06:00

You can find a full breakdown of what's happening on our world-famous party calendar.


Thankfully, in the last decade, we've seen a growing awareness of mental health issues from both within the industry and wider society in general. Although there's still much work to do, it's no longer the stigma it once was.

Whether it's poor work culture, harassment in the workplace or drug and drink dependency, wellness in the music business has never been such a hot topic.

Long, irregular shifts, anti-social hours and over-indulgence, combined with relentless travel, social pressures and prolonged solitude create an occupational health hazard unique to touring DJs and other industry professionals.

Art of ARETÉ

At IMS, the importance of tackling these issues head-on has manifested as The Art of ARETÉ - a holistic retreat that precedes the conference. The programme includes personal development, sound healing, nutritional advice, yoga classes, walks in nature and both sleep and traditional therapies.

The Art of ARETÉ is open to all IMS delegate badge holders at no extra cost.


IMS doesn't go it alone but is supported by media partners across all facets of the business. We're sure you'll be familiar with at least some, if not all, of the associated brands:

  • Beatport - online digital music store, long-term partner and, as of 2023, majority shareholder
  • AFEM (Association For Electronic Music) - a global voice representing the entire community
  • Pioneer DJ - leading manufacturer of DJing equipment and music production tools
  • Point Blank - music production school and mentorship programme
  • YouTube - this one needs no introduction. The world's biggest on-demand streaming platform
  • Ibiza & Formentera Preservation - local ecological society based on the Pityusic Islands
  • Earthpercent - directing charitable donations from the music industry to organisations fighting climate change

Beatport CEO Robb McDaniels delivering an impassioned speech at IMS 2022

Legend's Dinner

Each year, IMS honours a certified legend of the scene for their contribution to Ibiza and the music industry in general. They get a lavish meal in their name at one of the island's most exclusive restaurants.

Last year it was Simon Dunmore's turn, but past recipients include Javier Anadon (Café Mambo), Fatboy Slim, Sven Väth, Carl Cox, Nile Rodgers and Ricardo Urgell (Pacha creator).

This year, M-People founder/producer, one of the pillars of The Haçienda and Calvin Harris talent scout, Mike Pickering, gets the nod. His ceremony is taking place at Beachouse in Playa d'en Bossa on Thursday 27 April. The IMS Legend's Dinner is ticketed separately from the conference.

Who's behind it?


  • Ben Turner
  • Danny Whittle
  • Pete Tong
  • Mark Netto

As with 2022, this year's edition will be co-hosted by Pete Tong and Jaguar.

International Music Summit | Destino Pacha Resort by James Chapman

You can find the full 2023 schedule here.

This article is part of our Ibiza Virgins' Guides, packed full of information on how to get the most out of your stay on Ibiza. Check them out.

PHOTOGRAPHY | by James Chapman, Manel Gimeno, Tatiana Chausovsky and Victor Spinelli

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