Ahead of Ultra Abu Dhabi, Nicky Romero is running a DJ masterclass in the capital

The DJ Mag Music Conference event will feature artists and the dance scene movers and shakers for two days of talks and workshops

epa07101363 Fans of Dutch DJ Nicky Romero dance during his performance at the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, early 18 October 2018.  EPA/PAUL BERGEN
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The Middle East’s first comprehensive electronic music conference is taking place in Abu Dhabi and regional artists are encouraged to get in on the mix.

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Organised by the genre's leading publication DJ Mag and the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, the DJ Mag Conference will take place on Yas Island's W Hotel on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 3 and 4.

The event aims to be the perfect lead up to the first Ultra Abu Dhabi festival, held at the Du Arena, on Thursday and Friday March 5 and 6.

Who is taking part?

While the number of speakers attending the conference is still growing, some of the confirmed names on the guest list include international DJs such as Holland’s Nicky Romero, UK’s Nic Fanciulli and Mark Knight, in addition to American DJ Dub Fire.

They will be joined by a who’s who of the region’s electronic music industry such Claudius Boller, the head of Spotify Middle East and North Africa, Dean Curtis, manager of the Dubai based Dance FM, Olly Wood from the UAE dance duo Hollaphonic, and Saudi Arabian electronic music pioneer Omar Basaad.

Also on the ground will be representatives from leading EDM labels such as Armada Music, Spinnin' Records, and Protocol Recordings, in addition to team members from some of the dance world's most established festivals and clubs, such as Belgium's Tomorrowland and Singapore's Zouk.

What will be discussed?

The wide pool of talent and experience should result in plenty of insightful discussions exploring the evolution of the regional dance industry and best practices when it comes to creating events and festivals.

Aspiring DJs and producers will be able to showcase their work, courtesy of the Demo Drop booths, in which representatives from record labels will be on hand to provide feedback on tracks.

For even more inspiration, there is a two-hour production masterclass run by Nicky Romero on March 3.

“We aim to position this conference to become a gateway between music industry in the Middle East, and to the world,” reads the conference mission statement. “The conference hopes to elevate young aspiring musicians, promoters and industry players in the region, while connecting them to their western and eastern counterparts around the world.”

The DJ Mag Conference and Ultra Abu Dhabi music festival joins a growing list of events happening as part of Abu Dhabi Music Week, which runs from Sunday, March 1 to Saturday, March 7. They include a range of events held in the capital’s leading nightspots such as Mad on Yas Island, Iris and the Saadiyat Beach Club.

More information on the conference will be made available soon on www.djmagmeconference.com. Tickets prices range from Dh270 for a single day pass to Dh540 for a full conference pass.