Bill Kelly; Co-Founder & Director Brand Relations - WMC


Panels

Access, Industry

About

Bill Kelly

Driven by an intense passion for music and a pioneering spirit that has kept pace with the cutting-edge for over four decades, few individuals have had as meaningful and lasting an impact upon the dance music industry and therefore EDM as Bill Kelly. His humble beginnings in 1972 as a DJ at Warehouse VIII in Miami, FL, placed him squarely at the forefront of a movement as it poised to sweep across the nation. With the birth of disco, Bill introduced many artists to their first audiences, helping launch the careers of performers who have gone on to become household names.

As his career flourished, his many awards and accolades set the groundwork for the business ventures that would transform the industry. Named 1980 Miami DJ of the Year by Billboard Magazine coincided with the launch of the Flamingo Record Pool and receiving multiple Gold and Platinum Recording Industry Association of America Sales Awards for their efforts with artists including Donna Summer, KC & The Sunshine Band, Depeche Mode, Madonna, Eminem, Pink, Missy Elliot, Outkast, Lana Del Rey, Pitbull and Rihanna. Yet none of these achievements could prepare him for what would come next.

Beginning in 1986, and currently running for 34 consecutive years, Bill is the Co-Founder of the Winter Music Conference (WMC), the largest dance music convention in the world. What began as an industry event for DJs, Music Producers, Record Company scouts and venue promoters, WMC now brings over 1.2 million people to Miami for the largest gathering of Dance and Electronic Music performers, industry professionals and an overwhelming international audience. Now considered the close of the main tourist season in Miami Beach WMC generates over $250 million in taxable revenues for Miami Dade County, and on March 16, 2005 earning Bill the Key to the City of Miami Beach, induction into the Dance Music Authority Magazine’s “Hall of Fame” and a Life-Time achievement awards from the DJ Awards given in Ibiza. Through WMC, Bill has introduced the next generation of talented performers to mainstream audiences, assisting with launching of many of their careers.

Bill continues to receive global recognition for the industry shaping impact his career has had upon electronic dance music. Accepting invitations to perform at influential dance music destinations, his performances include WMC Surfcomber Pool Parties on Miami Beach, UMF’s VIP arena, headlining performance at Club Amnesia in Ibiza, Spain, cutting edge contemporary music sets at Cortes in Sardinia, Italy and cementing his position at the forefront of tomorrow’s breaking trends, a 2011-12 set at IPM in Roma (Rome, Italy) inspired IPM to confirm future dates in 2013 and 2014.

2013 has seen his performance in all four Grassroots Festivals of Music and Dance; Virginia Key-Miami, Shakori Hills-North Carolina, Trumansburg-New York and the fall festival also in Shakori Hill-NC October 10-13, 2013. He also was a guest speaker in July at the IPM Conference in Roma, Italy in which he spoke about; Successful Ecosystems: The Netherlands, ADE and 25 years of Dance Music. His performance July 12, 2013 at the Village – Via delle Tre Fontane Roma with Pagano (UK) – Manuel Rotondo (ITA) – and Bill Kelly (USA) as Special Guest left over 15,000 people screaming and shouting for more!

In 2014 It was his pleasure to attend the Rio Music Conference where his speaking engagement was only topped by a 2 hour set at Club Miroir.

In 2015 he was subsequently invited back again to speak and perform the opening ceremony for the RIO Music Conference; also in 2015 he went on to speak and perform at the Paradise World Music Festival in the Dutch country of Curacao.

In 2016 he attended premiere upstart to WMC; the Seazone Music & Conference in Sopot, Poland; where he was the featured guest speaker in two discussions. "Origin of The Biggest Music Events in Poland and Worldwide" and "Security, Cooperation, Promotion - Actions of Polish and Foreign Organizers".

After his discussions he was subsequently invited as a Pop-up Guest DJ, to go back-to-back with conference organizer Simon Mattson Privat at Sopot's underground spot Sfinks700 as the official closing party. The attendees reveling in their performance left this Conference with plenty to celebrate.

In 2017 and 2018 he appeared as one of the headline performers at both Earthdance Music Festival and then again at Love Burn in Virginia Key, Florida. Miami's regional to Burning Man in Black Rock Nevada.

Miami Music Week
SiriusXM
Heineken
Absolute Elyx
Virgin Voyages
Lyft
Akai
Denon DJ
Rane
Native Instruments
IK Multimedia
Pioneer DJ
Amped Studio
Traxsource
Russell Athletic
Beatport
Splice
Discogs
MusiCares
Jamstik
Beat Fever
Symphonic Distribution
Topo Design
Sunski
Crook & Marker
Nomatix
Rumpl
Shiftpod
The Nations
Soundcloud
Proximity
Flow Water
University of Miami
SAE Instiitue
Point Blank London
Scratch DJ Academy
IO Music Academy

Testimonials

“Winter Music Conference is my ground zero. It has always provided the perfect storm of opportunity and excitement for up and coming artists, including myself back in 2003, where I first caught a glimpse of how it felt to have an audience respond to my work. Over the years, I’ve always made it a point to have WMC in my calendar because that’s the spot where everyone congregates and you can feel it in the air. Creativity, brother and sisterhood, FUN and most of all the chance to come together as a community and celebrate the reason we are all here—the music.”


Kaskade

DJ/Producer

I first went to WMC ’87, the year I started Big Beat. It was an incredibly inspiring congregation of indie labels, DJs, artists, songwriters, producers and dance music lovers dedicated to breaking and discovering new music. WMC has been instrumental in furthering the dance and electronic cause; keeping the community connected, vital and relevant, and serving as an amazing springboard for talent. It’s a fantastic crucible for the future of dance music. Long may it live.


Craig Kallman

CEO & Co-Chairman Atlantic Records, Founder Big Beat Records

Before there was Ultra Music Festival, there was The Winter Music Conference, the annual coming together of the dance music tribes. Miami in March is a fundamental place to be from a business perspective, and has always given me endless opportunities for discovering new partnerships and talent. WMC brings together the dance music industry and surrounding culture like no other event in America. I’ve been attending WMC for nearly 20 years, and I’m very much looking forward to experiencing its evolution in 2019.


Matt Colon

Partner/founder, Deckstar Artist Management

WMC is and has always been the lifeblood of the dance music scene. Never missed a year since ’96, I can’t imagine Amsterdam Dance Event or Ibiza Music Summit existing without the blueprint that WMC originated. Seeing this revived is absolutely essential to reunifying the North American scene surrounding electronic music and its fringes.


Tommie Sunshine

Producer/DJ/Activist/Netflix Host

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