Sam Fotias


VP of Operations


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Sam Fotias

Sam Fotias is Vice President of Operations at Paxahau and Operations Director of the Movement Music Festival in Detroit.
Sam began producing underground dance events in Detroit in the early 1990s. Working on these shows, he discovered and developed his talent for pulling elements together to deliver a powerful event experience. He immersed himself in the surging Detroit electronic music scene, working as the in-house promoter for Plus 8 Records and Plastik Produkts, and running Intellinet Record Distribution out of his basement.
In 1998, Sam joined Jason Huvaere and Jason Clark on the Paxahau project that the two had created. Paxahau was a volunteer led organization for many years, during which time Sam split his time between Paxahau and community development work at various Detroit-based community and cultural organizations.
In 2006, Paxahau gained production rights to the annual electronic music festival in Detroit, now called Movement. Sam stepped into a fulltime role to oversee the production of all Paxahau projects, including the Movement festival. His role includes: site and budget planning, city permitting, contractor recruitment, contract negotiation and production management; and is tied into nearly every department of the festival and the company. Sam is also operations director for the Detroit Jazz Festival, the largest free jazz festival in the world and a major tourist attraction for the City of Detroit.
Since Paxahau’s inception of Movement, recognitions include: “Festival of the Month” in May 2016 by Resident Advisor, “16 of Summer’s Best Music Fests” by Jetsetter Magazine, New York Times “50 Essential Summer Festivals” in 2015, “Best Niche Festival” and “Summer 2016’s 30 Must-See Music Festivals” by Rolling Stone Magazine and #2 on THUMP’s “10 North American Festivals That Won 2014”, just to name a few.
In 2014, Rolling Stone Magazine named Sam Fotias and Jason Huvaere as one of the “50 Most Important People in EDM”.

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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

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.”



The Winter Music Conference represents a chance for Beatport to connect directly with our customer community. Having a strong conference means we have a platform to embrace the entire spectrum of electronic music culture. We are proud to support the resurgence of this great event.

Jonas Tempel

Beatport, Co-Founder

If you want to know about our industry from the people that make it happen then go to WMC. It’s an accelerated masterclass in all things dance music.

Carl Cox

DJ/Intec Records

Winter Music Conference was the cream of the crop of conferences. Every label owner, label A&R, DJ and artist knew they had to go network at the Fontainebleau where the conference was hosted. The conference was not only one of the most important time of the year as it relates to dance music but it was also a place where records were broken and became summer hits. Some of my best DJ memories are from the events I played during WMC in the last 20 years.

Erick Morillo

DJ / Producer / Label Boss - Subliminal Records