Toby Benson

Co-Founder - Versa


Panels

Industry 2019

About

Toby Benson

Toby Benson is the co-founder of Versa, (www.versa.la), a music and lifestyle agency specializing in talent buying, creative strategy, event programming and festival operations. Last year, Versa launched Vision and Colour Music Festival (VAC) in Wuhan, China.

Through VAC, Versa has built strong relationships between the US and China’s growing dance music industry by collaborating with domestic Chinese partners to bring some of the world’s most sought after artists, such as Martin Garrix and Marshmello, to untapped regions of the country.

With only two months to market the event, Versa delivered over 30,000 people in attendance over two days, immediately making it the largest dance music festival in Central China and one of the few top-tier domestic EDM festival IPs in the country.

A second festival; VAC presents INFINITY is taking place on March 2 & 3 and will break the record for China’s largest indoor EDM stage ever (at over 500ft long).

Alongside their festival business, Versa is also gearing up to launch an agency that will book talent in nightclubs and live music venues across mainland China.

Since starting in mid 2018, Versa’s team has grown to eight people operating in the USA and China.

Before founding Versa, Toby was Executive Vice President at Control Music Group where he signed and managed the careers of multiple platinum-selling and GRAMMY-winning headline electronic artists and DJ’s.

He has overseen a multitude of domestic and global tours covering over 70 countries. He worked on the campaign to launch the first large-scale DJ residency in Las Vegas and the first-ever North American college arena tour for an electronic artist. He concepted and produced The Voyage, a 2-day music festival in Southern California where the headlining artist, Dada Life, arrived in a hot air balloon and performed for over 15,000 people. Toby is also the global manager for Dada Life through his company, Discord Management.

He co-created and was the creative director for I Feel Love, an immersive concert experience reimagining Studio 54, in partnership with Universal Music Group. He also launched Remembrance Festival, a pop-up electronic festival in Miami, FL which helped raise over $10,000 for cancer society non-profits.

Toby was born and raised in London before moving to the USA on a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston. He’s currently learning Mandarin and also has a Guinness World Record for the largest pillow fight in history.

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Testimonials

Having only missed the very first year of WMC in 1985, it was 1986-1990 that initially placed me on the map globally due to the international attendance of the entire dance music community. All throughout the 90s I was often getting written about by various high profile mags and websites for having contributed to help break many artists, DJs, producers and remixers. WMC enabled me to bring many top industry people together all under one roof, especially at Groove Jet, where house music officially met Techno in my sets and it’s all been uphill since…TBC


Danny Tenaglia

DJ, Producer

I feel fortunate to have been part of the first-ever WMC. Over the 35 years, it has grown to give us an international forum where we exchange music and ideas. As an attendee and host of many of the award shows, I am proud each time I see new young talent emerge and then become world-renowned. We all have so many Winter Music Conference moments of hearing a seminal breakthrough record for the first time as well as a new DJ with star quality. Magical moments in my career.


Daniel Glass

Glassnote Records

Miami has always been a place I’ve considered home and WMC was essential for me and the label in many ways. From showcasing our new music to keeping up with all the new artists and releases. It was the official kickoff of the year and I’m happy to see it thriving again.


Louie Vega

DJ/Vega 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

Director, North America - YM&U Music

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