Welcome to the latest edition of Six Questions With..., a regular short and sharp interview with a live music figure. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to take part or recommend someone for inclusion.
This week's Q&A is with Derek McNee, co-founder and MD of the new Scottish Electronic Music Conference, which debuts Edinburgh's Corn Exchange on July 17-18, 2020. McNee is also MD of Digital:Groove Records.
What was your first job in music?
Once I had learned to DJ back in 2005, which took a few years on vinyl with old belt drives and a beat-up mixer, I started promoting my own events including the infamous TIFH…At Sea? With Scottish DJ Tony Moran, this was a boat party on the river forth in Edinburgh which we promoted during the summer months. It was hugely successful and really wetted my appetite for working in the Industry and gave me a good schooling and foundation to progress.
How long have you been in your current role?
My current role is in its infancy given we are working on the inaugural year of the Scottish Electronic Music Conference but I’m also the managing director at Digital:Groove Records and have been since 2013. I have my team from DGR working at SEMCON so we are all used to the way we work and it gives me confidence that we will deliver a successful event in 2020 and beyond.
What is your favourite thing about working in the live music industry?
I love seeing an event going from an idea to delivery, it’s such a satisfying feeling seeing it all come together.
What is the one thing you would like to change about the business?
I would like to see the Industry be a little kinder in certain sectors, it really can be savage at times and can consume you in many ways if you are not careful.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Absolutely Digital:Groove’s partnership with Carl Cox’s Music is Revolution event at Space, Ibiza. We curated and hosted a room at Space for Carl and his team for the last four years of the club’s existence, truly magical times and something me and my team will never ever forget.
What's the best gig you’ve ever been to?
This is such a tough question to answer as there have been many, I have to go with July 2008 on the Space Sunset Terrace in its last year of being open air. There was something incredible about that place especially back then, there was a huge line up but daytime on the terrace with Alfredo, Jonathan Ulysses, Jason Bye and Tony Haze was off the scale.