In a wave of heated rhetoric, Spanish event production company WIP — responsible for events in Barcelona such as Werk It, The Villa, and PlayON — has banned the use of Traktor software from all their events: “we’ve decided that all WIP events will be Traktor free from now on.” The news came Monday in the form of a lengthy and inflammatory announcement on their Facebook page.
WIP, who has hosted talent such as Clockwork, Jamie Jones, and Luciano, has based their ban on “hundreds of experiences (none positive)…over the past 3 years with ‘artists’ using Traktor.” WIP made it quite clear that the software is not at fault, describing Native Instrument’s Traktor as “great, innovative, and “an amazing tool.” Rather, WIP pointed fingers at Traktor DJs:
“The real issue is with ‘artists’ who swear they can play any format be it CD, vinyl, usb and or Traktor but whose Traktor sets are nothing but stale, bland and outright insulting to a paying crowd and promoter.” WIP went on to say: “more importantly we’re fed up with the general laziness shown by 99% of ‘artists’ that we’ve seen and heard playing Traktor.”
While WIP makes their animosity towards Traktor DJs quite clear, one might wonder if this is really an internal issue. As WIP mentions, the software is not the problem — the DJs are. If WIP is the agency booking these artists, is it not their responsibility to book quality DJs? They cite artists who “clearly.. have no idea whatsoever of how to build a set, read a crowd,” yet, based on their own judgment, they have booked these DJs time and time again.
But that’s beside the point. By restricting the use of Traktor, WIP is barring an incredibly powerful tool, and in effect, excluding a wide range of talented DJs from their events. Consider artists such as Porter Robinson and Zedd, who exclusively mix with Traktor and an S4. Are you going to ban two of the brightest talents in EDM from your events? Or consider any artist who uses Traktor as a digital vinyl control system. Everyone from DJ Craze to Richie Hawtin. Or how about Carl Cox, a widely-known user of Traktor. Are you really going to ban Carl Cox’s equipment from your events? I don’t think so.
Let us know your take on WIP’s controversial Traktor ban.
Update: WIP has taken down both the inflammatory note and their Facebook page.