Living in Miami during March is a struggle. There are too many tourists, spring breakers everywhere, conventions every other day and the terrible traffic leads to the worst road rage imaginable. The only consolation we get is a week where Ibiza empties out and clubs, hotels and streets turn into venues for all that is electronic music. Miami Music week is the highlight of the year for many. Pool parties, beach events, artsy pop-up events and island pachangas become a norm. Then to finalize the week with a bang is three day Ultra Music Festival.
Just going through the list of events scheduled for the week is overwhelming. From Monday to Sunday there is an average of 15 parties going on daily. EDM artists of all genres could be found at any time anywhere within the 305 area code. As fun and exciting it is to look forward to it, the actual partake in days of non stop insanity is a marathon not everyone completes.
The long weekend is hard to plan and usually consists of last minute decisions that lead to some of the best parties. Miami is a melting pot of people and the same can be said about MMW events. You may see the best or worst but you can guarantee that you will run into memorable local and foreign talent anywhere you go. With prices ranging anywhere from ‘free ninety nine’ to a thousand dollars plus cover, it’s not easy to decide where to go or what to do.
This was our adventure:
About a week ago, we started our day off at the Beer and Chicken pool party. After going up a weirdly yellow lit elevator to the 50th floor, doors opened up to a rooftop in Downtown Miami. Hosted by Jillionaire; Grandtheft, Ect! Ect! and Ape drums played among others. The Caribbean Vibe was perfect for enjoying the complimentary chicken and beer.
Once we were done watching inflatable beers getting tossed around, we headed to Wynwood. The Stacked Block Party began between two graffiti tainted buildings as the sun started to drop. Once arriving, the main acts were about to go onstage: Flux Pavillion, Zomboy and Datsik. The crowd was thick and sweaty but even with very little room to move in, the heat was on.
We continued on to Above & Beyond‘s event a few blocks away. The huge venue was breathtaking with a good array of light shows. It was not until the duo was out that my ankle gave out on a curb and the night was cut short.
After resting some, Friday started off late. Through the traffic on our way to South Beach we were able to recall the good performances by Arty and Audien the night before. Shortly we arrived at the hotel where Smirnoff Vodka was hosting their Sound Collective event housing several artists for the duration of four days.
The open bar was welcoming as was the heated pool on the roof top. This time is was flamingos being tossed around while Boys Noize, teamed up with Anna Lunoe and Ghastly right before TEED joined What So Not.
After a quick break, the night was going to continue on at Disclosure’s Wildlife. Without great success, we decided residential monthly party Peachfuzz couldn’t fail. After arriving at Soho house, hip-hop took over electronic jams. The cool electric beats lead us to a quick stop at a lifeguard stand by the sand that proved to be a mistake. Once all our equipment was stolen by a midnight thief, the night quickly ended. It was not until running into Dj Snake with his shades on at 3 AM that I realized we weren’t the only ones having a late night out.
Saturday we had to find a way to re-up on equipment after canceling an interview with Tiga. With no luck, we prepped for experiencing what was left of two day beach party- No Sugar Added. NSA’s sand infested venue was top of the line house. All the artists were enthusiastic and gave great performances. Of those were Bingo Players, Dirty South and Tritonal.
To top off the night, we headed to a small downtown club where Snails was going to be having his Snailed party. The first guy, Botnek, was amazing. The entire night, everything was shacking and the dubstep was grimy. Towards the end, Mija showed up with Velentino Khan, Crizzly with Getter. This event was probably the most well rounded event we attended all weekend.
Waking up with buzzing ears the day after, it was hard to get out of bed. The day was rainy and compared to the other warm days of sun, it was a bit gloomy. This continued all day as our weekend ended at the last day of Ultra.
This year’s Ultra Music Festival was pretty ‘lit’; literally. The main stage had continuous shows of fire and sparkles coming from all over the humungous light show of a stage. The heat was nothing compared to the gigantic fire spider. The impressive spider-shaped stage that hovered over the crowd was deep and sweaty.
Another separate live stage hosted live electronic music performances, meaning no standing behind a mixing board. All variety of music was heard throughout the day. Carnage even invited rappers onstage to perform mixes of their songs; Rae Sremmurd, Rick Ross, and DJ Khaled plus others.
There was a dome stage that barely held anyone wanting to be there. The crowd was always thick but nothing compared to the sea of people attempting to catch the final act in main stage. At the end of the night, the venue shattered as Knife party / Pendulum/ Greatness took over.
It was not until leaving the venue on to the littered streets of downtown Miami that it was realized what a tourist I had become in my own city.