MixMatchMusic’s first appearance at the Winter Music Conference and they send me, LG?? Uh oh… trouble!! Honestly, not being much of a techno/electro queen I really hadn’t heard of the conference. Well, I’m definitely the a-hole. Little did I know that this thing is of epic proportions! It’s a monster. Literally takes over Miami completely and has for something like 15 years. From the conference to the nightlife to the Ultra Festival, there’s something for everyone between the ages of 13 and 102. Ok, maybe 102 is a little old and a 102 year old probably doesn’t really get into the whole DJ thing. Still, there’s something for everyone that likes music and likes to party. Basically, every venue has something going on. DJ line ups, pool parties… the works. The conference itself was an incredible networking opportunity as well as a big eye opener. Plus, your badge gets you into several events all over Miami including the Ultra Festival which alone is a pricey ticket. All I gotta say is, thank goodness the panels didn’t start till noon everyday.
First of all, I arrived at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa after a long day of travel to be greeted by tons of Red Bull, DJs, complimentary Alize, digital music & DJ influenced displays and friendly conference workers dancing and registering everyone into the event. As soon as I walked in I knew this was going to be a long yet very fun week. I received my WMC complimentary bag that was full of fliers promoting events, DJ and music magazines, a copy of The List and condoms. Gives you a great idea of how things go down during WMC week which I so brilliantly named after seeing the condoms, “F+ck Fest ’09”. The resort is on the beach and has a very large pool area so I went to check it out. There was a stage set up, several chicks in bikinis and hooker heels, a DJ on stage getting everyone pumped up, a bar, deck and beach. Beautiful. I got a drink and instantly started schmoozing.
The 2nd day was the Digital Distribution panel where yours truly was representing the one and only, MixMatchMusic. I was SUPER nervous. All the heavy hitters were sitting on the panel as well. Juno, IODA, Beatport, Groove Media, Jamvana, Symphonic, Broken Records, Mubito and us! The panel was a huge success and packed to the brim, standing room only. All the panels were interesting, informative and well worth the time.
There were 2 hot spots this past week. One was Remix Hotel hosted by Beatport. The Remix Hotel events were held at The National. It’s literally in the heart of all of the most popular hotels and party spots in town. The pool was inundated with people partying in their swim suits and DJs spinning from overlooking balconies. Just beyond the pool was a large stage hosting DJs all weekend amongst palm trees and bars. Just beyond there was immediate beach access. It was a week long mega party.
What I believe to be the second biggest spot was the Fontainebleau. Even though it is a bit off the beaten path… the place was SWAMPED every day with partygoers. Some nights the door was as high as $80 a head! All day Thursday they had a crazy pool party hosted by Bacardi. It was open bar and DJ Jazzy Jeff was on the 1’s and 2’s. Unreal. Pic below.
Then… there was Ultra Fest. Oy! Add teenagers with glow sticks here. The line up was insane and the actual festival itself… ran beautifully. Considering how many people were there, I never felt like I had to fight for a bathroom, food, space or my life (which all contributed to an unfortunately horrific experience that I had at Outsidelands Festival last summer). The only thing is that it was too loud! I’m not a grumpy old person who doesn’t like music and is making a blanket statemement here. Honestly, the loudest event I’ve ever been to. My friends texted me before I arrived and pleaded me to buy ear plugs. In the cab on the way to the festival we could feel the bass from a mile away. LOUD!
As stated before, I’m not a techno/electro queen. Glow sticks just aren’t my thing anymore and there was a lot of that going on. Honestly, there were moments I had to slap myself and remember that it wasn’t 1999. I was genuinely looking forward to the Ting Tings, Black Eyed Peas, Perry Ferrel and Bloc Party sets (who didn’t show!!!). Surprisingly enough, I did learn about a drum and bass group that I can definitely get down with. Pendulum was incredible. I had heard of them before but never really understood the magnitude of their awesomeness. They’re metal meets drum and bass. Way cool. A metal band with a DJ. Talk about MixMatching!! Their concert was amazing, full of energy and it was nice seeing instruments on stage!! It’s hard to go stage to stage, watch a new DJ and really get into it. I’m so happy to have seen Pendulum… I now have a new band to follow. Also, props to David Guetta. His set was pretty impressive as well.
Overall, to put it into 2 words… I’m exhausted! It’s a full week of keeping up on where the best parties are, moving your tush event to event, meeting and schmoozing with industry peep, being on your best behavior when necessary and using as much as the day and night as possible. Dearest WMC… there is only so much going to bed at 6am with techno in my head and waking up at 11am to a techno party at your hotel that one person can handle. I think I’m going to take a nap now… for a week! Can’t wait till next year. 🙂