Wall-to-wall toned, tanned bodies. The who’s who of the industry. Top talent in electronic dance music. More parties than one can remember. Bottle service that reigned supreme.
And the fire marshal was not happy.
The 25th Winter Music Conference took over Miami March 23-27 with an expected massive turnout. Take, for instance, the two-day Ultra Music Festival that coincided with WMC: The event, which took home the International Dance Music Award for Best Music Event for the fifth year in a row, sold out with more than 100,000 attendees. But the club events appeared to garner the most attention — and scrutiny.
“At capacity” could be WMC’s next tagline, as revelers were turned away at multiple events. Granted, that denotes popularity and success of a party, but club-goers were cranky, frustrated and, in some cases, downright pissy, especially those with pre-purchased event tickets.
The most talked about “Whoops we oversold/let too many people in and now we’re in trouble” occurrence was at Robbie Rivera’s infamous Juicy Beach party at Nikki Beach. The 17-hour event caught the attention of the fire marshal, who put the kibosh on admittance for even pre-paid ticket holders. However, it was impossible not to overhear staff telling determined partygoers they could gain admittance if they were willing to do a five-bottle minimum for four people.
Rumors flew up and down South Beach of multiple events reaching capacity, including the Beatport Beach Party, especially on Sunday. However, as a free event held Friday through Sunday at the Gansevoort Hotel’s private beach, fans couldn’t complain about a wait for the Beatport party and were delighted once inside with the elaborate stage and lighting setup and fantastic sets by top talent.
Shifting gears from hot to cool, one of the coolest events — and some noteworthy nightclub news — took place over at Karu & Y. Located in downtown Miami at North Miami Avenue and 14th Street, Karu & Y resides on the Ice Palace Film Studios’ 143,000 square feet of land. In total, Karu & Y’s absorption into the Ice Palace mega-complex allowed for 20,000 square feet of interior space in the West Building, plus 65,000 square feet in the East Building and an additional 58,000 square feet of gardens.
Making use of most of the Ice Palace Facility was the One Night Only… an AM Only Event on March 26, which was one of the most impressive parties during WMC. Fifty-plus prominent electronic music producers, artists and DJs performed throughout the night in four different rooms, including MSTRKRFT, Bad Boy Bill, Second Sun and Christopher Lawrence, to name a few. Attendees were impressed around every corner by the variety of environments the Ice Palace presented, and the combination of talent plus the venue will be tough to beat.
For those in the nightlife industry who didn’t make it to Miami for WMC and are still looking for the chance to mix business with pleasure, the word — and fliers — on the streets of Miami is Las Vegas will attempt to resurrect the Vegas Music Experience in October 2010.
As part of Las Vegas Weekly’s Team Hangover, Deanna Rilling is a self-proclaimed "pseudosocialite" who isn't afraid to rock comfortable shoes or the same outfit twice at Vegas hot spots. In addition to reporting on nightlife and electronic-dance-music for the Weekly and Vegas Magazine, Deanna covers the Sin City local music beat and has been involved in the scene for more than 10 years. She typically gets at least one drink spilled on her a night when out and about and usually gets her feet stepped on as well, but it's all in a day's work and she wouldn't have it any other way.