The EDM Identity Team converged in Miami for another year full of nonstop parties, unreal sets, and experiences like none other.
As one of the most sought-after weeks in electronic music around the world, Miami Music Week has become renowned for its parties that run all day and night in one of the world’s most perfect climates. With it being Ultra Music Festival’s 20th Anniversary the focus of the entire scene was definitely on the southern region of Florida as some of the biggest labels, outstanding artists, and more flocked to the sun-soaked city.
While this may have been due to the 20th Anniversary of Ultra Miami, it seemed as if there was something different in the air this year. Not only were there some tried and true parties in South Beach and the Wynwood District, but some new additions and surprise shows that really took this year’s experience in Miami to the next level. Read on for a taste of what Miami Music Week was like this year, and find out which parties we fell in love with the most!
It was only Tuesday, but the party started only hours after landing in Florida.
Taking an early flight on Tuesday ended up turning into an entire day’s worth of traveling from San Diego to my final destination in Miami, so upon arrival in Florida, I was already ready to get going. After a quick check-in at the hotel to dump off my bags I was off to the races as the first party was just about to get going: mau5trap‘s takeover of the Treehouse in South Beach.
Hitting the venue a little later than expected, the party was in full swing with those signature mau5trap progressive and techno sounds that permeated the club. Running into some friends at the outside bar, we quickly grabbed a drink and headed inside to get down to the beats that infected our eardrums. The show featured an array of some of mau5trap’s rising stars, ranging from Notaker to BlackGummy, all of which left me seriously impressed.
My two standout sets from the night were Rinzen and HEYZ, both of whom I had never been able to catch live before. Unfortunately, I was exhausted after the long day of traveling and couldn’t make it until the very end, leaving the venue around 4 am to catch some sleep but excited as ever for the week ahead.
Waking up on Wednesday morning, we were ready to go as Revolution 93.5 had taken over The National Hotel with an epic ALX Presents Descend show.
The ALX Presents Descend party featured a booming list of names in house and techno. I was stoked to finally be able to catch Amelie Lens at this show. She was closing the night, but prior to her set, I fell in love with the sounds coming from Art Department, Detlef, Victor Calderone, and of course ALX as well.
The National Hotel and Revolution 93.5 Team did a great job with the stage layout, and the crowd was definitely vibing with the beat. One of the downsides of the proximity of The National Hotel to the other hotels and one that plagues Miami Music Week parties, in general, was that the sound bleed from the Axtone Pool Party next door was apparent. Overall though, this was definitely one of the parties I had the most fun at all week, and I definitely plan on returning next year to get my techno fix!
The team took Wednesday night off, as a doubleheader of Kaskade Sun Soaked and Above & Beyond’s Common Ground Miami were on the horizon.
We were glad that we chose to sleep a bit, but also sad to miss the Yotto & Friends party that was supposedly unreal at Do Not Sit On The Furniture that night. Plus, rest was definitely needed as a long day of unreal beats from some of our favorite artists was ahead of us.
Starting Thursday off with some signature Kaskade vibes, I was pleased to find out that one of the special guests for the show would be Oliver Heldens! The beachfront venue at 1 Hotel South Beach was much smaller than the one that hosted Sun Soaked Long Beach, but the intimacy was also much appreciated. It brought a different level of camaraderie between the artists and the crowd, and it was clear that everyone in attendance was die-hard Kaskade fans.
Catching sounds from Loud Luxury, Hook N Sling, and Jonas Blue before Oliver Heldens took the stage, it was clear that this party was one that I’d happily return to in 2019. Kaskade finally took the stage and played a set that was absolutely stunning from start to finish, dropping his classic tracks like “Eyes” and “I Remember” alongside some of his newer tunes that had the crowd singing along without missing a beat.
At the end of the set, it was time for a quick bite in South Beach before a trip back to the hotel, and then off to Above & Beyond’s Common Ground Miami show.
Because of the delay in getting clear across the city to the RC Cola Plant, I, unfortunately, missed many of the opening acts, which was sad because I truly did want to catch Luttrell go back to back with Jody Wisternoff at the show, and I was curious to hear what Spencer Brown b2b ALPHA 9 would sound like.
The legendary duo of Gabriel & Dresden played their hearts out with a set that was emotionally moving, preparing our feels for what was in store in the coming hour. Up next were the boys themselves, Above & Beyond, who opened their set by telling the Miami Crowd that they looked absolutely marvelous tonight. Having only caught the Common Ground Tour on their first stop in Los Angeles, it was great to hear them play some of their newer tunes while intermixing some Anjunabeats favorites as well throughout.
Closing the night out with Seven Lions, who played a powerful set that was full of his signature blend of dubstep and trance heavy vibes, it was the perfect close to a long day in the sun. Heading back to the hotel I wondered how things would be topped after the shows I had already attended, not knowing that the next two days were about to blow my mind.
Lisa, who also was in the crowd had this to say about the Common Ground Miami stop:
Above & Beyond provided a great pre-party to Ultra as they presented another soul-stirring Common Ground show with amazing performances and b2b artists. I had the best time hanging out with AnjunaFam worldwide, meeting new people, and reuniting with old friends.
Friday’s daytime activities were dominated by Ultra Music Festival, but my thoughts were stuck on the Dirtybird Players party that night at Club Space.
I spent the day exploring the festival and getting a feel for anything new they had to offer but upon the end of the show, I knew it was time to get my Dirtybird on at Club Space. The Dirtybird Crew was out in full force on Friday Night with a party that lasted longer than I could stay on my feet.
Featuring sets from Walker & Royce, Will Clarke, Billy Kenny, and more who got the party started, it went deep into the following day with special guests and sets from Claude VonStroke and Justin Martin. Exhausted as ever, I made the very tough decision to bow out after Will Clarke’s massive set, passing the torch to Christopher and Carlos to keep the party going into the early morning hours of Saturday.
Those who stayed until the sun came up were granted surprise sets from artists like Mija and Green Velvet. Aside from the jaw-dropping quality of the sets that were spun, the vibes of the Dirtybird Family that was in attendance was unlike anything else during Miami Music Week.
Even though I bowed out early, this was definitely one of the best parties of the weekend and I wish that I had been able to stick it out longer to catch the sunrise surrounded by the good vibes. Next year I plan on resting up first and sticking it out for far longer to make sure I get the chance to experience the sunrise on the rooftop terrace!
That morning, Lisa was one of the lucky attendees of Destructo’s first-ever Breakfast Club party at 1-800-Lucky. Here is her take of the action:
If you ever wanted to start your day the right way during Miami Music Week, then this is the party you should go to. Not only were breakfast and mimosas offered, but we also received special performances from Destructo, Wax Motif, Justin Martin, and more. Special Breakfast Club oven mitts and aprons were randomly distributed among the crowd for attendees to get decked out in. At one point they even ran out of champagne since it was such a reasonable price at $60 per bottle, unheard of during Miami Music Week.
What kept me alive at this dance party was the sheer volume of friends from Holy Ship who were in attendance. There is no fam like Shipfam and there is no group on this planet that I meet at events that show me love like they do. I might not know them at the beginning of a party but by the end of the party, they are family.
Saturday’s daytime festivities were also dominated by Ultra Miami, but my eyes (and ears) were set on the prize at the end of the night…
That’s right, we were some of the lucky ones to be able to attend the special b2b set between Adam Beyer and Cirez D (aka Eric Prydz). Having seen Prydz multiple times in 2017, and already quite a few times this year both as Prydz and as his techno-fueled alias Cirez D, I couldn’t wait to get blown away by some beats.
Grabbing an energy drink to chug before heading to Soho Studios, upon arriving at the warehouse district we could hear the loud thud of Cristoph’s opening set as we entered the security line. Something special was brewing inside, and you could feel the wall of heat the moment you walked toward the doors.
Around 2 am, Cristoph promptly ended his set and the two techno maestros took the stage, opening their extended set that had the crowd roaring with cheers and applause. For three hours Adam Beyer and Cirez D dominated our eardrums with some of the best techno I may have experienced firsthand in my entire life, even beating out some sets I’ve caught at West Coast events like CRSSD Festival and Factory 93.
There was just something about the vibe, the heat, the atmosphere of it all that absolutely deconstructed everything in my life and rebuilt it from the ground up. Oh, and that’s not even mentioning the stunning display of production that was pummeling the crowd with lights and lasers. They had literally pinpoint accuracy as they traced through the air and hit the crowd that never once stopped moving.
I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it until the end; really, I didn’t. I was so beat down and exhausted from the entire week that I nearly threw my hands in the air to give up. It was then that I just let the techno gods take my soul and carry me to the finish line as the set slowed to a close. It was the perfect party to mark the finale of my Miami Music Week Experience this year.
Lisa also was in the crowd during the show, and provided her thoughts on the performance between these two techno maestros:
I only had enough willpower and strength for one last event during Miami Music Week, and I saved my energy for the Adam Beyer b2b Eric Prydz show. The minute Beyer and Prydz took the stage and started to play, the lights and music became in sync and we blasted off to another planet.
The first hour of their set felt like a warm-up for both artists to get the crowd moving. Toward the second hour, Prydz and Beyer hit us with laser beams and glimpses of visuals. There were moments when the lasers shot out but did not disperse and held in place to bounce to the rhythm of the music, an unbelievably cool thing to see in person. In their final hour, the energy was up and the both of them kept the crowd energized before closing things out in a perfect manner.
Everyone we spoke to during and after the event couldn’t help but agree that they delivered the best Miami Music Week show of the week. From start to finish, we were in love with every song choice and the magic of both artists. This would be the show I would want to relive for the rest of my life if I could.
Overall, this year’s edition of Miami Music Week may have been one of the best ever to hit the city.
While we only touched on a handful of the events that occurred over the course of the week, there is an undeniable feeling that this year was one of the most stacked editions of Miami Music Week yet. Aside from the constant parties that took place at different venues across the city, there is just something electric in the air in Miami that kept things moving and grooving.
If you’ve never attended Miami Music Week, we highly recommend that you save up some money, find a solid group of like-minded partiers, and get to planning your trip. This is hands down one of the best weeks of electronic music on the planet, and later this year, parties for 2019 will begin to pop up, so stay tuned!