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Get Lost and The Future of Miami Music Week

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Smirnoff Sound Collective Miami: Discwoman at The Gale Rooftop. Picture by World Red Eye

Thirty-one years ago Florida saw delegates representing the dance and electronic music industry come together for the first Winter Music Conference (WMC), a conference that has since grown to a concentration of more than 400 events, parties, seminars and workshops. In 1999 Ultra Music Festival began as a one-day festival, expanding since to a sold-out weekend with over 150,000 in attendance. Then, in 2011 the electronic music industry saw the foundation of Miami Music Week (MMW), a collection of music events that now includes Ultra and, while it used to coincide with WMC, this year split up from the conference and took place the week before.

When things first started concentration was on pool parties in South Beach during the day and  events at a selection of clubs, of which only a handful were in Downtown Miami, at night. There is no doubt that in its second decade of operation, Club Space remains one of the quintessential venues to attend whenever making the trek to Miami for the week. It regularly hosts marathon parties and sets that go deep into the next day’s afternoon and this year it was no different.

On Wednesday night the Club’s Terrace played host to an selection of artists the likes of Shaded, Carlo Lio, Pan-Pot, Kölsch, Gardens of God and Agoria before a grand finale that saw Dubfire go back-to-back with Chris Liebing beginning at 7am and ending at some point in the middle of the afternoon. The atmosphere was electric to say the least, with people making the short trip between the Terrace and the Main Room, which hosted a high-caliber list of Incorrect Music artists such as UMEK, Anthony Attalla, Uner, Prok & Fitch and Supernova. A large contingent remained as downstairs closed to witness the first of the many sunrise-into-the-afternoon performances of the week. Carlo Lio and Pan-Pot set the stage on the Terrace perfectly, playing heavy sounds with minimal to no vocals – setting a welcome and dark opening atmosphere for the closing set to follow. When I left the club at some point in the middle of the morning, the SCI-TEC and CLR bosses were still going at it with a large army of techno fans still on the dance floor.

Marco Carola marathon set on the Terrace. Picture by Club Space Miami

Marco Carola marathon set on the Terrace. Picture by Club Space Miami

I was to make my way to the Terrace once more the following night for a Marco Carola marathon that followed sets by Leon and French trio Apollonia. Shonky, Dan Ghenacia and Dyed Soundorom know how to work a room, carefully selecting percussion-drive tracks and groovy gems with signature effortlessness. They commandeered the majority of the crowd who didn’t seem to be saving their energy for Carola, but instead danced away for several hours to their infectious performance. They have been playing Carola’s label parties for a while now and it’s no secret why, they are a perfect fit for his ideology and focus on quality of music above all else. While the Italian Music On maestro is no stranger to long sets on the Terrace, he usually performs alongside Loco Dice as “LoCarola” during Miami Music Week so it was a welcome change to see him play solo and for an extended period of time. As usual his funky brand of techno was exactly what the crowd needed, with hundreds arriving past sunrise to see him perform until around 4pm in the afternoon. Shazaming or attempting to ID tracks is near impossible with Carola in control, especially so considering his pride as a track selector. Both him and Apollonia both played that weekend as guests at Carl Cox & Friends’ Ultra stage, while Carola also closed out his label winter residency alongside Paco Osuna on Saturday night with set at Story Miami in South Beach. Check out a small clip of Apollonia at Space below:

Two large clubs have opened next to Space in recent years. First E11VEN Miami across the street, boasting a 24hr schedule, and then Heart Nightclub literally next door in the past year. Boasting rooftops, multiple rooms and party hours that also go deep into the next afternoon, they have been part of a trend that has seen the more seasoned of MMW/WMC attendees ditch South Beach pool parties and to stay in Downtown Miami to party. While there’s a short list of top-botch clubs in South Beach worth visiting, most notably Do Not Sit On The Furniture, Trade and Treehouse, recent years have heralded the arrival of parties away from clubs and pools.

Do Not Sit By The Ocean is the perfect example of this winning formula. Held across the span of 12 hours, this day party took place at The Deck at Island Gardens, a super yacht marina with a deck overlooking the most exquisite view of Miami’s skyline. The vibes were thick, with an entire entourage of music professionals listed to play against one of the most beautiful backdrops we have seen for a Miami party. Huge sailboats, mega yachts, palm trees, the ocean and the sun setting over the entire city as music from Lee Burridge, Alex Niggemann, YokoO, Hoj, atish and others poured out of the sound system. The entire event was captured by Be-At TV and can be viewed below.

 

This year Anjunadeep held their party at Cafeina Wynwood, with Jamie JonesParadise returning to Mana Wynwood for a party lineup that featured such top names as Steve Lawler, Bob Moses, Stacey Pullen, Skream and The Martinez Brothers. Elrow used the same venue for its signature crazy celebration, while Disclosure, Eric Prydz and Luciano all opted for Wynwood’s MAPS Backlot outside space to throw their parties this past week.

Most notably, however, it was Get Lost Miami that kept setting the trend. Celebrating 11 consecutive years, the Crosstown Rebels-run party has been bringing thousands of party goers to Downtown and Midtown Miami spaces for the last several years. For this edition, they made the bold move of relocating to Little River Studios, a brand-new site in the city’s neighborhood of Little Haiti. I say bold because it was announced only two days early and is probably the furthest any party during MMW/WMC has ever gone. But it worked, and it cemented Get Lost Miami has the must-attend party of the entire week.

Truthfully, simply calling Get Lost a party is a little disservice to the tremendous work Damian Lazaruz and company put behind the event. It runs for 24 hours straight, beginning at 5am and ending at 5am of the following day with no interruptions. Four stages run simultaneously for almost the entirety of that time, with a lineup that this year listed over 50 acts. Forgive me if I begin to refer to Get Lost as a one-day festival, for it truly feels like one. Curated to its smallest of details, it delivered and it delivered well despite some expected small first problems at its new home. Each of the four stages provided an entirely different experience both musically and visually, specifically curated to allow attendees to wonder and live the entire 24 hours of the party without ever feeling like it was repeating itself.

Felix da Housecat and Jamie Principle at Get Lost Miami. Picture by Crosstown Rebels.

Felix da Housecat and Jamie Principle at Get Lost Miami. Picture by Crosstown Rebels.

The main Keys stage sat nestled beside a large tree, its branches nestled above the wide dance floor overlooking a set of small wooden homes. Inspired by the Florida Keys, the spectacle included white sand, beach chairs, lifeguard posts and more, all part of the illusion created to transport music fans to a new temporary world. Ornaments, decorations and make-shift sign posts all added to the magic, with Serge Devant first and Felix da Housecat later providing the afternoon music that welcomed the hundreds in attendance to the magical sunrise above them. Felix in particular had one of the best sets I witnessed the entire week, blending both the soulful and jacking elements of the very same Chicago house that has launched his illustrious career. One of the most signature moments of Get Lost came toward the end of his set, as Seth Troxler was readying to take over. With Jamie Principle on vocals he performed a tribute to the late Frankie Knuckles and the legacy of house he gave the world – everyone’s hands were in the air as they danced and paid homage to the music that united them.

The smallest of the two indoor areas, the Studio, reminded me of an artist loft. Dark, yet bright, thanks to its curved white walls and partially white floors, it delivered as an intimate stage with powerful sound. BLOND:ISH in particular were phenomenal, their set fusing fast-paced house, tribal elements and repeated percussion to perfection. Visionquest later did what they do best with a selection of well-picked high-octane house tracks that composed a seamlessly curated performance that strayed away from the dreamy deep house played later by the likes of Red Axes, Bedouin and DJ Three. Red Axes in particular had one of the stand-out sets of the week, managing to captivate the tens of people who decided to choose the duo over bigger acts playing elsewhere. The change of pace was simple yet acted as needed balance in the eclectic roster that formed Get Lost’s deep lineup.

Damian Lazarus at Get Lost Miami

Damian Lazarus at Get Lost Miami

Next door, The Nest stage provided the closest thing to a dark warehouse setting. Filled with smoke and armed with colorful lasers, it was practically impossible to see the DJs performing unless you were stationed right in front of them. Strangely it was fairly empty for Pete Tong earlier in the day but hundreds filled the room for Cassy and DJ Sneak’s tandem performance in the late afternoon. It was powerful and it made people dance, as you would expect from both the seasoned vets. Fur Coat later on drew one of the biggest crowds to the stage with the type of performance that saw them clinch a recent debut on BBC Radio One’s Essential Mix.

Needless to say Detroit’s Carl Craig and Damian Lazarus drew some of the biggest crowds of the evening. Sandwiched between Seth Troxler and the party’s boss, Craig kept things interesting by straying away from the Detroit Techno sound at times, beginning his set with the intro/theme song of 2001 A Space Odyssey and incorporating “You’ve Got The Love” by Florence And The Machine into his set. The wizard closed off the main Keys stage with a set that went past his allotted time, perhaps just a way to let everyone know who was in command, filled with tribal tracks, cosmic tunes and the sort of atmosphere only he can create best. As his set ended so did the music at that stage, leaving the hundreds present with no choice but to spill into the three smaller stage that were scheduled to play music until closing. An unmissable live set by KiNK led the way for Thugfucker and a special back-to-back performance by Gorgon City and Kidnap Kid at the Santorini stage while Rumors boss Guy Gerber first and Skream later were entrusted with closing duties at the Nest.

The Crosstown Rebels flag flying high at Get Lost Miami

The Crosstown Rebels flag flying high at Get Lost Miami

During the week I attended other parties. A beautiful sunset cruise with Kölsch and Anthony Attalla organized by Paradigm Presents and Vested out of Chicago, the always special Crew Love reunion at the Electric Pickle and a super-packed Yoshitoshi showcase on the Patio top floor of Heart Nightclub. Notice the trend? Not once in an entire week did I cross the Causeway to step foot on South Beach and with the exception of a one-hour lunch last year, this is now the second year in a row where I failed to attend any parties or industry events away from Downtown Miami. Plenty of industry friends informed me of half-empty pool parties, separate events that joined forces last minute due to lack of ticket sales and other indicators that pointed to what seems to be a changing of trends with MMW/WMC and essentially the landscape of the electronic dance music industry. As I was in the middle of penning this piece, Beatport released an article entitled “A Very Honest Chat About Miami Music Week on Slack” that touched on these exact same observations and what appears to be a shift within the way this iconic week is organized and takes place. The evidence is there for all to see and there is absolutely no denying that Miami Music Week as we used to know it is no longer. But why?

On one side of the argument, the split and rivalry between MMW and WMC has undoubtedly caused a shift in how the week in Miami is perceived in the first place. Let’s not forget that this started as a convention to bring industry professionals together through a series of panels, discussions and events aiming to serve as an essential platform for electronic music to grow in the years to follow. It also served as the opportunity to give new talent the needed stepping stone into a scene that is hard to break into, for up-and-coming artists to be noticed in what can otherwise sometimes be a dog-eat-dog scene. It appears that the split between MMW and WMC has essentially watered down the purpose and importance of this yearly trip to Miami, with parties focusing on making money with big line-ups of already-established acts and DJs playing up to 7-9 parties in a matter of days. What used to be one of the key electronic music conferences of the entire global industry is now being overshadowed by the mere selection of all-too-similar parties that form it (150+ MMW parties this year), and by the expanding nature of other important industry gatherings and conventions such as ADE, Decibel, The BPM Festival, SXSW (the same week as MMW this year), etc. How about the fact that SXMusic Festival debuted in St. Martin a mere week before MMW with a selection of top-tier artists across the space of 5 days? At which point does cost for those faithful to MMW/WMC become a real issue with the increasing saturation of events that are filling up electronic dance music fan’s calendars on any given year?

Clearly, however, not all was gloomy on the MMW front. Space was packed as usual, popular sunset cruises (Sasha, Stereo Productions and tINI & The Gang are just some examples) sold out and Get Lost cemented itself as the must-attend party of the week with a bustling crowd that kept the party going for a day straight. And to be honest, reports coming from some of the most popular pool parties such as All Gone Pete Tong do mention great crowds. But the shift is as visible as it is inevitable if nothing is done to change things. Not only were there less people in Miami during the week but the focus moved from the pool parties and South Beach clubs to the venues in Downtown that remained opened deep into the next day’s afternoon or, like with Paradise and Get Lost, events that offered immensely stacked line-ups, as well as new and bigger experiences for the right price.

All Gone Pete Tong pool party

All Gone Pete Tong pool party

It’s sad to say, but it may be impossible for MMW and WMC to team up again with the purpose of revamping and reinvigorating what seems to be a dying industry must-attend week. There were plenty of parties to choose from the entire week but if one thing is for sure, it’s that Get Lost alone might represent the future of MMW in the years moving forward. Cookie-cutter club nights and pool parties will always remain fun, but if Miami wants to regain the large slice of industry attendance it seems to have lost in recent years, it will need to look at those events that bring something fresh to table as an indicator of what works and what will keep on working in future years. Creativity, giving space to fresh talent and offering something no one else can have made Damian Lazarus’ series of parties (Get Lost and Day Zero) stand-alone events of their own regardless of the plethora of other functions happening around them. While the Terrace at Space will always be packed for Marco Carola’s never-ending sets, the same cannot be said for the tens of other events that don’t work to reinvent themselves when they need to.

It may be wishful thinking at this point, but here is to hoping that Miami learns something from 2016. It’s hard to imagine the world of electronic music without MMW/WMC and I am thankful that Get Lost and other leading promoters continue to strive on imagination and change to keep the week alive. Here is to hoping that in 2017 and beyond other promoters can do the same, or, and this may be stretching it, the powers behind the conflicting MMW and WMC can find a way to bring back the spirit of Miami in March as we used to know it. But for that, a little helping hand for Ultra may be needed.

Get Lost Miami 2016 Reveals Biggest Lineup Yet

Get Lost Miami

There is no denying that Damian Lazarus’ Get Lost party in Miami has been one of the must-attend events during Miami Music Week year in, year out. Get Lost Miami 2016 is no exception.

Not surprisingly, $55 Tickets of Trust (with no line-up announced) sold out well in advance of the massive line-up that the Crosstown Rebels head-honcho released today. Arguably, this is Get Lost’s biggest yet, with over 50 names on the bill. The party will also act as Lazaruz’ finale stop of his North and Latin America Altered States Tour.

Highlights include an opening set from Sasha, the entire Visionquest crew, Detroit’s Carl Craig, Gorgon City Kidnap Kid billed together, Skream and the influential Pete Tong. Attendees will also be treated to Live performances by Benoit & SergioInfinity InkKINKMetrika and Satori. There will also be a flurry of surprise guests yet to be announced.

There are parties, and there are PARTIES. You shouldn’t even contemplate skipping Get Lost Miami. This is one of the latter, for it’s no shocker that accompanying this monster roster will be an entirely unique environment filled with surprised and secrets and a visceral visual experience second to none. This year’s Get Lost Miami is set to take over a brand new venue, boasting  multiple areas of music, and the indoor/outdoor vibes for which the party is now famed.

Get Lost Miami is a 24hr non-stop party beginning at 5am on Saturday 19th of March and lasting until 5am of Sunday morning. Tickets are available on Resident Advisor 

Get Lost Miami

Full line-up:

Agoria
Bedouin
Behrouz
Benoit & Sergio (live)
Bill Patrick
Blond:ish
Carl Craig
Cassy
CITIZENN
Damian Lazarus
Dance Spirit
DAVI
David Morales
Denney
DJ Sneak
DJ Three
Eduardo Castillo
Ellen Allien
Felix Da Housecat FT. Jamie Principle
Fur Coat
Gorgon City & Kidnap Kid
Hannah Holland FT. Josh Caffe
HEIDI
Horse Meat Disco
Infinity Ink (live)
Jonas Rathsman
Kenny Glasgow
KINK (live)
Kölsch
Laura Jones
LUM
Magit Cacoon
Martin Buttrich
Matt Tolfrey
Metrika (live)
Pete Tong
Red Axes
Route 94
Sasha (OPENING SET)
SATORI (live)
Serge Devant
SHAUN J. WRIGHT & Alinka
Skream
Soul Clap
SQUIRE
Thugfucker
Tiga
Visionquest
& VERY SPECIAL GUESTS

Damian Lazarus Announces Altered States North and Latin American Tour

DamianLazarus1

Crosstown Rebels head-honcho Damian Lazarus must be having a great January, coming off an immensely successful Day Zero party in Tulum that has received massive praise from industry professionals and dance music fans alike. In fact, Billboard were so impressed the author of their article stated that he “wouldn’t be surprised if Day Zero will become the cruelly unrealistic benchmark for all parties of this nature to come.”

It is perhaps not a surprise then, that Lazarus’ Get Lost party during Miami Music Week is already offering $55 Tickets of Trust with no line-up announced (other than Lazarus of course). The label-owner and producer has now announced that he will be readying himself for the 24-hour Miami shenanigans with a 16-stop Altered States tour that will see him travel the Americas for the next two months.

DamianLazarus

Highlights include two Circoloco stops in Lima, Peru and Cordoba Argentina this upcoming weekend on top of other gigs in Ecuador, Chile and back to Argentina all before February 8th.

Following a break, he will be back on the road with a stop in Toronto and Mexico City, as well as several gigs throughout the States starting with Boondocks Houston on Feb 25th. Further stops include a much anticipated return to the iconic Spybar in Chicago on February 26th, a Brooklyn gig the next day at a still-undisclosed location as well as a Los Angeles performance at Sound Nightclub on March 4th. Lazarus will also be making already-announced visits to CRSSD Festival in San Diego, Okeechobee Festival in Florida and of course his grand finale show at Get Lost Miami.

Follow Damian Lazarus: Online | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

 

FUR COAT Announces North & South America Tour with ticket giveaway in each city

Fur Coat - N. + S. America Tour

Fur Coat announced today via their social media of their upcoming North & South America Tour, which will see them play shows across 11 cities kicking off in California this Thursday and Friday in San Francisco, and Los Angeles respectively and ending it at the annual WMC where they join with Damian Lazarus’ Get Lost party on the 28th of March.

The Venezuelan duo shook the global electronic music scene by storm over the past two years and are currently one of the most demanded acts within the Deep House & Techno scene. What has made this announcement more sweet is that Fur Coat has offered to giveaway tickets to each city as long as you share their facebook post and tag the city they will be touring and you could be the lucky winner.

If you happen to be in Los Angeles, we have a generous discounted guestlist for their show this Friday night at Sound NightclubRSVP Here.

Follow FUR COAT: Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram