For those of you who were heading down to Miami to catch Ultra Music Festival and the Winter Music Conference, it looks like for the first time ever, you’ll have to choose one or the other. Or travel to Miami twice–your pick.
We recently heard the shocking news that WMC will take place two weeks earlier than expected, running from March 8th-12th. Ultra Music Festival will not be moving its date to coincide, but instead is adding a third day and will take place from March 25th-27th: around the same time that UMF and WMC have taken place for as long as we all can remember.
This news has caused much confusion. Ravers and EDM fans everywhere are asking, “Where will my favorite artist be?,” “Will I need to reschedule my flight?,” and “I thought UMF and WMC were the same thing!” To clarify, Ultra Music Festival, which typically takes place at the end of the Winter Music Conference, is a massive electronic music festival that takes place in Bicentennial Park, with many stages, hundreds of DJs, and mountains of attendees. Winter Music Conference, on the other hand, is everything else–a week of events, workshops, parties, and overall music appreciation taking place throughout Miami. WMC came first, but many would argue that Ultra attracts the real crowds.
Sound like drama? You don’t know the half of it. Here are the two sides, and the juicy details.
Winter Music Conference has accused Ultra of breaching a contract signed in 2009 which states it will coincide with WMC. Louis Puig, the owner of Club Space in Miami, whose close distance to Bicentennial Park makes it a consistent after-party spot for Ultra-goers, has issued a biting statement smashing UMF and arguing that their refusal to move their date “is about greed and money.” Why did WMC move the date? Supposedly they were unable to secure a convention host hotel for the conference.
Ultra Music Festival has stated it cannot move to coincide with WMC without losing its permits to Bicentennial Park. That’s because the new date coincides with the Calle Ocho street fair, which brings around one million people to downtown Miami. Miami police have stated they do not have the resources to support both Ultra and Calle Ocho, and as such have put the kibosh on any plans for Bicentennial the second week of March. Ultra stated in a response on their website that they have taken actions to find a venue to house the WMC refugees, but that WMC refused.
The back-and-forth banter has caused quite a stir. Some believe Ultra is at fault, stating that WMC came first and without WMC, Ultra wouldn’t exist. Others state that WMC is at fault, and that they chose to switch the dates without good reason. One should note that the WMC ticket typically includes entrance to Ultra Music Festival, so separating the dates would likely sever such an agreement. Puig cites high ticket prices during his “greed” offensive, despite the fact that he charged Ultra-goers over half the price of the full two-day Ultra ticket simply to enter his club–no shorts allowed.
At the end of the day, fans will probably follow the artists when making their choice, so what are they saying? Steve Angello of Swedish House Mafia tweets, “People I won’t be in Miami 8th-12th… I’m having my Size party the last week of march… and most of the people I know will be there.” Afrojack said “Honestly f* it, only once have I seen a small segment of the conference, the rest was all Ultra.” Kaskade proclaimed “WMC – R.I.P. – It was a good run, we will miss ya! Now we can just start calling it what it really is, Spring Break. Guidos Unite!”
What will you be attending? Let’s start the discussion.
Photo Credit: HiFi Cartel