As of now, Ultra is the only electronic music festival in the US that has an entire week of events surrounding Ultra itself (though I have a feeling EDC Las Vegas will soon follow suit). Some parties even go on simultaneously with Ultra and still draw massive crowds, i.e. Swedish House Mafia’s Masquerade Motel–a true testament to the number of dance music fans there actually are in Miami during Miami Music Week. LessThan3 hit up quite a few of these events, and here’s a little recap of some of the best parties Miami had to offer.
Can U Feel It Movie Premiere @ Bayfront Park
Artists: Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Nicky Romero
What Went Down: UMF’s Live Stage was transformed into a thumping movie theater on Wednesday night for the premiere of Ultra’s Can U Feel It documentary, which featured artist interviews and scenes from UMF 2011. It was quite the “pump-you-up” night, with everyone leaving even more excited for UMF 2012 than when they entered. Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano played before the movie, and Nicky Romero took to the decks as soon as the credits ended.
HARD Miami: Moombahton Massive @ Grand Central
Artists: Diplo, Dillon Francis, Nadastrom, Heartbreak, Sazon Booya
What Went Down: The mood was tropical, both in temperature and in sound, at HARD’s Moombahton Massive on the Wednesday of MMW. The stage saw such talent as Diplo and Dillon Francis bring the best in moombah, electro, and tribal rhythms to a raucous, sweaty crowd. There was also a bit of stage-diving going on, particularly during Tittsworth’s set, when Dave Nada jumped into the crowd as Pendejas was dropped.
Carl Cox & John Digweed Boat Party
Artists: Carl Cox, John Digweed, Guy J, Yousef
What Went Down: Free food, open bar, and Carl Cox? Count us in! This four-hour yacht ride through the waters of Miami was the highlight of our Thursday afternoon.
Group Therapy Miami @ Bayfront Park
Artists: Above & Beyond, Arty, Mat Zo, Jaytech, Boom Jinx
What Went Down: The boys of Anjunabeats warmed up the Live Stage on the Ultra grounds on Thursday night, with sets that encompassed progressive, trance, and even electro. The most exciting drops of the night were when Above & Beyond unleashed a new track from Norin & Rad and an unreleased Kaskade remix of their current hit Love Is Not Enough.
SMOG vs BASSHEAD @ Mekka
Artists: Pendulum, Zeds Dead, Dirtyphonics, Gemini, Caspa, Drop The Lime
What Went Down: UKF and Trouble & Bass both had stages at SMOG vs BASSHEAD’s Thursday night party, an event that undoubtedly featured the best lineup of bass music Miami Music Week had this year.
Mixmag in Miami @ Ice Palace
Artists: Chase & Status, Pendulum, Steve Aoki, Flux Pavilion, Riva Starr
What Went Down: This multiple-room party brought a horde of artists to Ice Palace on Friday night, ranging from drum’n’bass titans like Pendulum and Chase & Status to more tech house-oriented acts like Oliver $ and Yolanda Be Cool.
Smile For Camera Artist Showcase @ The Carlton Hotel
Artists: Munchi, Heartbreak, Luke Da Duke
What Went Down: This intimate Saturday night showcase featured not one, but two sets from moombahton “it” boy Munchi, including one collaborative set with Heartbreak. Everyone was on the floor for the big-haired DJ, who played his standard latin and hip hop-infused moombah flavor. Our own Luke Da Duke also brought the fire with his own take on moombahton with electro sprinkled throughout.
Spin Artist Agency Showcase @ The National Hotel
Artists: Arty, Glenn Morrison, Hard Rock Sofa, Swanky Tunes, Wippenberg
What Went Down: This event turned into a Pacha-themed outdoor beach party of pure madness as it went into the night. Afrojack showed up and hung out backstage while Arty played as tons of oversized Pacha beach balls flew through the air and kept the crowd on their toes. This party was so much fun that the LT3 attendees hardly regret missing the last day of Ultra for it.
Ultra Carry On with Armin van Buuren @ Mansion
Artists: Armin van Buuren, Gabriel & Dresden, W&W, Jochen Miller
What Went Down: The Ultra Carry On Party with Armin and friends was the perfect place to go on Sunday night if you weren’t ready for the 11pm shut-down time at Ultra. Armin played a two-hour set that leaned more heavily toward vocal and epic trance, while W&W closed out the night from 3:30-5am with a set of their typical raging tech trance bangers, though it seemed a tad more subdued than their typical sets.