DownBeats Miami Music Week 2016 Recap

By | March 22, 2016
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As always, the yearly trek to Miami Music Week is filled with plenty of day parties, night shenanigans, 24-hour affairs, little sleep and a long series of unforgettable musical moments.

For DownBeats, the week also becomes a key opportunity to spread awareness on the importance of hearing protection through several programs of promotion and coordinated ear plug giveaways. In 2015 we teamed up with Incorrect Music and Stereo Productions/Vested to provide co-branded ear plugs at their parties, opening the door to a tradition that we aim to continue in the years to come.

This year, we proudly pushed our collaborations further, officially working with three separate parties while also doing selective giveaways at a series of other events across the space of an entire week.

Kolsch

Our co-branded Kölsch DownBeats ear plugs

First up, we were invited on the Musette Yacht by Vested Chicago and Paradigm Presents who were hosting an afternoon-into-sunset Life Aquatic cruise featuring Kölsch and Anthony Attalla. In collaboration with the Danish producer we handed out customized ear plugs to attendees who immediately tested them out with the powerful Void sound system on board provided by AIS. On the main deck, Attalla and Kölsch both delivered powerful sets after an energetic progressive opening performance by RJ Pickens, while on the top deck a list of Chicago talent including Dabura and Hummingbird kept the groove going as the sun began to set over the Downtown Miami skyline.

Our co-branded Crew Love DownBeats ear plugs

Our co-branded Crew Love DownBeats ear plugs

Next, it was the turn of the infamous Crew Love showcase, held at one of my favorite downtown locales: Electric Pickle. Beginning at 7pm and going deep into the night, the party began on the outside patio with Eli of Soul Clap providing the tunes and continued with other label favorites such as Wolf + Lamb, Nick Monaco and No Regular Play all joining in for what became a fantastic night of house, disco and funk. As always, the crew was repping hard with plenty of attendees wearing label merch and loving  the gift of branded DownBeats ear plugs.

Last, but not least, we headed to Heart Nightclub for the Yoshitoshi showcase on the Patio. It’s safe to say that those who came to party early loved the ear plugs, as they went within 30 minutes of club opening. The rest of the night became a home run for Sharam’s label, as the entire floor filled up half way through Robosonic’s opening set and remained so through the night as Shiba San, Technasia, Nora En Pure, Trent Cantrelle and Soul Clap all joined to provide sets before Sharam took over in the early hours of the morning.

Sharam during the Yoshitoshi Showcase at Heart. Photo by Giancarlo Chia

Sharam during the Yoshitoshi Showcase at Heart. Photo by Giancarlo Chia

That wasn’t all, however, for we ventured beyond our co-hosted giveaways to explore other parties throughout the week and to provide ear plugs to attendees whenever we could. Our definite highlight came from the biggest and longest party of them all: the 11th edition of Get Lost Miami, hosted by Damian Lazarus and his Crosstown Rebels team. Housed in a brand new location at Little River Studios in Little Haiti, North Miami, Get Lost began at 5am on Saturday morning and continued non-stop until 5am the following day, with music taking place across four entirely different stages and experiences.

Felix da Housecat ft. Jamie Principle. Photo by Crosstown Rebels

Felix da Housecat ft. Jamie Principle. Photo by Crosstown Rebels

To say that the set-up itself was magical would be an understatement. The main outdoor stage resembled a scene straight out of the Florida Keys, while a smaller outside area aptly named “Santorini” looked like a postcard from Greece. The two inside stages both recalled some of the best underground warehouse parties I have been to yet provided different enough atmospheres from one another thanks to a variety of decorations, lasers and other elements of production

Everything about the set-up worked perfectly, with the 50 plus artists on the line-up spread out sufficiently well to allow for long enough sets and a variety of performances for even the most discerning of music fans. At one specific moment the likes of Pete Tong, BLOND:ISH, Matt Tolfrey, Route 94 and Felix da Housecat were all playing at the same time, giving attendees the embarrassment of choice on where to post up.

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Seth Troxler behind the decks at Get Lost Miami

The Chicago native had one of the most inspired sets of the afternoon, mixing soulful house with tribal sounds and the added live vocals of Jamie Principle. Their tribute to Frankie Knuckles was touching and powerful, easily one of the highlights of the entire day. Seth Troxler and later Damian Lazarus both delivered with expected precision, keeping the large crowds dancing throughout their performances. Elsewhere Visionquest, Fur Coat and Heidi all played fantastic and energetic sets, with the Venezuelan duos standing out as one of the most popular acts of the day.

Moving to the new venue did mean there were a few issues to sort out heading into 2017. Despite advertising 24hr access to food, the one food station wasn’t manned when we tried to get some dinner around 9pm which seemed strange. Additionally the main outside stage closed just after midnight, resulting in the majority of the crowd spilling onto and crowding the other three smaller stages. Perhaps the decision was made with sound and neighbors in mind but it remains that people did leave due to how packed the remaining areas of music became as the party approached its final four hours. Regardless, there is no denying that Get Lost, with its fantastic roster and the impressive care put into the smallest of details, remains the must-attend party of the entire Miami Music Week.

Incorrect Music in the Main Room. Photo by Club Space

Incorrect Music in the Main Room. Photo by Club Space

Elsewhere, Incorrect Music packed the Main Floor of Club Space on Wednesday night thanks to an impressive lineup that included UMEK, Pirupa, UNER and Supernova alongside label head-honcho Anthony Attalla. The entire floor was packed as early as 11pm until the very early hours of the morning thanks to the ever-growing support of the loyal Incorrect Army. Upstairs, an entire roster of Bullitt Agency artists took over the Terrace and Loft with strong performances by Pan-Pot, Agoria and Carlo Lio before Dubfire and Chris Liebing took the reigns for a sunrise back-to-back techno set that lasted deep into the afternoon.

Dubfire b2b Chris Liebing. Photo by Alex Sanchez

Dubfire b2b Chris Liebing. Photo by Alex Sanchez

Shifting gears the following day, we headed to the relative brand new venue that hosted Do Not Sit By The Ocean. Hosted by Behrouz‘s Do Not Sit By The Furniture, the open-air concept’s new home was the Deck at Island Gardens overlooking the impressive collection of yachts docked at the marina and the city’s skyline beyond it. Music by an entire contingent of All Day I Dream artists and Burning Man/Robot Heart favorites kept the groove going for an entire 12 hours. We particularly enjoyed seeing Hoj (who is playing our Apparel Launch Party at Spybar Chicago on April 3rd) go back-to-back with Atish in the early afternoon as well as Bedouin and Lee Burridge who led the party past sunset and into the early hours of the evening. You can watch the entire party below courtesy of Be-At TV.

The truth is that with over 150 parties to choose from on top of Ultra Music Festival, the entire of Miami Music Week is a fun time regardless of your music choices and party preferences. While we did notice that the use of ear plugs and general awareness of ear protection is growing, there are still too many people putting their hearing at risk by exposing themselves to loud music without adequate protection. This year it was definitely refreshing to see big names such as Yoshitoshi, Crew Love and Kölsch support our cause and help provide their fans with ear plugs for their showcases.

You can enjoy a collection of some of our favorite Miami Music Week sets including most of the Do Not Sit By The Ocean performances through the SoundCloud playlist below. We look forward to being back in Miami in 2017 to continue on our mission to ensure hearing safety for all who enjoy electronic and dance music.

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