PICS: Khris Cowley - Here & Now
It’s Friday in Miami and after a few hours kip we’re back in full power party mode! First up tonight we’re off to Seth Troxler’s Big Tittie Surprise party at South Beach nightclub Basement — we’re excited to see what the kooky Detroit DJ has in store for us. The place has been kitted out with glittery silver curtains and suspended disco balls, as drag queens and professional dancers sway on podiums dotted around the room. Up on the decks, Seth is spinning back-to-back with Miss Honey Dijon as we arrive, whilst the room swells with suited and booted bros and post-Ultra attendees alike. A bumping tech-house remix of Chaka Khan’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’ is a highlight, as dancers dressed-up as Leeloo from The Fifth Element (random?) sashay through the packed crowd.
After a few hours of fist pumping in front of the booth, DJ Mag heads over to check out Basement's room two. Inside, we discover the club’s private bowling alley complete with neon lighting and barely clothed hostesses, plus a private ice rink and a fully stocked cocktail bar. We spend the next few hours sipping sugary cocktails and chatting with pals, as Scottish DJ Jackmaster scores multiple strikes in a bowling tournament. We can’t stop moving for too long — it’s almost time to hit Elrow at the Mana Wynwood Convention Center downtown. A wobbly twenty-minute cab ride later and we’re there, ready to experience all that the famous Spanish party brand has to offer.
It’s everything we’d been hoping for — the dancefloor is rammed with ravers in crazy costumes and glitter galore. It’s the debut American event for the much-loved underground party series who’ve been throwing sell-out knees-ups in Barcelona and Ibiza for several years. We dance side stage until the early hours to the sound of the Elrow’s resident De La Swing, plus Venezuela DJ duo Fur Coat, whilst inflatable toys bounce around above the crowds’ heads. The famous “Elrow Show” is a highlight as the clock strikes 5am, as Bollywood-themed dancers take to the stage whilst confetti cannons fire to the sound of David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’.
DJ Mag is tucked up in bed by a blistering 7:00am — we’re super keen to get some shut-eye before we head to Ultra on Saturday afternoon. One of America’s most-loved EDM events, we approach the festival with slight trepidation; we’re not too sure what to expect from a burning hot afternoon at the enormous mega-fest. On arrival, it’s total madness at the Ultra entry point beside the Miami harbour, think: fluoro tutus, fluffy boots and camel packs as far as the eye can see!
After an icey beer on the press boat outside the festival, DJ Mag starts the long walk to get into Ultra’s mammoth Main Stage. Ex-Swedish House Mafia member Steve Angello is slamming down a deft selection of EDM and we arrive as he yells “what’s up spring breakers?!” into the heaving crowd. It’s true, the crowd is stuffed with Spring Break attendees from all over the United States — the festival is notorious for attracting a young and suitably eager crowd each year. At the build of each drop, fire spits from cannons at the top of the Main Stage whilst a huge Ultra logo flashes with eyeball-scorching intensity.
Twenty minutes in and we’re keen for something a little deeper; we decide to head over to check out the Carl Cox and Friends stage with Richie Hawtin, Nicole Moudaber and Marco Carola. Richie’s set is (once again) utterly brilliant, followed by Marco Carola’s usual selection of booming techno anthems and foot stompin' edits. We even live stream some of Richie’s set directly to Facebook — you can check it out below.
Richie Hawtin LIVE from Ultra Music Festival
Posted by DJ Mag on Saturday, March 19, 2016
After a quick break to down a few slices of greasy pizza, we bundle ourselves into a cab and head for downtown… it’s time for Get Lost!
It’s the eleventh run of Damian Lazarus’ famed Get Lost party in Miami. As always, it’s a who’s who of top-end underground house and techno stars, though the party has moved to a brand-new location this year. Taking place at Little River Studios in Miami’s Little Haiti district and acts include Martin Buttrich, Thugfucker, Tiga and Horse Meat Disco, plus Heidi, KiNK, Soul Clap, Skream and many, many more.
As we arrive Crosstown Rebels bossman Damian Lazarus is mid-set, as we mill about backstage chatting with friends old and new. The production for the party is insane, with four different stages hosting a range of acts over a 24-hour period. The main stage is tucked away in one corner of the newly-transformed film studio, complete with cute beach shacks and cosmic-looking decorations dotted around the side of the stage. Out the back, there’s a dreamy chill-out area for ravers looking for a little rest and relaxation with comfy mattresses and big cushions perfect for a mid-rave kip — it’s a marathon not a sprint after all!
We skip the nap in favour of a set from ex-Art Department member Kenny Glasgow, who’s currently smashing it on a side stage down a small alley on the site. It’s a woozy combination of tribal-tinged tech house and warm, bouncy rhythms from Glasgow, as UK DJ Heidi high fives the front row from behind the decks. Next up, it’s time for KiNK in the intimate alleyway, as he opens up his set with a looping sample from Rhythm Controll’s classic, ‘My House’. DJ Mag finds a stray bag of glitter in our purse and promptly proceeds to scatter it over our friends throughout the crowd.
As the sun rises romantically in the alley it’s sadly time to go — we’ve got more partying to do tomorrow! We’re staring down the barrel of the final stint, and with Last Resort and Space both on the cards, we can’t wait to share with you the final chapter of our Miami adventure. Keep it locked!