Only three years active, an infant compared to the many annual events held in the Miami area; yet it’s got the young party public in hype.
Miami Music Week (MMW) returns with ten days of heart thumping beats, flashy lights and a sweet taste of the Miami nightlife. With the gaining popularity of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Miami Music Week has become a worldly recognized event.
“Years ago many people didn't care about the music, it is very surprising to see how popular it has gotten over the years,” Norberto Esquivel, FIU student and EDM aficionado says. “I love the atmosphere and the overall party that electronic music brings along with it.”
Unlike many more festivals or grand events, MMW does not take place in a singular location but various clubs widely known by locals such as Arkadia, Electric Pickle, LIV Nightclub and Grand Central.
The week is a form to celebrate this newborn music on the rise and highlight the city. Being an attracting event to bring tourism to a peak and increase exposure to the full Miami party experience.
“There is definitely a large impact,” Diego Saldaña-Rojas, FIU student and staff member of Radiate FM, says. “All those people need a place to stay, somewhere to go eat and a way to move around all of which translates to a lot of money moved and that goes into the city. I think it’s probably the greatest and most positive impact.”
“Ultra Music Festival alone usually brings in about $79 million dollars because of people renting hotels, creating jobs, etc,” Carlos Vara FIU student says. “It helps stimulate a big part of Miami’s economy,” Esquivel adds.
The event will be taking place from March 15th to March 24th; concluding with the largest and most anticipated event for EDM followers, Ultra Music Festival.
“I DJ and produce both house and trance,” Vara says. “I have gone to Ultra Music Festival twice and both times were awesome. It was really inspiring from a DJ/producer's perspective. I think it’s a great addition to Miami Music Week. It has basically become the biggest event.”
Even though Ultra Music Festival seems to be a harmless and profiting event, previous and returning attendees have not all turned out with positive reviews. The festival is well known to be rather expensive, tickets being no lower than three hundred dollars.
“Don’t make bottled water $5, that makes people hate you and think you are a soulless corporation,” Saldaña-Rojas says. “It’s a real shame when I and others have resorted to sneaking in water and granola bars. It’s also a real shame that it is much more difficult to bring in water and food than it is to bring all types of drugs.”
The ongoing drug consumption within the festival seems to be a reoccurring problem, whether security against it has improved over the years is still a festival secret. On the bright side attendees won’t have to fret any more about the overpriced water.
“I’ve heard recently they are putting in watering stations and I think that is fantastic,” Saldaña-Rojas says.
With the Floridian heat and the human packed event for health safety purposes the new and well advertised free water stations provided by Ultra Music Festival this year has gotten several thumbs up.
Still EDM with its gaining popularity is also piling the criticism from widely music lovers.
“In today’s world anyone can illegally download software and start making beats,” says Saldaña-Rojas. “For some, that music making process has less value than someone that’s learned to play an instrument.”
But EDM followers rebuttal that there is much more to the music than simple beat generating software.
“Some of the people that don't believe its music also say that electronic dance music producers don't actually have musical talent, but that's pretty untrue. Most producers can play multiple instruments extremely well and actually make all the sounds themselves,” Vara says. “It seems that the concept of genres have created this huge tension between people who don't like the same music.”
While some believe the music divides the public others love it for their unifying effect.
“EDM is a way of life. It's not for everyone but the real fans are really close,” Esquivel says. “Although you may not know someone at a concert by the end of the night you will feel like you've made a new friend… it is a good feeling.”
“I think calling myself a fan would be an understatement. For me it's the ‘hand in the air’ feeling that the genre has. It really is something that you don't find in too many genres of music.” Vara says.
Hate it or love it, Miami Music Week and Ultra Music Festival are here to stay with hundreds of shows and events. For scheduled, new up-coming events and more information visit Miami Music Week 2013.