What You Need to Know About WMC

What You Need to Know About WMC

by Emily Tan
02.14.2007

Editor’s Note: A frequent contributor to Clubplanet and a senior writer for DJ Times, Emily Tan is to WMC as Wolf Blitzer is to the White House. But cuter.

10) Ladies: Don't bother wearing pretty, high-heeled shoes. Wear sneakers, you'll thank me for it. It never ceases to amaze me to see how many women teeter up-and-down Washington Avenue wearing the highest, most painful-looking, strappy shoes. You almost have to imbibe profusely just to numb the throbbing pain in your bunions, a pain that gets progressively worse as the night wears-on. Sorry Manolo Blahnik-aficionados, but who's going to see your perfectly pedicured toes once you're in a club that's packed wall-to-wall? Unless you're a closet sadist who likes to have her toes stepped-on all night, don't wear open-toe, delicate, pretty sandals. Wear them to dinner or the boat cruises, just not the clubs.

9) During WMC, venue-hopping becomes inevitable. Try to map-out your night, and try not to hop from big-venue to big-venue; if you do that, you'll spend most of the night standing outside trying to get in. Also, a great piece of advice my spouse always reminds me during WMC, is, "Never leave a good party to go to another party." Don't spend the whole night chasing after what you think might be a better party.

8) If you're staying in South Beach and will be going to downtown Miami frequently, you might want to consider renting a car. Frequent taxis from South Beach to downtown Miami can get expensive, although taxis afford the luxury of not having to stay, um, sober.

7) If a club's security guards assault you for no reason -- or, in the case of Richie Hawtin, as you're about to take the decks for your set -- do not resist. Go limp. Don't attempt to explain that you're just standing there waiting for your girlfriend, or that you didn't realize you'd stepped over the imaginary line marking a restricted zone, or that you're the DJ whose name is on the club flyer for that evening. Just roll with the punches, try to enjoy the rest of your night, and file a police report the next morning.
 
6) Try out some of the smaller events; you never know what you might come across. Says Jim Tremayne, Editor- In-Chief of DJ TIMES, "I remember in '98 seeing a set by the Basement Jaxx when few people knew who they were. They played a very small venue and they were upstairs in a very small room. A lot of well-known DJs were playing downstairs, but everyone who'd seen the Basement Jaxx said that that was the best set they'd heard in a while. The Jaxx broke out a lot of their hit singles, like 'Red Alert,' before these tracks were even released."
 
5) Winter Music Conference used to actually be a time and a place where business got done. Deals were made, new-artists discovered. Labels distributed their music (on vinyl!) around the Fontainebleau Hotel pool. Yes, back in the old days, labels would press vinyl (or acetate) just for the Conference and hand them out to DJs, producers, promoters and other labels around the pool. The pool at WMC was "the" place to see and be-seen. There were many fewer club events, but a WMC badge guaranteed entrance (unlike now). WMC used to be an industry convention where the business of music actually got done.
 
4) WMC badges are pretty much useless when it comes to getting you into an overcrowded club with 1,000 people outside trying to muscle their way in. Unfortunately, Wall Street-types (or worse, uninitiated frat boys on "spring break") who've paid $5,000 in advance for bottle service reservations are given priority over almost everyone else trying to work their way through the door. Even if you're on Carl Cox's guest list -- or on Sasha's, John Digweed's, Tiesto's, Paul Van Dyk's, Paul Oakenfold's or Fatboy Slim's -- the battle facing you will be physically pushing your way through to the front to the person holding the list. If you can, arrive early. If you're a music writer assigned to cover numerous assignments that day/night, you'd better be cute, and you'd better lift weights. 

3) Make sure you eat, especially before a long night (or day?) of drinking. It's easy to get swept-up in the whirl of non-stop parties, but you'll need stamina if you want to enjoy the never-ending string of gatherings. Try to sit down to at least one proper meal-a-day, because if you're not sleeping, you'll need the fuel that calories provide. Prodigious amounts of Red Bull also help.
 
2) If you're going to drink, do your drinking early, before you go out and spend ridiculous amounts of money at the big clubs. There are a couple of South Beach options: One is the wonderfully sleazy and relatively cheap Club Deuce on 14th Street, an establishment that's been open for 81 years. Another option is the more touristy Wet Willie's on Ocean Drive between 7th and 8th Streets for high-octane, pre-clubbing drinks. If you wanna get the party started right, we recommend the powerful frozen concoction known as "Call A Cab"; one will do the trick, two and you might be pushin' it.

1) Do your own thing; don't wait around for people. Don't be afraid to break off from the group (if you're part of a group) and go off to do your own thing. Don't feel obligated to stick to someone else's party plan, and unless you're being paid to work an event, don't feel obligated to hang around if you're not having fun. If everyone just does what he or she wants, everyone will have a better time.

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