Winter Music Conference is officially under way, meaning music, dancing and non-stop partying and debauchery. Year in and year out the same goes on in Miami. We get an influx of visitors from Europe and South America as well as some of the best nightlife parties in the world… at the moment that is. While many WMC fans wait to see what new parties are lined up for the year, a majority of fans enjoy the annual events. Parties like Flying Circus, Welcome to Miami, Juicy Beach and Release Yourself with Roger Sanchez are just some of the annual bashes that get a load of attention from partygoers. But when it comes to the true music heads who attend Winter Music Conference, there’s no better place to wrap up the WMC like Sunday School for Degenerates - the name says it all.
“Sunday School For Degenerates started with the premise of creating an event that featured artists and music that we would personally want to hear at a party and not necessarily the most known names,” says Made Events Mike Bindra, who is also co-producer of the event. “It was informed by some of our favorite events from summers in Ibiza, but of course with our signature focus on the best possible sound. The concept worked and in being true to it each year, it has grown organically into something we couldn’t have imagined at the beginning.”
True WMC champions make it through an array of events during the week and into Sunday. But, while the majority of people decide to take the day off or take a flight back to their home country, they’ll be missing one of the most popular events that actually kicks off on Saturday night, and goes through until Sunday night. It may seem like a ridiculous event to many, but if you’re attending WMC events in the first place, you should know that sleep and rest aren’t part of the game.
This year Sunday School for Degenerates returns to the venue which it called home in 2009, Ice Palace in downtown Miami. But don’t think that you’ll be running into the same lineup or setup as last year - the organizers have new things in store.
“Last year was the big switch to a new venue, Ice Palace, due to the closing of The Pawn Shop the year before,” says SSFD co-producer and Made Event's Laura de Palma. “People loved the Ice Palace, both inside and out, so we are excited to be presenting the Sunday School For Degenerates in the Ice Palace again this year – and with even more sound in the inside room. This year Victor Calderone is playing the better part of the night on Saturday with Adam Beyer. We’re excited about this as he played a kick-ass set in the Sunday School tent at Electric Zoo this past September. And of course our mascots will be there, plus good food, places to lounge and other surprises.”
While the Ice Palace may not offer as many events as you’d expected throughout the year, this is the one time where it completely packs out. Pawn Shop was a memorable location for the techno party in previous years, but when it shut down there was no other choice other than to move. Luckily for Made Event, Ice Palace fit the bill perfectly.
“We love [Ice Palace],” de Palma says. “The outside has grass and palm trees. We liked the grittiness of Pawn Shop, but hey, who doesn’t like to chill on the grass on a Sunday afternoon? And this year we are working on giving the outside area even more of an intimate vibe. Last year, due to the rain, we discovered how amazing the inside wood-ceiling room was during the day.”
Other than the music and the great atmosphere at SSFD, what really makes this event special is the actual crowd. True music lovers that have made it the entire week, drinking, dancing and (aherm)…indulging in life. This is their finish line, and quite the finish line it is. With some of the most popular names in techno music serving up the sound, chances are you’ll get a name that’s you’ve been wanting to see live. But there are also the new guys that will get quite the reputation after playing the event.
“It’s always nice to see people’s faces when they are discovering someone new, so we always try to offer that,” Bindra says. “We have to program music for around the clock – literally. So that is definitely a consideration, there has to be a logical progression – particularly for those who go the whole round. Ultimately, it’s about the music and the people, not the DJ. Even though it has been, and will continue to be a ‘techno’ party, we like to push the boundaries. It’s about good music most importantly. We’ve never been too concerned with the labeling of dance music, and we like to surprise.”