Winter Music Conference’s split from the Ultra Music Festival didn’t pan out as planned. For most locals and people attending, WMC was flaccid compared to years past. As celebrity/nightlife pseudo-extraordinaire and perennial candidate for WMC’s ultimate party guy, Kris Conesa, puts it, “WMC just felt like a busy weekend, not the big deal out it’s supposed to be.”
Ultra Music Festival, which went down this weekend with all the usual big name DJs, such as Tiesto and Deadmau5, as well as '80s icons Duran Duran and Erasure, on the other hand, did pretty freakin’ well. They attracted an estimated 100,000 fans to the two-day event, and unlike other years it actually went pretty smoothly. Ultra also inspired its own set of satellite events also wrapped around “Ultra Music Weekend,” like the Funkshion event Swedish House Mafia’s Masquerade Motel, which sold out thousands of tickets for its nine-hour party featuring Pete Tong, Dirty South, and the host DJ trio in a tent on the sands of Miami Beach and then was overrun by 2000 fans stranded outside. The near riot forced police to nearly close down the event before letting it go on as safety concerns arose thanks to a seething crowd.
So, yes, the WMC/Ultra splitsy is for real, and likely permanent. But most nightlife industry peeps in Miami are seeing the bright side - an entire techno-driven month of packed parties and hotels rather than one insane kabooble bottlenecked into a few days. Also this year’s WMC was not a complete disaster. As per usual anyone who got into those insatiable parties at the Shelborne Hotel or Surfcomber most likely got laid with a weekend porn star or some tanned up meatball from the Tri-State area.