Miami Music Week: The MN2S Guide | News | MN2S

Check out our guide to what’s undoubtedly the most important week in the American electronic music calendar.

Made up of three separate events – the Winter Music Conference, the International Dance Music Awards and Ultra Music Festival – along with a host of smaller parties and concerts run by a variety of promoters, labels and artists, Miami Music Week has been described as “SXSW for DJs”. Like an American answer to Amsterdam Dance Event or International Music Summit, it combines unparalleled networking opportunities, panel discussions, and industry-focused events with more parties, raves and concerts than you can shake a glow-stick at. Anyone who’s anyone in the dance music world (including a few of our own) will be flying over to Miami this week to take part, and whether you’re an industry insider or a die-hard fan, there’s no excuse not to get involved.

Ultra Music Festival

This iconic festival has been running for over 20 years, bringing close to 200,000 fans from across the globe together to witness the biggest names in dance music throw down. The brand has grown exponentially since its inception in 1999, transforming into a global behemoth that encompasses sister festivals in locations as distant as Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Croatia and Hong Kong. None have yet equalled the original in size or ambition, and this year is set to be the most impressive in its two-decade history.

2019 sees Ultra festival move from its historic home in downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park to two all-new locations: Virginia Key Beach Park and the Miami Marine Stadium. Taking place from 29th – 31st March, this year’s edition features an all-star lineup that’s heavily weighted towards EDM and commercial house music, with underground artists given a chance to shine on some of the festival’s smaller stages. Headliners include Marshmello, Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Eric Prydz, The Chainsmokers, Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Carl Cox, Richie Hawtin, Deadmau5, Nora En Pure, Jamie Jones B2B Joseph Capriati, and Odesza. Ultra is the global epicentre of the big-room, hands-in-the-air maximalist sound that’s currently dominating contemporary dance music, and if that’s your flavour of choice, then this is the festival for you.

Winter Music Conference

Miami’s Winter Music Conference is the longest-running conference of its kind in the world: this iconic gathering has been bringing together industry professionals, artists, DJs, producers, promoters, educators, manufacturers, technologists and other influential figures for over three decades. Thousands of attendees descend upon Miami each year for a five-day schedule of seminars, panels, forums, workshops, and demonstrations that explore every imaginable facet of the contemporary global electronic music scene, featuring top-tier speakers from all corners of the industry. With over 500 individual events, the conference features talks, panels and workshops on production, promotion, distribution, branding, marketing, licensing, sync, technology, accessibility, diversity… and pretty much every other topic you can imagine.

Though it’s industry-focused, the conference isn’t only open to established creatives and professionals: music enthusiasts and unsigned artists are also welcomed. It’s a great opportunity for those on the lower rungs of the industry ladder to get an insight into how the business operates, establish crucial relationships and get themselves noticed by influential figures and brands.

Taking place as part of the WMC, The International Dance Music Awards recognises excellence across every aspect of the electronic music industry: in addition to the more traditional categories of Breakthrough Artist and Best Electronic Album, awards are issued for Best Label, Best Radio Station, Best YouTube Channel, and even Best DAW (our money’s on Ableton Live 10). Now in their 33rd year, the IDMAs gladly recognise esoteric facets of the industry that might be overlooked by more conventional award ceremonies, shining a spotlight on essential figures and organisations that are often overshadowed by the artists themselves.

Miami Music Week

For those who can’t make it to Ultra Festival and aren’t interested in the WMC, there’s still an impressive range of surrounding events that take place across the city during the last week of March as part of Miami Music Week. With over 200 (!) parties to choose from, there truly is something for everyone – whether that’s old-school house from Louie Vega, sun-soaked euphoria from Pete Tong, hedonistic poolside vibes with Major Lazer, or cerebral techno from Matthew Dear and Carl Craig. As usual, more than a few MN2S affiliates are making an appearance. Kenny Dope is playing not one, not two, but four events across the week: our pick is the Defected Records showcase with Monki, Low Steppa and Sam Divine. Alternatively, EDX brings his No Xcuses event series to Mokai with Shaun Frank and Tom Starr, while Todd Terry joins DJ Sneak and Oscar G at 1-800-LUCKY before Disco Fries head down to Dream Hotel South Beach for an aptly-titled Tasty Tuesday. And if you’re running low on energy by the time Saturday afternoon comes around, take some time out to catch Powel and Squire issuing emotive dream-house inflections at Miami hotspot Do Not Sit On The Furniture.

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