Dancetastic meet-up in Miami

Get ready for a huge party – it’s time for the Miami Winter Music Conference.

This year’s bash takes place between 8 and 12 March. It’s considered a pivotal platform for the advancement of the electronic music industry and last year attracted 100,000 people to over 400 events over five days. In 2010, there were nearly 2,000 artists and DJs as well as nearly 4,000 industry delegates doing all the daytime sorting-out-the-industry type shenanigans, centred around the Miami Beach Convention Centre.

Tom Kihl, director of Alchemy Content and for years deputy editor at seminal UK dance mag, DJ Magazine, says that the importance of the event has altered considerably in recent years.

“It’s no less significant, but this is more in terms of raising DJ/label profiles in the USA than doing the kind of poolside signing deals it was first famous for. This shift means the range and scale of parties on offer is greater than it’s ever been, which is great for the casual visitor.

“The downside is that it’s become more difficult to ‘do business’ as everything is geared up towards paying clubbers rather than industry types who quite frankly aren’t going to pay to get in anywhere, let alone buy a $500 bottle of vodka,” noted the clubs expert.

One of the highlights is bound to be a featured Q&A with RedOne and Mohombi. RedOne’s impact on music is undeniable, with his work on Just Dance, Love Game, Poker Face, Bad Romance and Alejandro truly assisting to propel crazed genius Lady Gaga into superstardom. Mohombi, meanwhile, is about to break massively in Europe and Canada.

Equally irresistible may be the closing remarks event with Paul Van Dyk. The producer, DJ and musician has sold more than 3.5 million albums,has twice been voted the world’s No. 1 DJ and received a Grammy nomination.

During his career, Paul van Dyk has worked with Madonna, Justin Timberlake, U2 and Depeche Mode, to name a few, and his DJ sets attract major crowds on every continent.

Pool parties

Too many events to list here, of course, but Weekender wholeheartedly believes this to be a grandstand opportunity to see the latest trends and stars in electronic and dance music.

During the week there are VJ challenges, South Beach sessions, exhibits and of course the legendary pool parties, often the best way to find yourself chatting with the greatest DJs in the world over a margarita or two.

There’s also the small matter of the International Record Collectors Show and the monumentally successful Annual International Dance Music Awards, now in its 26th year. The conference can get a little crazy, says Tom.

“Being in Miami during the conference is like entering a bizarre upside down world where two hours sleep in a night is considered a luxury and the streets can often resemble a ridiculous live action version of a music video that gets instantly banned from MTV. It’s party central, with something to suit all tastes, from mega events downtown to super cool intimate sessions in penthouses or stunning venues like Versace’s Ocean Drive mansion”.

“Trying to get work done is a challenge, as everyone’s plans keep changing depending on how good the previous party was. There are plenty of other challenges, like the nightmare of trying to actually get into nightclubs (it’s a scrum at the door) and running out of funds by Day 2, but it’s difficult not to have fun with so many options for fun and mischief day and night.”

Further information on all events is on