Miami… It’s been emotional.
Today I said goodbye to my other half who’s been documenting this week with me. Chelsea leaves tonight, so the evening was planned solo-style. We spent the day doing absolutely nothing but sitting on the beach in the sun and swimming in Miami’s beautiful ocean.
A few drinks and reflections later, Chelsea is flying home and I’m ready for one final night of Miami mischief…
First stop on our list was the OWSLA party. Kicking off just moments after Skrillex and Diplo converted a large chunk of Ultra attendees to Belibers, OWSLA had taken over a giant warehouse and splattered the place with fluorescent from floor to ceiling.
After watching Porter Robinson, Cashmere Cat and Skrillex (just to name a few) all nonchalantly walk in like this was a casual house party, the lights dimmed and everyone gathered near the decks to see artist after artist take the spotlight. It felt like a family gathering… But with every family member packing seriously sick and upfront records. An unofficial Ultra after-party; considering the premiere league level of the players, the whole vibe was warm and more than welcoming.
2am: Last Resort, Mana Wynwood
Several vodka Red Bulls deep, we move onto the next event…. We arrive in time to watch Dixon absolutely destroy the audience, each one of them individually lost in their own techno trance. This venue was half in a warehouse and half outside with a beautiful canopy laced with twinkling lights to amuse you while you’re forgetting what real life feels like. Maceo Plex took the stage next and managed to use his music to manipulate every feeling in my body.
4am: Dirtybird, Steam
At least I think it was 4am… I was far too deep into relishing my final slices of Miami madness to do normal life stuff like check my phone or care about the time. I did care about checking out the Dirtybird closing party, however. Now a longstanding tradition of Miami Music Week, Claude VonStoke and his family of tech-funk pros know how to throw a finale party.
Let me tell you; they don’t call the club Steam for nothing. Claude Vonstroke and Justin Martin had the entire club in a sauna sweating to every beat with a euphoric collision of sounds making you wish 5am didn’t exist and you never had to leave…
I did have to leave, though… But I did so knowing I’d just had the finest possible finale Miami could give me.
What I felt from every event I went to on this last night was the incredible amount of appreciation I felt around me for the music and the artists that were playing. Real fans were there.
No posers, no faking; just dedicated music lovers of every distinction. No one cared that I was wearing my glasses, leggings and a giant sweater. We all disconnected from real life and felt something together. Being involved with something that’s more about what’s happening and less about who you are and where you came from reminds you what’s important in life.
Now, as I write my final dispatch in Dallas airport, facing a burger that’s the size of my head and grinning at the fact Duke Dumont is being played on the restaurant’s speakers, I can make sense of it all…
Miami music week is insane. We run all over town trying to meet up with people, make meetings, network and interview while the actual process of relaxing and listening to the music gets a little lost in the insanity. And we all may go home sick and tired and grumpy and depressed, but we wouldn’t be doing these sorts of weeks if we didn’t love the culture and love the lifestyle.
Thank you Miami for giving me the best week filled with music, new friends, old friends, internet friends and experiences I’ll never forget. I’ll even forgive you for destroying my immune system.
Until next year!