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6 Things We Learned from Ultra and Beyond at Miami Music Week 2018

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent the views of Dance Music Northwest or its leadership.

Swedish House Mafia reuniting on Ultra’s last day was the perfect way to end an amazing Miami Music Week 2018. As we reluctantly pack our bags, and say adios to sunny South Beach, here are some take aways from Dance Music Northwest’s first Miami Music Week experience:

1. Expect the Unexpected

Ultra 2018’s motto can also be applied to Miami Music Week. You never know who will show up at an event, or who you’ll run into in the street! During some strolls along South Beach, where a majority of the action is, we causally walked past KhoMha, R3hab, and vocalist Roxanne Emery. On social media, fans were posting selfies they took with Hardwell and Martin GarrixWe even saw Kaskade enjoying the beach with his daughters!

Shaq Giving Steve Aoki a Lift at Dim Mak x DiskoLab Miami (Photo: Stanley Sutton/ DMNW)

All the non-Ultra parties we went to had special guests. Some memorable moments:

Shall we keep going?

2. Don’t Wait to Buy Tickets

As soon as tickets to pool parties, warehouse shows, one night massives, etc. go on sale, they go QUICK. Slander and NGHTMRE’s Yacht Party. Virtual Self afterparty. Kaskade Sunsoaked. Hardwell, Tiesto, and David Guetta at some of city’s famous clubs. Those are some events that interested us, but had sold out minutes they went on sale. Lesson learned: have a computer/phone, and credit card, in hand the moment Miami Music Week event tickets go on sale- usually a week, or two, in advance. Not only will this ensure entry, but you’ll also grab tickets at their lowest prices. Armin van Buuren’s Pool Party, for instance. General admission tickets started at $100+ fees. When they shot to tier 3? $250+ fees. Believe it or not, the party actually SOLD OUT. Oh to be rich.

3. Traffic Sucks

If you’re not staying in the South Beach area, prepare for heavy traffic once the afternoon hits! On one occasion, it took us an hour to drive 10 miles! No accidents or anything- just congestion! If you’re trying to see a set, or get to a party, at a specific time, be safe and leave early.

The Traffic Along Miami’s Famous Ocean Drive (Photo: Stanley Sutton/DMNW)

David Gravell, one of Armada Music’s fast-rising trance artists, recommends renting a bike, when we asked him about MMW tips for first-timers like us. That’s a good way to beat traffic, for sure! You can also use navigation apps like Waze and Google Maps to monitor traffic in the area when planning travel.

4. DJs Enjoy MMW As Much As The Fans Do

Talking to various artists, we found they look forward to Miami Music Week each year because it allows them to connect with their DJ friends in person- a hard thing thing to do because of conflicting tour schedules, and other commitments.

Live your best life like @Borgore #dancemusicnw

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“I just like the fact we’re all here”, Borgore told us when asked about how his Miami Music Week was going-despite not playing at Ultra. “It’s nice to see everyone. Most of us are friends, you know? You’re just chilling with friends for a couple days.“ The Buygore head honcho adds that MMW allows him and his peers to catch up on music, discuss trends in the industry, and the opportunity to take in others sets. “It (MMW) kind of sets the tone for the rest of the year”.

5. You Can’t Escape The Music

It is everywhere! Walking around the streets, cars were blasting heavy doses of hip-hop or Latin music. In South Beach, some of the high end clothing stores had local DJs performing inside. Bars would open their doors and turn the music up. One bar, we found, was playing drum and bass! Street performers offered the opportunity to listen to an authentic Miami-Cuban soundtrack. Steve Aoki’s team hired trucks to drive around and blast his latest single Azukita. Clubs hired boats to patrol the shoreline blasting the music of whoever was playing that night. If you think there are quiet hours during MMW…nope!

6. Headbangers Were Out in Full Force

Ultra 2018 was severely lacking in the bass department, but that didn’t stop headbangers from around the world from coming to Miami. The two dedicated bass events we went to, Space Yacht SayMyName and Friends and Bass Odyssey gave fans an opportunity to get their bass, hard trap, and/or hardstyle fix during MMW. And boy did they have those rails swaying:

@Borgore out here breaking necks at Bass Odyssey! #dancemusicnw

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Who knows if Ultra will add more bass artists in future lineups, but the genre continues to grow here America, and that can’t keep being ignored for much longer.

Miami Music Week returns next year March 25-31. What we know now, we’ll be ready to go harder than before!

Did you go to any Miami Music Week 2018 events? Which party was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!