Miami Music Week 2019: The Pools, The Parties, and The Events beyond Ultra

Another Miami Music Week has come and gone and I think I speak for more than just myself when I say the recovery process is not a quick one. While Ultra stole most of the headlines (for better or for worse), several other events were hosted all throughout the city with pool parties during the day and epic performances throughout the night. Rather than take our chances on the festival’s new location, we decided to forgo Ultra this year to find out if the Miami Music Week parties were a better alternative to the week’s main attraction.

Yes, the days were long and the nights were longer, but all in all it was a nice change of pace from the typical festival scene. Miami has several unique venues across the city and offered everything from lavish pool parties at hotels on South Beach to full stage production in the Wynwood neighborhood.

If you’re thinking about switching up your plans in 2020, here’s just a small taste of what you you missed this year:

Dim Mak 2019 – Mana Wynwood

En route to becoming one of the highest paid DJs in the world, Steve Aoki has helped launch the careers of a number of major artists through his label Dim Mak and has been a key fixture of Miami Music Week for the past 10 years. On 3/25 Dim Mak took over the Mana Wynwood Convention center with performances by 4B, Henry Fong, Tisoki, Max Styler, Bok Nero, Kendoll, Don Diablo, Slushii, and Aoki himself.

While some members of the EDM community like to scorn Aoki for the amount of time he spends away from his decks during his performances, nobody can deny that the man knows how to entertain. The Dim Mak label-head kept the crowd’s energy level at 11 from the moment he took the stage and frequently welcomed guest after guest to stand beside him. Nicky Romero, Deorro, and Kayzo each made an appearance and Aoki made sure to include his fans as much as possible.

In traditional Aoki fashion, the show closed in dramatic fashion. There was fog, there was fire, and there was cake. (10 cakes to be exact)



Above & Beyond – RC Cola Plant

The RC Cola Plant is just around the corner from Mana Wynwood, but the atmosphere could not be more different. The industrial yard provides enough room for large-scale stage production, but navigating through the crowd was quite the challenge. For some, this particular show seemed to be just another “rage stop” on the Miami Music Week schedule. The contrast between Above and Beyond fans, Seven Lions fans, and bros just looking for the next party made the performances feel a bit disjointed in comparison to a typical Above and Beyond show.

Still, Tony and Paavo were as consistent as ever in their performance, playing the classics and delivering some feel-good energy for the night before Seven Lions closed things out. Any peaceful feelings that were left from Above and Beyond were quickly replaced with dubstep.



Gareth Emery presents Laserface – Mana Wynwood

Lasers at an EDM show are obviously nothing new. But, this? This was on a whole different level. If you or a loved one has any sort of light sensitivity issues, I would recommend you stay at least 5 miles away from this show at all times. In collaboration with globally renowned lasers designer Anthony Garcia, Gareth Emery has expertly choreographed his trance set to overwhelmingly stunning display of lights and lasers. Emery took his show to the Mana Wynwood Convention Center this year and was joined by Tritonal, Omnia, and Gabriel & Dresden. During one of the few short laser breaks, the crowd was also treated to a performance by vocalist, Emma Hewitt who provided some much needed relief for everyone’s vision.


No Sugar Added -10th Anniversary Pool Party & RC Cola Plant

For their 10th anniversary celebration, No Sugar Added held no punches when it came to their lineup choices. Diskolab productions kicked things off with a day party at the Sagamore hotel where NSA began a decade ago and the fully stacked lineup included performances by Audien, Arty, Dirty South, Tritonal, The Him, Autograf, and more. The day party went long past sundown with crowds dancing in the pool and others dancing on the balcony to the side of the stage, but allowed plenty of time for us to make our way back to the RC Cola Plant for the event’s main headliners.

Born Dirty, Benny Benassi, and CID got the night started as each DJ continued the day’s upbeat house vibes. From there, Audien went B2B with Deorro playing more hip-hop inspired samples like Mo Bamba and All I Do is Win. Energy in the crowd was high as the event’s main headliner, Kaskade finally took the RC Cola stage and as fireworks and confetti filled the sky, the Chicago-born DJ started the show with the only song that made sense, “Fun”. Kaskade proceeded to lay down hit after hit after hit, keeping the crowd on their feet as we all celebrated the peak of Miami Music Week.

For the headbangers who still had energy left over after Kaskade, Kayzo shut down the show with heavy display of dubstep that lasted until 5 AM.

Anjunabeats – Delano Beach

By the time Sunday came around, it was time to slow things down a bit and find a show with some relaxing feel good vibes. And that’s exactly what we found at the Delano Beach Club on South Beach. The Anjunabeats family came out in full force and set the mood off right as Andrew Bayer, Oliver Smith, and Gabriel & Dresden helped fill the Delano Beach Club to capacity for hours before anyone else could come inside. As the crowd overflowed from the stage and into the pool, no one seemed to mind and the party continued on well past sunset. After a marathon weekend it was nice to wind down and dance to something a little slower.

All in all, Miami Music Week 2019 was a huge success. Sure, Ultra had its fair share of problems it had to overcome, but it was impossible to deny the surge of positive energy that swept through the rest of the city. From the label takeovers, to the pool parties, to the incredible pop-up events, all genres of dance music were celebrated. There was no shortage of events to choose from and we can’t wait to do it all again next year.


   Kyle DePriest, Staff Writer


Taylor Regulski, Staff Writer and Photographer
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