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Winter Music Conference 2010 Dispatch - Ultra Day 1

March 28, 2010 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Nightlife  | 3 Comments


Ultra. The name really says it all, doesn’t it? 2 days of bright lights and pounding, energetic music that leaves hundreds of casualties sprawled across the ground at Bayfront Park. It is Miami’s Ultimate Party, and it is the crowning event of the Winter Music Conference. This year’s Ultra Music Festival set attendance records as both Friday night and Saturday were completely sold out.


Such a high demand for tickets caused hundreds of people to walk up and down Biscayne Boulevard with fingers in the air indicating how many tickets they were looking for. Well, either how many tickets or how many pills, depending on who you asked. But buying tickets off a scalper was going to run you no less than $200, and that’s if you found the guy eager to dump them. I overheard one guy out front saying he’d pay $400 a ticket. Moral of this story: If you want to go to Ultra, buy your tickets when they go on sale.

Friday’s event kicked off at 4 p.m. with a parade of DJs known only to serious electronic music fans. Which is why nobody really showed up until 7. Which was about when I got there. The lines at Will Call were 30-40 people long, which once again made me thankful for the piece of gold that was my WMC badge. Seriously, if you’re planning to come to Miami for the entire weekend of Conference, the badge is your best bet. It gets you through lines faster, gets you into a lot of parties for free, and doesn’t cost a whole lot more than a 2-day Ultra Pass.



Not wanting to burn out my brain, and knowing I had a job to do this Ultra, I opted to stick to alcohol to get me through it. Unmoving crowds and loud music and heat are just real hard to deal with sober. This would have been a smart plan, but somewhere around my 4th $10 Red Bull and Vodka I realized I wasn’t even catching a buzz, and more or less wasting my money. The $7 Heinekens weren’t much better. Though still a better deal than the $10 slices of pizza. Of course, at a festival where most of the people are on appetite suppressing drugs, you have to make your money somewhere.


LMFAO, of “I’m in Miami, Bitch,” and “Shots” fame, were the first big name act of the afternoon. Gimmicky acts like theirs really shouldn’t be performed live. Your songs are cute, LMFAO, but going on stage and yelling words with no tune over a beat should be reserved for talentless rappers. Which they are, but it still has no place at Ultra. They also inspired countless unoriginal people to wear T-Shirts that read “I’m in Miami, Bitch.” Adorable. I wanted to wear one that said “I’m in a Mitt Romney Vulcan Death Grip, Bitch” and stood right up front. See what kinda reaction that one got.


The Space Ibiza tent was easily the highlight of day one, with Eric Prydz, Kaskade and legendary Felix Da House Cat keeping the tent packed all night. I think they were trying to simulate the real Space Ibiza in there, as it was probably 95 degrees at its coolest points, and a little moist. It got so crowded people began climbing the tent poles to get a view, which seemed like it would be pretty cool until someone fell off. Security didn’t seem to care though. Though security at Ultra is really not concerned with much besides making sure you don’t bring in your own water.


David Guetta, who had won a slew of International Dance Music Awards the night before, hit the mainstage about 9 p.m. And if I’d had any buzz left from the drinks earlier in the night, David Guetta killed it. I have more or less come to the conclusion that this guy could be the downfall of electronic music. The guy mixed “Apple Bottom Jeans” and some God Awful Lil Wayne nonsense into his set. David, if I wanted to listen to Y-100 I’d just stay in my car.


This is Ultra. It is not a place for terrible, commercial, hip-hop. Paul Van Dyk put it best, David Guetta. This “Yo, yo, yo” and curse words has nothing to do with what electronic music is about. Stop before you ruin the genre. You see what happened to Cadillac and Hennessey once it became associated with Hip-Hop? You want that to happen to Dance Music too? When Winter Music Conference starts looking like Memorial Day weekend, the fingers are going to start pointing, David Guetta. And they’re going to be pointing right at you.

And it wasn’t just me. My friends I went with all agreed he was terrible. Every person I talked with on Saturday said he was terrible. One girl pretty much summed it up when she said “Anyone who knows anything about Electronic Music knows David Guetta is awful.” So, basically, David Guetta must be stopped before he ruins the genre. I’m up for any suggestions.



Tiesto closed out the night. The thing about Tiesto is that he’s a very talented DJ. But his reputation is impossible to live up to, even for Tiesto. I’m not sure what the crowd was expecting from Tiesto. Maybe they thought he’d make the stage explode at the end of “Adagio for Strings.” Or maybe make the Virgin Mary appear on the giant video screen. He did a good set, had some good effects, and if I’d just walked into a big club and had heard that set, I’d have thought it was awesome.

But the problem is people now expect Tiesto to be Superman with Turntables, and a lot of people in the crowd were unimpressed with his set. He may have brought some of this on himself, though. The running joke is that when you play as Tiesto on “DJ Hero” all you have to do is raise you arms up like Jesus over and over and you get a perfect score.

I found Tiesto entertaining, but decided I would be more entertained by not sitting in traffic on my drive home. I missed the end of the set, but got a good rest up for the madness that would be Saturday.

Related Categories: Miami: Nightlife,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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3 Comments on

"Winter Music Conference 2010 Dispatch - Ultra Day 1"

Ultradude says:

Tiesto’s stuff actually MASSIVELY improved later on. I almost left in the beginning to get food, but my friends made me stay. Glad I did.

I disagree on the Guetta comments. He had a good show and I actually like when DJ’s mixes pop music into electro. In a concert setting, it really gets the (non drugs) crowd going

Posted on 03/29/2010 at 8:12 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

I disagree. I was drinking, and slightly buzzed, when Guetta came on. Dude killed my buzz. But, hey, you can’t debate taste.

And I thought Tiesto’s set was good, it’s just hard to live up to the expectations, ya know?

Posted on 03/29/2010 at 9:13 PM

rk says:

if you have to take drugs to get into electronic music, then you shouldn’t be at Ultra in the first place.  Pop music doesn’t belong there! if the only music you can wrap your narrow head around pop boring commercial music then stick to Coconut Groove or some lame ass Miami club down south! Guetta i think will kill hi status before he will electronic music it always survives when it becomes too commercial, early 90’s and 80’s it became super popular and it seeped back underground for a while and then the money grabbers jump in and commercialize it.  law of the land, electronic music will be ok.

Posted on 04/02/2010 at 1:17 AM

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