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WMC 2010 Dispatch - Friday Night


Photos and videos by Carlos Miller

Somewhere between the Eden Roc pool party and the International Dance Music Awards, I lost my phone. This would bother me if it were any other time of the year. But it’s Winter Music Conference.  And if a lost $30 Go-Phone is my only casualty from this weekend, I’m coming out a lot further ahead than most of the people here. And judging by the crowd at the AT&T store on Washington Ave, I wasn’t the only person who somehow lost a cell phone during Music Conference.



Fortunately, Carlos texted me from the Fillmore. We rolled up to take pictures of what may have been the saddest Red Carpet in the history of awards shows. You know how there’s usually parades of notable people being harassed by Papparazzi at most Awards shows? Well, counting Carlos there was exactly one photographer at this red carpet. And the only people we saw walk down said red carpet were more or less indistinguishable from the maintenance workers.

The show, of course, started on typical Miami time at around 9 p.m.  Which gave us exactly enough time to go to the Liquor store four blocks away, buy a couple of six packs of beer, and smuggle them in in our official WMC tote bags. We decided the balcony was a good location to crack open some Bud Lights and Heinekens and watch the show. And it was really the saving grace of this part of the evening. I’m not really a fan of awards shows, but when you’re 8 beers and two hours deep into the evening and you’re watching the presentation for “Best Headphones,” the night tends to drag a little. But before you jump on us about being irresponsible drunks, please note that we recycled our cans. Check out the video below if you don’t believe me.



Deadmau5 and David Guetta cleaned up in the non-headphone categories. And though artists such as Britney Spears, Madonna and Muse were all nominated for awards, somehow the only winners were the people in attendance. And, shockingly, Ultra won the award for “Best Music Event.” The live performances were also energetic, highlighted by a medley of Pitbull’s greatest hits.

Which, if you know me, sounds like something I’d enjoy about as much as a root canal. But the Miami native came out in a suit and put on a great performance. Pitbull, believe it or not, has made a new fan.

The after party was at bar 721 on Lincoln Lane. Randy Jackson (yes, THAT Randy Jackson) had promised during his presentation that we could rub elbows with the various nominees and winners. Sadly, the only elbow I ended up rubbing was Carlos’. And a couple of blondes from Chicago who seemed surprised we weren’t gay. Yeah, the one fact ol’ Randy failed to mention is that 721 is actually a GAY bar. Which would have explained the guy pointing at his eyes, then at mine, then back at his as I walked to the bathroom. Fortunately, the blondes were able to keep the unwanted advances of the patrons away. But outside of the DJ booth, I did not see a single person I could recognize. Not that I was paying that much attention.

The next morning I was awoke at 8 a.m. by two of my friends from LA coming into my apartment after attempting to go to Space, which was charging an obscene $50 cover, and then trying to get on a 6-hour Tiki Boat tour around Biscayne Bay. But apparently at some point between when I got home and when they got to the boat, it started raining. Hard. Like August hard, which is not what you sign up for in March.



Judging by the weather, I decided a pool party was probably not going to be a good idea Friday afternoon. So at 1:30, I headed out to the beach for a little Q and A with Paul Van Dyk. For the unaware, he is one of the top 3 or 4 DJs in the worlds, so I thought he could shed some perceptive on why, exactly, these guys charge so much for their live shows. Van Dyk was a great panelist because his answers were not cliché at all. When asked about the recent phenomenon of Hip Hop fusing with Dance music he said “I don’t really understand how all this ‘Yo, yo, yo’ and swear words work with the high energy feel of electronic music. I think the Black Eyed Peas were much better when they were a proper hip hop group.” Applause rose from the crowd of about 200. He also bristled at being labeled a “Superstar DJ” saying that he was simply “The dude in the back,” and that he was no more important than the world’s #100 DJ.

At one point, as you can see in the video below, I was able to ask Van Dyk why, exactly he charged so much for his shows, and what he would say to fans who can’t afford to go see him. The crowd all kind of murmured “Good Question” as Van Dyk answered me very clearly. First, he said, the clubs are really the ones who set prices, as his fee hasn’t gone up in ten years. He also said that his record label, and all labels in general, are making about a tenth of what they did in 2000 because of free music downloading. So they have to make up the revenue somewhere. As one who actually prefers to buy music (I fear computer viruses more than STDs) I found this to be a bit unfair to us. But, sadly, it is the way of the world. I almost felt like I owed Paul an apology.

And on that note, we move on to Ultra. And, as the WMC people said in their Twitter feed today, Ultra is going to be a mudbath.

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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