The Winter Music Conference in Miami has been an annual go-to destination for the Underground Electronic Music industry since 1985. Slowly Ultra Music Festival began overtaking WMC, and what was once a 10-day conference packed with 500 events and tens of thousands of attendees slowly became a barely noticed 3-day affair, while Ultra grew from a crowd of 7,000 people in a one day event to over 165,000 people across 3 days. While both events both cooperated and competed for the past 20 years, DJs continued to come to Miami to play, connect, and share, and Miami Music Week became an official collaboration of DJs and electronic music fans, a week of over 300 events at more than 85 venues.
The first time I went to WMC and UMF was in 2003, and I was excited for the opportunity to see how very different things were now. And of course, the chance to meet new people in the industry, dance until my legs hurt, and enjoy a variety of events couldn’t be passed by. My underlying mission was to see how much of the Underground I would be able to experience. In a world where EDM gets the biggest stages and crowds, would there still be a great representation of the real, underground, deep sound that is the core of what the music is all about?
Thankfully the answer was a resounding YES.