This past week was the 30th anniversary of Winter Music Conference in Miami Beach, which in summation, is an international meeting place where DJs, artists, and other music industry professionals come together for shows, workshops, and parties. WMC is widely known for its EDM (electronic dance music) and general dance music focus. Generally, people are aware of the notorious three-day Ultra Music Festival in Bayfront Park, but some don’t know that it’s just a slice of the WMC pie. I attended Ultra three years in a row, but last year, at the pivotal age of 19, I decided I was too old for the crowds, the heat, and the $5 water bottles. I respect the event and the artists that perform, but I find it to be a bit much. Once I became educated on all that WMC had to offer, I realized although I may be too old for Ultra, I am definitely not too old to attend other events.
This year I chose to experience Wild Life Miami at Soho Studios in the Wynwood area on Thursday, March 26. Soho Studios was also where the music festival III Points took place this year (which I also attended – it was very cool). It is a large warehouse space which occasionally transforms into a music venue. It felt close enough to Ultra in the sense that it was exciting, loud, and fun, but it was different enough in the sense that the environment was much more relaxed. The line up consisted of DJ EZ, Justin Martin, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Disclosure, and Carl Craig. Almost everyone in the crowd was dancing, fist pumping, or bobbing their heads along with the beat.
Although the music was a thrilling part of the experience, I was even more mesmerized by the lighting and visuals. It added so much more to the tone of the event. At concerts, it’s enjoyable watching the artists as they play (or spin in this case), but let’s face it: DJs are not terribly fun to watch unless you’re standing behind them. Poplife (the event producers and promoters) must’ve anticipated this when they booked a complete lineup of DJs, so they set up the most incredible DJ booth and stage. As you’ll see in the photographs below, the DJ booth was huge and had two screens that were constantly showing interesting visual in front and and behind the artist. Not only were the visuals dazzling, but the lights were complementary. Everything from quality of the illustrations to the color schemes to the typefaces (no Comic Sans!) made the experience more memorable and vivid.
As you scroll through, try listening to “What’s In Your Head” by Disclosure. Enjoy.