Miami Madness 2013

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Miami, Fla.—Just when you thought the annual dance-music excursion to South Florida couldn’t get any more intense, welcome to the 2013 version.

This past March 15-24, downtown Miami and South Beach offered a mosh of many things for many people. The 28th annual Winter Music Conference drew dance-industry types to the Miami Beach Convention Center for its seminars, exhibits and networking opportunities. Meanwhile, the 15th annual Ultra Music Festival at Bayfront Park expanded to consecutive weekends, drawing a reported 330,000 fans to its seven stages. And the parties—private or public, sponsored or spontaneous—ran around the clock. As usual, DJ Times was there for the good, bad and ugly.

Winter Music
Conference &
Ultra Music Fest
Week in

At WMC: The most spirited seminar—“Pushing Buttons: The Laptop vs. Traditional DJ”—saw jocks like Markus Schulz, Tommie Sunshine and Oscar G kicking around the very notion of what even defines a DJ anymore, plus the implications of an art form that remains somewhat misunderstood.

Ultra Rodent: Mau5 in the hau5. © Nicole Cussell

Ultra Rodent: Mau5 in the hau5. © Nicole Cussell

“For me, digital has opened more creative avenues for DJs—CDJs allow me to do more things,” said Schulz, the 2012 America’s Best DJ titlist. “But I just hope the art of DJing isn’t being lost in the eyes of the audience, because reading and reacting to a crowd is a big part of that art. A pre-recorded mix just cannot do that for you.”

Then, when an audience member began to bemoan the divide between underground and mainstream concerns, the rarely diffident Sunshine broke in: “If you don’t like what…

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