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We hereby nominate Tommie Sunshine for PLUR president. He seems to be the most positive, well-intentioned person on the planet. But for all his posi vibes, he's not afraid to stand up and fight.
When Ultra Music Festival's two-weekend 2013 party plan came under fire from Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, Tommie took on the EDM critics in a series of tweets, columns, and interviews. And would you believe it, the kandi kids won.
Sunshine's efforts were rewarded with a first-Saturday slot on UMF's main stage, and he couldn't be happier. For Tommie and all EDM fans, it was an important victory against haters worldwide.
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"Had we lost that kind of control, it would have spread like wildfire through other state and local governments," Sunshine tells New Times. "Other places, like Vegas, L.A., and Chicago, would try to interfere with events. They could use Miami as an example, and we don't want that."
One of Sarnoff's main complaints about Ultra was that most attendees are on "mind-altering substances." Tommie finds that claim preposterous and hypocritical.
"There are just as many people on drugs at a Dolphins game," Sunshine argues. "They're smoking weed in their car. They drink until they can barely stand up. What the hell is the difference between doing something like that, which is ultimately destructive, and going to a festival where all you're doing is dancing around and smiling at everybody? Wow, what a threat to society."
For Tommie, Ultra is bigger and more important than a party. It's the PLUR-tastic dream that America's youths so desperately need. "There are a lot of disillusioned kids in this country, and this music is keeping them inspired," he says. "It's keeping them alive, because they're not losing hope."
The truth is that Sunshine has been in the game for a long time, and he simply wants to share his world with as many people as possible. "I just hope that every kid and every adult gets the opportunity to experience this music in a form like Ultra," Tommie enthuses. "It changes your life. The more people we can get to the party, the better."