Best Week in Miami - 2006
Winter Music Conference
There's no doubt Miami is a party city. You don't have to look hard to find debauchery and loud music any night of the week. But every year the beginning of spring brings more than flowers and showers. The parties become uncontrollable, the banging beats are ubiquitous, and out-of-towners almost outnumber locals. This week is also known to electronic music lovers as Winter Music Conference. Alcohol, music, and people penetrate nearly every crevice from the Beach to downtown, from big commercial clubs to hidden dives and lounges. Even retail stores partake in the festivities. Joe "Budious" Gray (half the Aquabooty team) explains, "Music conference is when Miami as a whole is finally on our tip." That tip is a huge party driven by the love of music. It's so massive that clubs reach their maximum capacity before the night's climax, á la DJ Harvey and Miguel Migs at Pawn Shop. As if the partying going on during the official conference week weren't enough, dozens of pre- and post-WMC shindigs keep heads bobbing for a few extra days. This year's conference was marked by two musical monstrosities: Global Gathering and Ultra. Both concerts featured a bevy of DJs while splitting genre borders with rock performances by the likes of Rob Zombie, Nine Inch Nails, and the Killers. And let's not forget the other music fests such as M3 and Remix Hotel, all taking place during Conference (with a capital C). Nothing else in Miami compares to WMC's eclectic blend of music and top-name artists. Think Sasha and Digweed, Frankie Knuckles, James Holden, Little Louie Vega, Richie Hawtin, and countless others. As a result, these thousands of DJs -- national, international, and local -- energized Miami and its people into a sweet and unforgettable insomnia for more than a week. No worries, though, there are 55 weeks left over to recover.