Only 43 years old, Alex Omes has passed away.
He was a cofounder of Ultra Music Festival. And he was a Miami nightlife icon. But most important, he was a father, a son, and a brother as well as a respected peer to thousands upon thousands.
Yesterday, after reporting Omes' death, we at New Times reached out to his family, friends, business partners, colleagues, and dance music compatriots.
Here are their remembrances.
Joshua Omes (left) and his dad, Alex.
Courtesy of Karie Omes
Joshua Omes, Son
"To know that my father has passed way, it is devastating me. It just felt unreal, and I was in disbelief -- to hear those words 'he's dead' just killed me. Friends and family have come to support, but I want my dad back."
Karie Omes, Ex-Wife
"Alex was such a real and good-hearted person. He was the father of our beautiful son, Joshua, whom he loved with all his heart. All he wanted to do was to take care of his son, and that was what he was fighting for until the end of his life. I remember Alex's dream from the very beginning, and that was to make the biggest and best music festival in the world. His spirituality and faith in God was what got him through all the bad times. Even when he was down and in a bad time, he always had a way to encourage and help others. Alex was a fighter and would never give up on what he believed in. He is and always will be the biggest icon in Miami for all the amazing events that he has produced.
"I just can't believe he is gone. The father of my son is gone, and our hearts are aching with sadness. We love you so much, Alex. Rest in peace, for you truly deserve to be free... Love always."
Alex Omes and Karie Omes on their wedding day.
Courtesy of Karie Omes
Emi Guerra, Friend and Business Partner
"They say a person never really dies until the last person they touched, influenced, or has a memory with has also passed away. If this is the case, Alex Omes will be a name that will echo for quite some time.
"Alex was a visionary and a wonderful and amazing friend with a heart of gold to many of us in the industry. Alex's creation of Ultra Music Festival was nothing short of genius. What started as a few thousand people on the sands of Miami Beach grew into a worldwide phenomenon that served as a platform and propelled electronic music into what it is today.
"Together, Alex and I, along with our teams of brilliant people, made magic happen. From helping make Space Miami into the machine it is today to creating the most amazing pool parties and even more incredible special events. With all the amazing successes we celebrated, Alex and I also endured our fair share of failures. There were many times I wanted to give up, many times I wanted nothing else but to just throw in the towel and change paths. But having him by my side grinding it out, quitting was never an option. What set him apart was his passion and fight, he had more tenacity than anyone I've ever known.
"The most important thing I can say about Alex and what I remember him most for is his relationship with his son. Alex was an amazing father to his son, Josh, and it is a connection I was able to witness firsthand throughout the many years we all hung out together. Josh, if you read this one day, please know that many people loved your father. He touched more hearts than you can possibly imagine. All of us, all of his friends, we are here for you, little man. Anything you need, we got your back.
"And with this, I say, you need to know where we began to know where we are going, and for Miami's electronic music scene, we came from the efforts of Alex Omes."
Pete Tong, Friend, DJ, and Dance Music Pioneer
"Alex Omes was a true pioneer for electronic music in Miami. As one of the founders of Ultra Music Festival, he also had a profound effect on the way the rest of North America would come to feel about the music and DJ culture we love. Ultra was the first major dance festival in the USA, and Alex was there at the beginning with his passion, positive energy, and cavalier spirit. He also played a major role in the BBC Radio 1 Pool Parties back in the day and until 2013 was hosting my pool party at WMC.
"As a promoter, he faced many challenges. He enjoyed the success and endured the setbacks with dignity and honour. To me, he was always humble and always grateful amidst the politics of dancing. Even when we weren't working together, he would usually come and see me play and give his support, most recently a few months ago at Story. He would give me that big hug and enthuse about music and up-and-coming artists. I'll really miss his presence in the back of the booth, but his spirit will remain strong. Rest in peace, my friend. Miami won't be the same without you."
Omar Rosario, Friend
"Alex Omes was a kind and loving friend. He was devoted to his son, family, friends, and his spirituality. He was in love with the industry, and I saw him grow into one of the most successful people on the Miami electronic music scene. He loved me unconditionally and allowed me to always be myself. He opened many doors and believed in me. We traveled the world together and created amazing memories that I will forever cherish. Today is a sad and happy day. Sad because I will miss him and happy because he is now in Heaven with his best friend, Jesus Christ. I love you, man, and will always have you in my heart."
Paul van Dyk, Friend, DJ, and Electronic Music Legend
"I vividly remember the days of Groove Jet in Miami... Alex was there. It was his back-then crazy idea to bring a festival to life around the Winter Music Conference. That, of course, went on to become the famous Ultra Music Festival. His forward-thinking attitude to our music has influenced everything that electronic music stands for, both in Miami, the U.S. and abroad. Everyone who enjoys Ultra Music Festival, both on or in front of the many stages, does this thanks to Alex -- a humble and amazing person that passed away too young. I have many amazing memories with Alex, from wild water fights backstage to long nights at Club Space... All those will be with me forever and he will never be forgotten. Alex's legacy goes on with every track that will be played at Ultra this and every year from now, and in clubs around the world. He loved what he did. Alex, we will miss you. Be happy wherever you are."
Bill Kelly, Friend and Winter Music Conference Founder
"Caring and compassionate, Alex Omes always put people first. He strived for everyone with whom he worked to benefit equally in their success. His quest to provide audiences with contemporary entertainment and produce great events reflected his adamant and sometimes unyielding demand for perfection. A loving father, brother, husband, and friend, Alex leaves a legacy he fought for his whole life and which will be never forgotten. Alex was someone who you struggled to understand, but in the end, he was someone you ultimately felt understood you. Rest in peace, Alex!"
Louis Puig, Friend and Former Space Miami Owner
"Alex Omes was a pioneer, an innovator, a concept originator, and a festival creator. Miami's electronic music scene would not be what it is today without his contributions. Fact is that Ultra Music Festival would not exist if it were not for Alex Omes. It was his dream turned reality and the product of his perseverance and hard work. Ultra was his vision, his love, and his passion, a gift he gave for millions to enjoy.
"Alex believed when others doubted and led when others followed. He had no regard for money; it was not his motivation or how he valued success. His inspiration came from creating music events and making people happy. He was passionate about life, music, friends, and he loved his son the most. He was loyal to a fault, honest regardless, and determined no matter what. He was a friend to many and a brother to some. I considered him my brother. I was very lucky and truly blessed to have Alex in my life. Rest in peace, my brother."
Sander Kleinenberg, Friend, DJ, and House Music Star
"Dear Alex Omes, your love and excitement for dance music has pushed our scene forward with each of your endeavours. The energy that you have passionately and unconditionally released upon the world will live forever. I was going through your timeline and I could not resist sharing this view you shared with the world, as it is an example of the kind of man you were. I wish your family all the best in this tough time."
Carmel Ophir, Friend and Former Owner of The Vagabond
"It goes without saying, Alex Omes was one of the early game changers in Miami. As publisher of D'Vox Magazine in the mid '90s, he gave a platform for the burgeoning DJ culture and underground scene. As co-founder of Ultra Music Festival, he paved the way for the American EDM movement. For some, he was misunderstood, but his unique nature made him that much more special. Most important was the love for his son, his devotion to faith, and never giving up on what's right."
Melinda Filstrup, Friend
"When I think of Alex, two words come to mind: determined and passionate. Every day, he inspired me with his creative ideas and his love of music, his energy so infectious, his nature so humble. Working with him was a privilege I am so grateful to have shared. As anyone who knew him will understand, counting Alex as a friend was indeed a blessing. His caring, generous soul will be forever missed, his kindness always remembered. Rest easy, Alex."
Ralph Echemendia, Friend
"Alex Omes was not only a pioneer on the Miami electronic music scene but also a legend in the world of EDM. He was directly responsible for making EDM what it is today. Yes, I said it. But Alex was a close friend first. We saw our kids grow and play together; we often spoke of what we could do to positively affect our community. He was an admirable man, a great father to his son, Joshua, and an all-around exceptional spiritual being in this world. I spoke with him just days before his passing, and he was the healthiest, mentally and physically, he had ever been. It comes as a shock to all of us who knew him. Oh, dear friend, as you leave us in this lifetime, know that you have blessed many with memories that will forever exist in our hearts. One Love and Respect."
Alex Butler, Friend, DJ, and Business Partner
"How do you talk about a legend, what words do you write that can possibly sum up greatness? Alex, was not only my business partner, he was my mentor and one of my best friends. He was positive, warm, and an inspiration. We spoke often how 2015 was a huge year for him, how so much was going to change. The world lost a legend, and I lost an amazing friend."
SiouxZ, Friend and MagnumPR Publicist
"I had the pleasure of working with Alex in many capacities stemming from his days of running D'Vox magazine, as well as handling PR for Ultra fest during its growth in the early 2000s. Alex was incredibly passionate about electronic music, and his role in the electronic music arena played a strong part. Not only was he supportive of the artists at hand, helping spread the word on new music to gain new fans, but he was also genuinely interested in seeing the growth of the scene in Miami and worked diligently to help create one of the biggest electronic dance music festivals in the U.S. Genuine, passionate, and an all-around great person to work with, he will be missed."
Lainie Copicotto, Friend
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"To describe and explain Alex Omes to the world would require volumes instead of paragraphs. He was a visionary and an effortlessly creative soul. His passion and love for his work and music was surpassed only by his love for his son, Joshua, and brother, Carlos. You will hear a lot about his work, but I would like to tell you about the man he was. Alex would say, 'Let's have a good day today' as he would message me in the morning. He would end every call with 'You are my sister' or 'I love you.' His voice would stutter a bit, and he would repeat the name of an artist he was really excited about discovering and making you listen to them over and over until you believed as much as he did. He was so gentle and fragile but stronger than anyone I ever knew. He was fiercely loyal and spiritual. A faithful and penitent man, he sought strength and guidance in God daily. And when tested by the actions of people he trusted, he never lowered himself to their level. He was an honorable man, a loving father and brother, and an incredible friend. He will live on in our hearts and memories forever."
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