We are certainly not the Oscars or the Grammys. Heaven knows there's no budget for fancy statues or pretty girls to stand behind the podium holding them, for that matter. But we do like to give praise where it is due, and there are lots of cool happenings set to take place during WMC. This year there are too many to mention. Were this an actual award show, we'd offer dozens of categories and hours of long, boring speeches. Instead, a few potential gems worth noting:
The No Sleep Till Brooklyn Award: New Yorkers Mike Bindra and Laura De Palma are the brains behind Made Event, the ambitious promotions company that's putting on a staggering ten different events from March 20 to 25. Made Event's Miami parties will feature big names like Richie Hawtin, Gabriel & Dresden, and Armin van Buuren. It's impressive to say the very least, but we do hope Bindra and De Palma can manage to get proper rest during this epic marathon, even if the DJs and dancers don't. Check their full schedule at www.madeevent.com.
Best Bang for No Buck: It seems that ticket prices for these parties go up exponentially every single year, which is why we're just thrilled about "Jack Chicago," hosted by Control Recordings and Ringside Recordings. Not only is it free, it's scheduled to take place for an incredible 17-hour stretch, with talented DJs like Gene Farris, Diz, Luke McKeehan, and Cricco Castelli (only some of whom are actually from the Windy City). Jack your body till it can't jack any more on Tuesday, March 20, at the Whitelaw Hotel, 808 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Hours are 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
Winter Music Conference
The "DJ's DJ" Award: Philadelphia's Jazzy Jeff may still be best known for kicking it with the Fresh Prince before he was megastar Will Smith. But year after year at WMC, Jazzy Jeff is the one impressing other DJs (not to mention nonspinning partygoers) with his simply unmatched skills. Catch his magic fingers at the official WMC opening party Legends Go Digital on Tuesday, March 20, at Shine at the Shelborne Beach Resort, 1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Hours are 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Others on the bill include Kenny Dope, Todd Terry, and Terry Hunter. Tickets are $25 in advance through www.wanttickets.com.
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Best Real Awards Show: Conceived to honor the often-overlooked aspects of nightclubbing from lighting to effects, the Club World Awards (presented by industry magazine Club Systems International) is now in its fifth year. Last year brought only one winner from Miami Nocturnal, for best lighting but hopes are high for this year. We're particularly rooting for South Beach hotspots Prive to grab best lounge and Mansion to snag best superclub. The awards event takes place on Wednesday, March 21, at Prive, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Hours are 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. For more information visit www.clubworldawards.com.
Best Self-Referencing Party Name: Lee Burridge's "The Burridge Barrage III," at which the popular and congenial UK jock will perform a physically challenging seven-hour DJ set, will be on Saturday, March 24, at B.E.D., 929 Washington Ave., Miami. Hours are 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Tickets are $25 advance for those 21 and over, and are available at www.ticketweb.com.
Back From the Dead Award: UK rave heroes Utah Saints have been quiet on this side of the pond for years, but have been working on new music (including a blinding cover of Edwin Starr's "War" featuring Starr himself). The boys from Leeds are scheduled to surface at the Wet Grooves beach party on Friday, March 23, at Nikki Beach, 1 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach. Others on the bill include George Acosta, Benny Benassi, Christopher Lawrence, Donald Glaude, and Cedric Gervais. Hours are 11:00 a.m. to 5 a.m. Tickets are $30 for those 21 and over, and are available at www.wetgrooves.com.
Best Green Event: Type and Global Cool's A Greener Gig. Starring DJs Seb Fontaine (proprietor of UK club Type), DJ Dan, D. Ramirez, and Tom Stephan (Superchumbo), the party will donate a buck from each ticket to help fight global warming and carbon emissions. Clubbing and consciousness don't always go together and waste can run rampant during hedonistic weeks such as this one, so here is a trend worth supporting. Saturday, March 24, at Shine at the Shelborne Beach Resort, 1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Hours are 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Tickets are $25 in advance at www.wanttickets.com.