DJ, producer, frontman for the Ancient Moons, label boss, and epic party organizer, Damian Lazarus is one of the most revered and respected figures not just in underground house music but in the U.K. dance scene in general. Like a Dylan Thomas poem come to life, Lazarus has built a career out of not going gently into that good night, burning and raving from sunup to sundown.
As leader of Crosstown Rebels, a gathering of like-minded artists that goes well beyond merely being a label, Lazarus has cultivated a party culture that toes the line between celebratory and spiritual. Through his globe-trotting series of pop-up parties – Rebel Rave, Day Zero, and Get Lost – Lazarus is like a mystical, dance music missionary spreading the gospel of BPM.
On March 19, Lazarus returns to South Florida for the 11th edition of Get Lost Miami, a 24-hour party featuring more than 50 artists including Felix Da Housecat, Pete Tong, and Sasha. If it’s anything like the extraordinary Day Zero Mexico bash he threw back in January, which had hundreds of indigenous, Cirque Du Soleil-type performers moving to the rhythms of both the DJs and the Mayan jungle, we are in for a treat. As it is, Lazarus continually puts pressure on himself and his people to up the ante for the next party and the next one after that.
“With every event we put on, my team and I are always looking at everything and considering how we can make the party better both for the audience and the artist,” Lazarus says. “We plan our year around these events, and some of the team will move to the area of the upcoming event weeks in advance to prepare. Last year, our tenth anniversary of Get Lost Miami was impeccable, but this year, the mission is to somehow make it even better. So essentially you can expect to be thrilled and blown away once again.”
With four stages, both indoor and outdoor, an influential presence during Miami Music Week, and a massive and impressive lineup, it’s a wonder Lazarus doesn’t officially turn this marathon into its own multiday, annual music festival. Of course, if anyone knows the challenges of such an undertaking, it would be Lazarus.
“As we have learned from Day Zero, making a festival-sized event is no easy task. We are starting to make a few different Get Lost parties around the world, but we are walking and not running with this. One thing is for certain: The Get Lost brand is strong, so there are always new ideas to consider, and we are very committed to not biting off more than we can chew.”
Although his time in Miami will be a hectic blend of work and play, Lazarus will have an additional matter on his mind: being a father. Because creating one of the most recognizable brands in house isn’t quite enough, the soon-to-be family man hopes his daughter waits for the afterparty to show up.
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“I’m planning to spend some downtime with some friends [in Miami] who are about to have their first baby, and I’m planning to stay very close to my phone as I am just a few weeks from girlfriend giving birth to mine. This is my last trip away from home before the birth, so I’ll mainly be keeping my fingers crossed that she doesn’t decide to make an early arrival, as obviously I’ll be on the first flight out.”
One thing we know he’ll pass on to Baby Lazarus is his respect for both music and different cultures. Day Zero Mexico, much of his productions, and last year’s Message From the Other Side, a worldly, psychedelic album with his band the Ancient Moons, borrow from a number of other countries' beliefs, philosophies, and traditions. He sums up his message of togetherness succinctly and in a way that is perfect for Miami’s own melting pot of people and ideas.
“There is a higher level to enjoy electronic music on, and there are many cultures and traditions from around the world that share our optimism and passion for music and for the higher states we can achieve through it.”
Get Lost Miami with Agoria, Bedouin, Behrouz, Damian Lazarus, Soul Clap, Squire, Thugfucker, Tiga, Visionquest, and more. Saturday, March 19. Time and venue TK. Tickets cost $60 plus fees via residentadvisor.net.