Things are tough all over — and that's not just the name of a Cheech and Chong flick. And while the U.S. economy continues to freefall, the talking heads on the 24-hour news network of your choice barrage viewers with an unrelenting shitstorm of news so abysmal it makes drinking the Kool-Aid seem like the sanest option. So what can you do about it?
Party, of course. First of all, spending your dollars helps stimulate the local economy. Second, from this Tuesday, March 24, to Saturday, March 28, it's WMC, bitches!
If you're serious about the industry side, an official WMC badge might still be a good option — it goes for $425 and gets you in to more than 150 parties either free or discounted. "The Winter Music Conference organization takes great measures to give as much value to the WMC badge as possible," says Sabrina Winogrond, program director for WMC. She estimates the badge's total value, counting free and reduced admissions, to be around $1,400.
But if you're living on a budget, that could still be a lot of bread. Don't worry — there are plenty of other parties you can afford with your unemployment check.
One such option is the ever-popular batch of Beatport pool parties at the Remix Hotel, taking place once again this year at the National Hotel on South Beach. "The idea was to make it affordable for anyone who wants to come," says Erin Hutton, content director for Remix Hotel.
Vanessa Menkes, VP of communications for the Opium Group, reports they "are considerably ahead in ticket sales this year as opposed to past years," a fact she attributes to attractive lineups featuring a variety of styles.
The Body & Soul party at Mansion is priced at just $20, and the Opium Group's newest club, Louis, has a few parties in the $25 to $30 range. These include Les Six Years Du Institubes on Wednesday, Laidback Luke's Superyou&me party on Thursday, the Boys Noize Records party on Friday, and MSTRKRFT presented by Undocumented Management on Saturday — each for $30 presale. "We always offer affordable general admission tickets," Menkes says. "This year is no different; we want everyone to have access to our parties."
MN2S is offering what could be the deal of WMC this year with a huge party at Nikki Beach on Friday. They've pulled out all the stops with a lineup including Armand Van Helden, Laurent Wolf, Alex Gaudino, Yves Larock, Kurd Maveric, and Bodyrox, among others. The best part, though, is the price of admission: free with an RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. MN2S's Dolan Bergin feels assured the turnout will be solid: "With four weeks to go, the guest list response has been massive, so I can safely say the economic downturn will not affect our event." No doubt.
And then there's the Shelborne Beach Resort, home to Shine. The folks in charge there are probably doing more to ease the economic strain on prospective partygoers than anyone else. The hotel itself is offering a reduced rate on rooms and suites, as compared to previous years, and entrance to all events on the property is free for guests. "That's one way we found for people to come in, have a great time, and not spend an additional $100 a day," says Dennis Wheeler, director of marketing for the Shelborne and Shine.
But they didn't stop there. Along with first-time partner DJ Mag, they've put together a consistently solid lineup for each day, many of which still boast rock-bottom prices for non-guests. World-class performers such as Sasha and Josh Wink can be seen for $10 to $20 per party, and most of the events are on the lower end of that scale. Even the DJ Mag opening pool party is a bargain at only $10, for a lineup including David Guetta, Dubfire, Anderson Noise from Brazil, Steve Lawler, and a live performance by Way Out West.
"We've never done this before," Wheeler says. "This was like our way of saying thank you for supporting the Shelborne the last four years."
And there are yet more parties for frugal fans of dance music. Take the Global Housewarming party Saturday at Indra Lounge, which features Glenn Underground, Boo Williams, Rick Wilhite, and others for $20. Or H.E.A.T. at Jazid, also Saturday night, presented by the Usual Suspects and Echo Bravo for only $10. Area Events has a handful of parties at Nocturnal for $20, including the Kult Records party Thursday, the Nervous Records party Friday, and Area Events Presents Jonathan Peters on Saturday.
And if $10 to $20 is out of your price range, there are even some free parties for your broke ass. Eastskeet.com's free Party Worth Blogging About will take place Wednesday at the Gansevoort Hotel, as well as House Broken 5 at Black Sheep Bar. On Thursday, you could hit the sixth annual CHMW/1st Ladies of House in-store event at Ralph Lauren on Collins Avenue, or Tony Touch presents Globaile! at Ocean's Ten.
On Friday, you might want to make your way to D'Vine Hookah Lounge for Ask Somebody! Miami Edition. Or maybe you're in the mood for a free pool party, in which case the Moodswing 360 jam at the Gansevoort would be more your speed. Moodswing also offers a free party Saturday night at Mokai. And you'll find more if you just do a little digging.
So, kiddies, all is not lost. Your dollars might be worth little more than toilet paper, but don't start wiping with them just yet. At WMC, you can still do what Bush's economic stimulus plan never could: stretch your dollar further and still party your ass off.
For more details about the parties listed in this story, visit wintermusicconference.com/thelist.
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