Above all else, Robbie Rivera knows how to throw one serious beach party. Born in Puerto Rico, the DJ/producer now splits his time between two sandy clubbing meccas: Miami and Ibiza. And so it goes that his annual Juicy Beach party has become a must-do every Conference. This year's edition features 17 hours of music, courtesy of more than 30 DJs representing nearly every mutation of the four-to-the-floor beat.
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Rivera, of course, will represent with his signature massive tribal-progressive-Latin-house mélange. Other superclub favorites, such as Funkagenda, Oscar G, and Alex Gaudino, promise similarly big-room-friendly beats. But woven into the lineup are some surprises: There's the cheeky Italian DJ/producer Riva Starr, for one, and the ever-shapeshifting Miami wunderkind Lazaro Casanova, for another.
"I pick DJs whose music I like and who are very nice people, because a lot of DJs have ego problems and are just plain jerks," Rivera says. "I also put on new talent that will bring some edge to the party, where people will be saying, 'Why is this guy playing Juicy Beach?'"
At the Juicy Beach party, with Joachim Garraud, Funkagenda, Oscar G, George Acosta, and others. Noon Thursday, March 25, to 5 a.m. the next day. Nikki Beach, 1 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $60 in advance from wantickets.com; ages 21 and up; 786-515-1130; nikkibeach.com. At the Fresh Squeezed Pool Party, with Donald Glaude, Alex Kenji, Serge Devant, and others. Noon Friday, March 26, to 5 a.m. the next day. The National Hotel, 1677 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $30 and up from wantickets.com; ages 21 and up; 305-532-2311; nationalhotel.com.
The lineup reflects the same democratic sensibility heard on Rivera's weekly two-hour show on Sirius XM satellite radio, which airs live every Friday at midnight on Area (XM Channel 80, Sirius Channel 38). Recent playlists have seen him selecting tracks by everyone from Calvin Harris to Josh Wink to Depeche Mode in the first hour and then switching to deeper sounds from Sharam and Funkagenda in his second-hour live mix. "I try to make the first hour a little more commercial, with more vocals," he says, "and the second more underground and more banging."
No matter what the subgenre, though, Rivera is all about the music, which has a low-key attitude that his Juicy Beach party brand represents in Miami, in Ibiza, and this summer in Vegas. "Some parties are for people to go to when they want to be seen, but when I do a party, people are standing in front of the DJ booth, waiting for me to play their favorite tracks," he says. "I've gotten these good comments in Ibiza a lot, where a lot of the parties are really all about theatrics. Juicy is just about the music, no bullshit."