March is total mayhem for the Miami music fan.
For a solid week, the world's greatest DJs descend upon the city to make our clubs, hotels, and poolside bars their bitch. With more than 300 parties, it's nothing to drop hundreds before the workweek even ends. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are plenty of totally free parties with massive lineups too.
So because we don't want your phone to get shut off this weekend, here are five of the best cheap beats during Winter Music Conference and Miami Music Week.
Top four free Winter Music Conference and Miami Music Week parties
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Ed Banger Records' Heart ∞ M. 2 p.m. Friday, March 23, at the bayside dock at the Standard Hotel, 40 Island Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-1717; standardhotels.com. Free admission. Ages 21 and up. The best of the best in French electro-house, Ed Banger Records will let 200 lucky fans into a poolside memorial for late labelmate and friend DJ Mehdi, who tragically passed away last year at the age of 34. The Heart ∞ M lineup is only six names long. But it packs a heavy punch with A-Trak, Boys Noize, Brodinski, Busy P, Gesaffelstein, and Surkin. If only Mehdi were there to see it.
Trouble & Bass's Tropic Thunder. 10 p.m. Friday, March 23, at Blackbird Ordinary, 729 SW First Ave., Miami; 305-377-4628; blackbirdordinary.com. Free admission till midnight. Ages 21 and up. Stationed in Brooklyn and fronted by heavy-hitters Drop the Lime, AC Slater, and Star Eyes, Trouble & Bass is one of the hottest, darkest, bangingest labels in the game. When these cats throw a party, it's guaranteed to get nasty. They're bringing the big guns to this rager, packing two rooms with 15 epic DJs including Bart B More and Harvard Bass. But the best part is the free entry before midnight. And after the witching hour, it's only $10.
Fool's Gold Miami. 10 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-2277; grandcentralmiami.com. Free admission with RSVP to email@example.com. Ages 21 and up. For those who don't know, A-Trak's label, Fool's Gold Records, is a powerhouse of funk, disco, and all-around awesomeness. Last year's showcase went hard, and 2012 is only gonna go harder with Jacques Lu Cont, Just Blaze, Congorock, and others dropping everything from disco to hip-hop to bass and bangers.
Dim Mak Pool Party. Noon Saturday, March 24, at Dream South Beach Hotel, 1111 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-4747; dreamsouthbeach.com. Tickets cost $50 plus fees via wantickets.com. Free with contest at facebook.com/dimmaklive. Ages 21 and up. Thanks to label boss Steve Aoki and the good people at Dim Mak Live, there's a chance you can pool-party at Dream without having to drop $50 on a ticket. Just head to Dim Mak Live's Facebook page and "Like" it! Then check out the little tab that says, "Win WMC Tix!!!" Unfortunately, though, the Dim Mak peeps aren't just giving away gratis passes. You have to get creative and tell them why you deserve freebies, and it's probably best to get weird with it. Good luck!