Maybe you're planning to spend the entire weekend performing glowstick tricks at Ultra Music Festival. Or enjoying the lavish amenities at Swedish House Mafia's Masquerade Motel. Or bleep-bloop-ing around Biscayne Bay aboard the Biscayne Lady.
But if not, you need a beat-freaking plan. In total, there are nearly a half-thousand electronic music throwdowns taking place during Winter Music Conference and Miami Music Week. And it doesn't matter how many pep pills you gobble or Red Bulls you guzzle, there's absolutely no way you're gonna do it all.
So here's New Times' list of the 15 best WMC and MMW ragers, raves, and parties.
Winter Music Conference and Miami Music Week's 15 best parties
Nervous Festival. With Oscar G, Sander Kleinenberg, Theo, Christian Arango, Peter Rauhofer, and others. 10 p.m. Thursday, March 22, at Ice Palace, 59 NW 14th St., Miami; 305-347-7400; big-time.com. Tickets cost $31.80 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. What's the right way to kick off your 96-hour Winter Music Conference and Miami Music Week party spree? Keep it real with NYC party music label Nervous Records and old-school Miami house head Oscar G. He's the dude who recently told New Times that "DJs are going to have to grow some balls" and stop forcing commercialized music on clubbers. But it ain't just disc jockeys who need to man up. Party people gotta grow cojones too. So hit up the Nervous fest and show you're about more than what Mr. G calls "photo shoots, followers, and hairdos."
Hot Creations. With Jamie Jones, Cajmere, Lee Foss, Mark Kinchen, Dyed Soundorom, Robert James, and Russ Yallop. 10 p.m. Thursday, March 22, at the Shelborne Beach Resort, 1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-531-1271; shelborne.com. Tickets are sold out. Ages 21 and up. No, Hot Creations isn't a South Beach stoner food truck that serves deep-fried, peanut-butter-infused beef franks. It's actually a very rad electronic music label, owned and operated by underground superstars Jamie Jones and Lee Foss. And next Thursday, Jones, Foss, and five homies will be hotboxing the Shelborne with heavy house, Detroit techno, and a little all-natural psychoactivity.
Smog vs. BassHead. With 12th Planet, Juan BassHead, Pendulum (DJ set), Zeds Dead, Hatcha, Drop the Lime, Caligula, and others. 9 p.m. Thursday, March 22, at Mekka, 950 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-371-3773; mekkamiami.com. Tickets cost $25 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 18 and up. If Smog vs. BassHead were a movie, this would be the synopsis: A low-end-obsessed guerrilla fighter named Juan BassHead crawls outta downtown Miami's dirtiest alley, steals a spaceship, pimps its sound system, joins forces with a gang of fellow MIA guys called Caligula, and heads straight for outer space to fight an interstellar sonic war against Pendulum, Zeds Dead, Hatcha, Drop the Lime, and all those rabid rumble junkies who pledge undying allegiance to 12th Planet.
Kaskade. 11 p.m. Friday, March 23, at Amnesia Miami, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-2424; amnesiamiami.com. Tickets are sold out. Ages 21 and up. A rave can quickly become a riot. Case in point: On July 27, 2011, a dance music documentary titled Electric Daisy Carnival Experience was set to debut at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. And just hours before the event, Kaskade (AKA Ryan Raddon) decided to announce an impromptu DJ set as part of the premiere. The result: fights, bottle-throwing, and vandalism as cops tried to subdue the glowstick-wielding mob with whistles, cuffs, and bean-bag shotgun blasts. So if you somehow snag tix to Mr. Raddon's Miami Music Week rager at Amnesia, please remember to add some body armor to your standard bag of party supplies. 'Cause who knows when this sold-out rave just might turn into a riot.
Vagabond x Fixed. With Simian Mobile Disco, Tensnake, Tiger & Woods, JDH and Dave P, Pillowtalk, and Maxxi Soundsystem. 10 p.m. Friday, March 23, at the Vagabond, 30 NE 14th St., Miami; 305-379-0508; thevagabondmiami.com. Tickets cost $20 plus fees via wantickets.com. Free for all WMC ticket holders. Ages 21 and up. Last year, the Vagabond and Fixed hooked up for a sloppy-slash-sexy 14th Street party called the Miami Freakout. There was lots of perspiration, dance-floor humping, spilled drinks, terrifyingly pleasurable beats, and satisfied screaming. It was the climax of a trilogy. But now the Vag and Fixed are back for their fourth consecutive Winter Music Conference one-night stand. Of course, it's gonna be a group scene, starring Simian Mobile Disco, Tensnake, and Tiger & Woods. You should come.
No Sugar Added. With Paul Oakenfold, Gabriel & Dresden, Carl Craig, Heidi, Joachim Garraud, Sharam, James Zabiela, and others. Noon Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24, at Nikki Beach, 1 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-538-1111; nikkibeach.com. Two-day passes cost $120 to $170 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Addicted to the white stuff? Bleary-eyed and bloated? Constantly grinding your teeth while speed-dancing to silence? Just buy a ticket to the two-day detox known as No Sugar Added, a carb-free EDM retreat hosted on the sands of Nikki Beach by trance expert Paul Oakenfold, techno sage Carl Craig, and 71 other slim and sleek electro types.
David and Cathy Guetta's F*** Me I'm Famous. With Nicky Romero and Daddy's Groove. 11 p.m. Friday, March 23, at LIV, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-674-4680; livnightclub.com. Tickets cost $295 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Know what it feels like to get fucked just because you're famous? Well, you could always ask multimillionaire house music producer David Guetta. But if you don't have Dave on speed dial, take our word: It's amazing. Just imagine 169 beats per minute pumping through your body while lying face-down on a two-ton speaker stuffed with French tickler condoms and $100 bills.
Richie Hawtin Presents Minus. With Dubfire, Paco Osuna, Gaiser, Barem, Ambivalent, Hobo, and Matador. 10 p.m. Friday, March 23, at Space, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-375-0001; clubspace.com. Tickets cost $60 to $80 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. It's been two full days of nonstop boozing, bingeing, raving, raging, and rioting. And you need another WMC reality check. So leave the Beach and take a cab to downtown Miami for an elemental evening of experimental uhntz-uhntz at Space with deadly serious Minus label boss, techno legend, and Ultra Music Festival alum Richie Hawtin. After 48 hours of maximalist action, get minimal for a minute.
Fool's Gold Miami. With Nick Catchdubs, Jacques Lu Cont, Just Blaze, Congorock, Treasure Fingers, LA Riots, and others. 10 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-2277; grandcentralmiami.com. Admission is free with RSVP to email@example.com. Ages 21 and up. Unlike that worthless mineral compound known as iron pyrite, a free party during Winter Music Conference and/or Miami Music Week is totally fucking invaluable. So when ironically named Brooklyn label Fool's Gold Records puts together a whole whack of awesome electro tuneage and then just gives it away for exactly zero dollars, each and every broke-ass WMC and MMW beat freak feels as though he or she has found the biggest nugget known to mankind.
Get Physical Nacht. With M.A.N.D.E.A.R., Audiofly, Francis Harris, Mr C, DJ T., and others. 10 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at Treehouse, 323 23rd St., Miami Beach; 305-674-7447; treehousemiami.com. Tickets cost $30 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Break out the Lycra unitard and leg warmers, because the time has come to Get Physical. In celebration of its tenth anniversary, this German dance music imprint has decided to drag your ass to Treehouse and shake it into shape. The nacht's EDM aerobics program: M.A.N.D.E.A.R., a superfit tag team consisting of M.A.N.D.Y.'s Philipp Jung and Matthew Dear; Adultnapper's Francis Harris with Mr C; DJ T. boogie-stepping alongside Tim Green; and all kinds of kicking and splitting with Boris Werner, Shinedoe, and Catz 'N Dogz.
Boys Noize's Miami Noize. With Spank Rock, Switch, Housemeister, D.I.M., Bart B More, and others. 10 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at Mamushka's, 31 NW 36th St., Miami; 786-991-3823; mamushkagallery.com. Tickets cost $25 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. What is Miami Noize? Sirens, chain saws, 808s, booty claps, pit-bull barks, gunshots, and Ferraris with blown speakers. But it's also an MMW rager, masterminded by Berlin electro-house DJ, producer, and label boss Boys Noize (AKA Alexander Ridha), along with Embrace, Karma Loop, and local club-killing collective the Overthrow.
Bass Union. With Datsik, Goldie, Dieselboy, Evol Intent, Tittsworth, and others. 10 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at Eve, 1306 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-995-5050; miamieve.com. Tickets cost $20 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 18 and up. Ignore your seismograph. That ain't an earthquake. It's Embrace's Bass Union bash. On the very last day of Winter Music Conference and Miami Music Week, a brigade of boom obsessives — Datsik, Goldie, Dieselboy, and 14 others — are gonna bombard downtown Miami with low-end explosives that'll reduce abandoned buildings to rubble and send a tsunami screaming across Biscayne Bay toward South Beach. Basically, it's gonna be low-end Armageddon.
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Giant Throbbin' Electric Pickle Invades Miami. With Guy Gerber, Wolf + Lamb, Heidi, Crazy P Soundsystem, Soul Clap, Blond:ish, Shonky, and others. 7 a.m. Sunday, March 25, at the Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-456-5613; electricpicklemiami.com. Tickets cost $20 to $30 at the door. Ages 21 and up. It's not uncommon for Winter Music Conference and Miami Music Week events to be given sexually explicit names. (Uh, see below.) After all, getting drunk, doing drugs, and dancing with strangers is pretty much the first stage of foreplay, followed closely by blowjobs in the bathroom. But here's our favorite XXX-rated party name of WMC/MMW 2012: Giant Throbbin' Electric Pickle Invades Miami, an underground house party that sounds like a psychedelic sci-fi porno.
Steve Angello's Size Matters. With AN21 & Max Vangeli, Junior Sanchez, Third Party, Tim Mason, and Qulinez. 6 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-2000; fontainebleau.com. Tickets cost $50 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. When you're the kind of guy who belongs to a dance music crew that's all about fucking parties in the pussy, there's no question that Size Matters — which is probably why Swedish House Mafia member Steve Angello gave his label that name. And after an entire weekend at the Masquerade Motel pounding barely legal ravers with his SHM buddies Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso, Big Stevie will be checking into the Fontainebleau for a sexy poolside sesh. He'll bring the beats. You bring the lube.
Ultra Carryon. With Armin van Buuren, Gabriel & Dresden, W&W, and Jochen Miller. 10 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-695-8411; mansionmiami.com. Tickets cost $120 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Even if you're among the thousands of sad, ticketless dance music fans who failed to purchase Ultra Music Festival passes before the big sellout, there's no reason to abandon your beat-freaking dreams of raging and raving with Armin van Buuren till you slip into a synth-induced state of trance. Honestly, you still have options, like: (1) Scale the walls of Ultraland and try to outrun security; (2) trade a nonessential internal organ for a pair of three-day tix; or (3) meet Armie at Mansion for Ultra's official Sunday-night afterparty.
Just dance, beat freaks. Dance.