January 14, 2011 | 12:00pm
The Netherlands may be pretty tiny in actual land mass, but its influence on dance music has been outsized. The country represents a disproportionate influence on the trance scene -- it's the birthplace of titans Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, and Tiesto -- and has offered forth countless other more underground, but still influential, names. So why was it so hard for them to actually make it to Miami for Ultra Music Festival?
Despite the oontz-oontz link between the two cities, there were, previously no direct flights planned between Amsterdam and Miami in time for Ultra. Dutch airline KLM announced via Twitter it would be finally launching that direct route -- but not in time for Ultra. So, late this past November, intrepid Dutch DJ Sied van Riel
and creative director Wilco Jung
set out to remedy that, lobbying KLM Airlines to move up the launch via -- what else? -- Twitter.
Van Riel set a bet with KLM. If he could fill an entire direct Amsterdam-Miami flight to Ultra with only
dance music professionals, at least 150 in 10 days, the company would provide the plane. Thus was born the "Fly2Miami
" campaign -- which, retweeted even by God himself, Tiesto, secured the necessary reservations within 48 hours.
"It became clear to KLM very quickly that the idea of a direct flight to Miami is a popular one among the Dutch dance scene," says Martijn van der Zee, vice president of e-commerce at KLM. "We can rightly call it a first -- the first time KLM will deploy an aircraft following a request on Twitter."
To mark the occasion, van Riel and Jung are releasing a Fly2Miami mix compilation. Dutch TV network BNN and radio station 3FM will also board the flight to document it for posterity -- a move that, organizers say, will mark the highest-altitude radio broadcast ever.
There are still seats aboard the flight, though, so point your Dutch friends to fly2miami.nl