Lange takes a moment to reflect assuredly on her current place in life — which at this moment in time happens to be in France, where the founder of Miami-based electronic music event promoter PL0T is calling in to talk with New Times on a lovely summer afternoon in Paris. After calling South Florida her home for the past two decades, Lange is parting ways with the United States in exchange for Europe, where a new career opportunity in the high-end-fashion industry awaits.
The humble Lange is very aware of how the move is a major life change. For the past 13 years, she’s dedicated endless hours to her passion of throwing tastefully curated events for her friends in a nightlife scene that once lacked in intimacy and creativity. She has since succeeded in helping to reshape Miami’s world-famous party scene while earning a dedicated fan base and recognition by brands like Red Bull along the way.
“I’d been in Miami for the past 22 years,” she continues in self-reflection. “With the cycles and the change of cycles, I think what moves it all is always thriving for more, for something different. To be able to feel again like you’re influencing and shifting certain things and places.”
Back in Miami, the team at PL0T is looking ahead to its first in-person event since before the pandemic with a limited-capacity show at ATV Records on Friday, July 30, featuring DJ sets from Ben UFO, Brother Dan, and Darone Sassounian. The transoceanic move and the return to throwing electronic music events in her soon-to-be former home have the usually centered Lange acknowledging the emotional impact of the moment. Lange had called South Florida home since 1998 when, at the age of 15, she and her family moved from Caracas to Pembroke Pines.
“I’m normally the kind of person who can keep their emotions in place, especially when it comes to business,” she admits when asked about her current mindset a little over a week out from the event. “It’s a big deal, the fact that we haven’t thrown a party since February 2020. It’s quite emotional in terms of getting back to the dance floor, getting back that feeling of freedom. We do this for the freedom and beauty of letting go. Being able to re-create that is quite important.”
On paper, the July 30 event is quite the underplay for Lange and her team at PL0T, who earned their well-deserved fame in Miami’s nightlife scene since throwing their first intimate party way back in 2007 at the same venue where ATV Records sits today. Lange and her friends began hosting events with a mood and setting inspired by the eclectic and intimate parties they’d experienced in other cultures and cities around the world. In addition to taking an untraditional approach to setting the right mood and atmosphere for her events, The team also emphasized introducing partygoers to a mix of unknown DJs one wouldn’t find in the typical Miami clubs at the time.
“It was very raw — very, very raw,” Lange recounts, describing Miami’s electronic music scene when PL0T first began hosting events. “If we bring it back to 2007, those were actually the times when [pioneering U.K. house label] Defected Records or clubs like Cameo and Crobar were very predominant. The sounds that you heard at the older spaces were the Danny Tenaglias of the world. So all of that new sound that was growing and gaining exposure in Europe, New York City, even in Detroit didn’t really have a home [in Miami]."
In 2012, PL0T teamed with the Italian electronic music label Life and Death to produce parties during Miami Art Week in December. The Life and Death events have since been described as “the one can't-miss event during Art Basel.” The description is accurate. Over the next six successful years, PL0T’s Art Week parties grew from welcoming a modest 300 people in 2012 to 5,000 by 2017. That same year, Lange was recognized as Miami’s "Best Promoter" by New Times.
“We said, ‘Maybe this is the time that we need to take it elsewhere, and what do we do next?’” Lange says. “Same thing we were saying about the cycles and change that brings growth. The vibe at those parties — although they got very big — the point was always to maintain and protect the integrity of what an intimate event feels like. The feeling from that first label night of 300 people was kind of like our North Star for the five or six years after.”
PL0T continued to look ahead to uncharted territory using their model of introducing the hottest unknown DJs into the Miami market. In 2017, Lange recruited her friends at [German electronic music label] Innervisions into the fold alongside Life and Death to combine forces and throw a boutique Miami festival at Virginia Key Beach Park, now known as Rakastella. Translating as "to make love" in Finnish, Rakastella returned every year (until the pandemic) with the continuing ethos of bringing new DJs to Miami’s hungry partygoers.
“We book artists we believe in, no compromises,” Lange told New Times in 2019. “We’re always looking to push the sound boundaries and striving to bring something different to Miami.”
One of the other goals behind Rakastella was for the three parties to represent a united front on a scene littered with competing club promoters and labels.
“It was about being selfless,” Lange says from Paris. “Not about, ‘Oh, it’s my label night or your label night,’ but instead let’s bring the best of our closest friends to maintain and protect that vibe of intimacy that we had created and cultivated over the past five years. That wasn’t very common in the market.”
Other than the July 30 event, this year’s return of Rakastella will be the only planned party on Lange’s to-do list. She’s got a lot on her plate these days with her move to Paris, but that isn’t stopping her from starting to tinker with some ideas of how she can continue alongside the cycles of change and growth when it comes to throwing her one-of-a-kind parties.
“I think one of the next steps that we have in mind is taking Rakastella on the road,” she says in a manner so confident that you’d think it’s already a matter of fact. This is the same innovative party-planning spirit that enabled Lange and PL0T to team up with Poplife back in 2016 to throw a series of raves known as XY in untraditional party spaces like Miami's Olympia Theater.
As for the nearer future, however, Lange looks ahead to her final PL0T-branded event in Miami for now with the July 30 party at the place where it all began way back in 2007.
“I’m honored that this July 30 event is with Ben UFO, an artist who we admire heavily not just because of what he does musically but what he’s created around himself and his culture,” Lange says with a touch of honest humility in her voice. “Who doesn’t love a Ben UFO long set? At the same time, you have ATV Records, which is the one place that has been home. All these factors together are shaping the event up to be a pretty great night.”
Dreaming of You. With Ben UFO, Brother Dan, and Darone Sassounian. 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 30, at ATV Records, 1306 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-456-5613; atvrecords.com. Tickets cost $15 to $35 via eventbrite.com.