Amid all the house, bass, techno, and beyond at Miami Music Week, it can be easy to forget about trance — unless, of course, you're a devoted member of the #TranceFamily. Trance has been an integral part of Miami dance music; residencies such as George Acosta at Shadow Lounge and Edgar V and Markus Schulz at Space are the stuff of legend. And trance still shows its face around town, even if not with the frequency it did 15 years ago.
So let this serve as an agenda so that #TranceFamily brothers and sisters can soak in psy, tech, progressive, hard, classic, and uplifting. Let this be a compass for those who religiously listen to A State of Trance every Thursday at 2 p.m. Let this be a megaphone for those who unanimously agree Ferry Corsten is a genius. Wednesday through Sunday, this is the trance game plan.
Aly & Fila Six-Hour Set. 11 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at Heart Nightclub, 50 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-912-3099; heartnightclub.com. Tickets $20 to $30 via tickets.heartnightclub.com. Egyptians Aly El Sayed Amr Fathalah and Fadi Wassef Naguib are most comfortable smashing it out around 138 bpm. Their glorious buildups followed by hard bass lines mark the uplifting trance experience for which they are known. In 2015, Aly & Fila used the Great Pyramid of Giza as their breathtaking backdrop during an unforgettable show. Wednesday's six-hour marathon will happen in Heart's dark basement room — and for a night of trance, it's just as fitting.
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United We Groove. With Kristina Sky, Nifra, and Judah. 1 to 11 p.m. Friday, March 24, on the C-Level Rooftop Terrace at the Clevelander, 1020 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-532-4006; clevelander.com. Free with RSVP at kristinasky.com/miami2017. California-based trance matriarch Kristina Sky will be joined by Coldharbour's Nifra and Anjunabeats' Judah. "I'm trying to take things back to basics, because it felt like for trance and progressive there was a demand for something like this, and I am happy to try to provide it," Sky says. If going "back to basics" means when dance music wasn't publicly traded on Wall Street and bottle service was nonexistent, count us in. Sky considered playing an extended set, but United We Groove is about sharing the stage and supporting other artists.
Cosmic Gate & Friends Sunset Cruise. 3 p.m. Saturday, March 25, on the Biscayne Lady yacht, 401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; magneticgrooves.com. Tickets cost $125 to $165 via wantickets.com. Imagine listening to Claus Terhoeven and Stefan Bossems' hypnotic beats while sailing the blue waters of Biscayne Bay. Well, for a hefty price tag, you can live the real thing. And admission includes a premium open bar, so you should come out ahead if you can earn your sea legs before the cruise is over. And, honestly, can you put a price on soaking up the sun while "Exploration of Space" bangs in the background?
Markus Schulz Open-to-Close. 11 p.m. Sunday, March 26, in the Main Room at Heart Nightclub, 50 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-912-3099; heartnightclub.com. Tickets cost $20 to $30 via tickets.heartnightclub.com. If you're unfortunate enough to miss A State of Trance and Armin van Buuren's annual Sunday takeover at Ultra, there's still a reason to close out the weekend dancing. Markus Schulz has taken it upon himself to open and close Heart. Dubbed the "unicorn slayer" by fans for his refusal to rely on "unicorn melodies" — light and upbeat melodies many DJs use to build up their sets — Schulz takes the crowd on a transonic ride to the dark side and releases them into the rabbit hole.