Pool-Party Season Is Just Beginning for Underground House-Music Brand Wicked Paradise

It's fall, but it's still pool-party season in Miami.
It's fall, but it's still pool-party season in Miami.
Photo by Lauren Morell
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Summer is over, but for the Wicked Paradise crew, pool-party season is just getting started. The Los Angeles-based underground house-music brand is kicking off its third-annual Miami pool-party series Saturday at its Delano Beach Club home with laid-back grooves provided by local DJs Adam Foster, Ben Finx, Eran Hersh, Freak the Disco, and Jeff Moreno.

“Wicked Paradise is all about creating open-air, daytime, house-music experiences, so we saw this gap in the market and stepped in,” says Wicked Paradise cofounder Tom Astley Williams, who adds that daytime pool parties are actually better this time of year in Miami.

Wicked Paradise has been throwing open-air events on rooftops and boats as well as at pool decks and beaches since 2015. With residencies in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and Chicago, as well as forthcoming parties in Toronto and San Francisco, Williams and business partner Matt Orlove are on a mission to take the house-music experience out of the late-night club and into the sunshine. Both Williams and Orlove are parents, and they created Wicked Paradise as a platform to book the artists they love and still get home for family dinner and bedtime.

“It's always a struggle to go to late-night warehouse parties that end at 6 a.m.,” Williams says. “But listening to dance music doesn't have to be a strictly nightclub or nighttime experience.”

Wicked Paradise Miami will take place the second Saturday of every month from October through March at the Delano, welcoming roughly 600 bikini-clad revelers to bask in a house-music haven. The party has hosted an impressive range of house-music purveyors over the past two years, including Will Clarke, Justin Kay, Kidnap, and Mark Farina. This year’s residency will welcome the return of Tensnake in November, as well as a smattering of acts that haven’t frequented Miami.

“Our biggest goal this season is to bring in some new, underground, cutting-edge artists that haven’t had the most exposure here,” Williams says.

Miami holds a special place in Williams' heart, as he's attended Winter Music Conference for the past 15 years. Orlove attended the University of Miami and has been a force in the city’s nightlife scene for the better part of the past two decades.

“Miami has this spicy, rich culture, especially when it comes to house music, so it was just always a target from the start,” Williams adds. “The weather makes it the perfect fit for our Wicked Paradise vibes.”

Those vibes are relaxed and welcoming, unlike many of the uptight, bottle-service-driven, bank-breaking pool parties at neighboring hotels, Williams explains. The typical Miami pool party blasts thrashing beats, but Wicked Paradise prefers a mellower groove that invites attendees to kick back, unwind, and dance unapologetically.

“We program the event to be a musical journey from start to finish," Williams says. "We never go too hard with it, and that's what separates us from everyone else.”

Wicked Paradise. 2 p.m. Saturday, October 12, at Delano Beach Club, 1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-672-2000; morganshotelgroup.com. General admission is free before 4 p.m. Tickets start at $15 via eventbrite.com.

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