If you saw the ads and announcements popping up for the UR1 Music Festival, you know that there is something brewing for the week of Art Basel Miami Beach 2012 in December.
We have to admit our first thought was, Wait, another EDM event in Miami? How many do we need?
Our initial conclusion was understandable, since the people behind UR1 -- Ultra Music Festival co-founder Alex Omes and nightlife impresario Emi Guerra -- are also responsible for bringing Masquerade Motel and Back in Black to Miami.
But after talking with press representative Lainie Copicotto, our snark quickly melted away. And dare we say it, we're pretty damn excited to see what a Basel music event of this size can bring.
"UR1 is a new concept festival that came from [Omes] and [Guerra]," Copicotto explained over the phone. "Their idea came from the frustration of traveling the world and seeing a lot places claiming to do an arts and music festival. But coming from a place like Miami, which has Art Basel, which celebrates true art, whether it be installations or paint on canvas or whatever form it may be, there has to be a better way to do this. A true celebration of art and music."
And contrary to Crossfade's expectations, the festival, Copicotto says, will not solely feature EDM music. It will actually span different genres, perhaps similar to another well-known festival that takes place in Indio, California.
Copicotto wouldn't spill the details on who has signed on for the festival. But she did say we'd be pleasantly surprised once the lineup is revealed.
"We'll have DJ slots, and it's going to be la crème de la crème. But we'll also have some significant acts that are very recognizable that we are talking to and it's going to span whole genres."
Music-related events during Basel isn't exactly a new phenomenon. In fact, Basel's strong gravitational pull -- and Miami's party environs -- has lured acts that otherwise might not have performed here at all, like Panda Bear, Matt & Kim, Gang Gang Dance, the Blow, Peaches, Yelle, LCD Soundsystem, the Gossip, Black Lips, Salem, Neon Indian, Phantogram, No Age, Ebony Bones!, Vivian Girls, YACHT, and more. So, yes, Basel tends to attract the more artsy, experimental bands and musicians, and we asked Copicotto if some of the UR1 acts would fit into that mold, but, again, she wouldn't budge too much on the details.
"Definitely going to be eclectic, but not in a cheesy kind of way," she said. "It's
not going to be done to sensationalize everything, because we are music
fans first. We respect true and quality musicians, whether it be EDM,
pop, hip-hop, or rock. And that hasn't be represented in Miami. There
hasn't been something Coachella-esque or Bonnaroo-esque in the area. We
are hoping to show a range of artists with a range of music that
Another interesting fact: UR1 is working hard to make this an authentic art event.
"So this is not one of those B.S. tactics where we are doing an event
around Art Basel. We are trying to put a spotlight and focus on true
artists and true musicians, and celebrate what Art Basel has created for
the past ten years."
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Here's hoping our expectations are met.
Right now, the site says the event will be taking place in downtown Miami. (If we had to make an educated guess we'd say it will either be Grand Central Park or Bayfront Park.) But stay tuned for further details.
UR1 Music Festival. Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9. Location and ticket prices TBA. Visit ur1festival.com