Review – What went down at Miami Music Week 2024

If the world seemed a bit quiet at the end of March, it’s because the entire electronic music community had descended on Miami for Music Week, when Vice City reached its pulsing pinnacle. This year I got to live the dream right on South Beach.

“It’s not rained like this in months,” said the bartender as she mixed me another lethal Mescal Marg. The water on Collins Ave was above ankle height. Car horns were blaring. Down at Bay Front Park, Ultra Festival had wisely been evacuated. 100,000 ravefugees were stomping the streets seeking out afterparties. Fortunately, there were plenty of other shenanigans to keep Friday night cranking. I maybe just needed one of the giant flamingo-shaped inflatables sitting atop the Sagamore Hotel from the Epic Pool parties to float my way there.

Taking decadent to the next level, the Faena Theatre was our first stop, where a decidedly soggy red carpet had been rolled out for the Martinez Brothers and their uber-glam entourage, who I expect glided down the flooded Collins Avenue on a diamond-encrusted jet ski to make their grand entrance. The crown princes of DC10 spanked out a cheeky set of Latin-infused booty bangers as a decadently dressed crowd posed and ponced in their roped-off VIP bottle service pens; while I danced like a maniac in General Admission.

Down the road, it was time to up the ante with my first of the Ultra Resistance parties. This stellar series had opened with Reinier Zonneveldt’s savage Filth on Acid party smashing open five nights of house and techno at the throbbing behemoth club M2 on Wednesday, and Joris Voorn presents Spectrum showcase on Thursday. My baptism of fire came on Friday from Ukrainian techno duo Artbat, who were throwing down the drama underneath a symphony of emerald lasers. Brooding vocals, searing drops and fully charged melodic techno blew the roof off the seething mass of M2 for another sell-out show. “Return to Oz” and “In Your Arms” were among goosebump-inducing moments of a cinematic set that just didn’t quit. And neither did we, holding on til the bitter end until the VIP balcony chuck out time at sunrise. 

Day 2 and the weather gods were still tinkering with the taps upstairs, but it was going to take more than a few grey clouds to stop playing again. Ultra was back in full swing down on Bayfront Park. My first Don Julio of the day began with a quick stroll down the road to the fancy AF Sagamore Hotel, where a double whammy billing of legends was ready to kick off another day of hedonism distilled at the Epic Pool parties. It had all kicked off on Wednesday with DJ Mag presents Joseph Capriati and Louie Vega, followed by Defected on Thursday with the likes of Eliza Rose and Sam Divine and Friday’s Knee Deep in Sound with Hot Since 82 and Kerri Chandler – stacked lineups for days. 

My first taste saw Damion Lazarus kick off with some classic Crosstown Rebels sounds to chase the clouds away from Saturday. Epic Pool parties’ founder Jonathan Cowan jumped on for a set under the palm trees as we began slipping into darkness. The money shot was a signature mammoth set from Danny Tenaglia who rounded out an astronomical journey of house music all night long to once again answer the question of why his music never fails to be the answer. Next year, the maestro will celebrate a jaw-dropping 50 years of DJing and it was as always an honour to be in his presence in a kaleidoscope of piano house and classics under rose pink lasers.

Accelerating into the evening back at Club M2, Saturday was not for the faint-hearted. The speakers were copping a pounding from techno titans Pan-Pot, who paved the way for some heavy artillery from the incredibly talented Amelie Lens, who made her debut at Ultra Resistance this year. I’ve wanted to see Siberian-Italian icon Anfisa Letyago for a long time and she did not disappoint, dropping a deliciously deadly barrage of bangers as ice cannons pummelled the rowdy crowd.

The sun finally showed its full face on the last day of Music Week and set the perfect backdrop for a pre-rave walk for tequilas and tacos in the pastel buildings lining Ocean Drive. Away from the look-at-me workout junkies and BBLs on muscle beach, a saunter from the main drag took us to admire the art Deco architecture down the backstreets. A drive downtown brought us to the impressive murals and street art of Wynwood Walls, where bars and clubs that never close had a decidedly grungier feel. But for the final round, it was back to the skyscraper hotels, swagger, basslines and fluorescent Ferraris for one last South Beach skirmish.

The last day kicked off ducking our heads into The National Hotel to see one half of Solardo shaking South Beach back to life with some quality jacking house and classics. Then we headed next door to see our old friends at The Sagamore.

After their debut last year, Epic Pool Parties was happy to welcome Glitterbox back to the podium for a sequin-encrusted sunshine Sunday session at the Sagamore. And who better to spin the sugar out of the last day than Roger Sanchez. The S-Man brought a set of classics to a sparkly crowd at Glitterbox, with shiny happy people kicking back on cabanas next to the turquoise pool.  

Eric Prydz and Kolsch took the helm to close Ultra Resistance at M2 at the Official Miami Music Week Closing Party, but not everyone took the finale as read.

Back at Wynwood, a marathon session was kicking off at elite sesh club Space, who were setting the challenge of a marathon 36-hour Music Week death throes party kicking off Sunday from 11 pm. A drool-worthy lineup for rave tragics was studded with heavyweights like Marco Carola B2B Paco Osuna, king of the bender Seth Troxler, and Dennis Cruz B2B Pawsa. For all I know, they are probably still going.

Miami really is the elite in raving royalty – what brain cells I have left will reminisce this weekend with rosy tint heart-shaped sunglasses for a lifetime. It’s such a great city, which may be shiny and scene queen on the surface, but not too fancy to get its hands, feet and other appendages gleaming dirty with disco gunk.

If you’re sold on a trip you don’t have to wait for Music Week 2025. A man noticeably missing from March’s billing was Carl Cox, who is heading back there for race Week on Friday 3 May when Resistance will awaken from its disco nap to blow the roof off of M2 again. More here.



Discover more from Decoded Magazine

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Avatar photo
About the Author

Kate Stephenson's dangerous obsession with music and words has taken her to every corner of the globe in the quest for the filthiest bassline. Heralding from the mean streets of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, England, she earned her raving stripes in the early 2000s at celestial institutions like Back to Basics in Leeds and Bugged Out in Liverpool, standing in queues snaking for hours round the block in freezing February nights before she knew how to hustle a guestie.

Having decamped to (slightly) more clement temperatures, Kate now calls the outstanding city of Melbourne home, feeling oh-so-very-welcome in a place where you are actively encouraged to party from Thursday to Tuesday. Kate stays alive on a strict diet of techno,jungle drum and bass and cheeky garage remixes, smooshed in with a little bit of everything in between. You can either find her with hands in the air, by the front left speaker or typing up a storm in bed drinking Yorkshire Tea by the gallon.