Ultra Music Festival is something you have to see to believe
The six days of Ultra generated about $90 million of economic activity for South Florida. Each day, close to 60,000 people attended the festival. This view from Avicii’s DJ booth probably says it all.
Now, imagine seven different stages going at the same time for six days. Pretty sick. Multiple DJs playing at once made it difficult to pick which sets to watch. The “professional” festivalgoers in the crowd had it down pat. They knew when to be at each stage, when to take a bathroom break and when to grab a beer.
The energy of the crowd was something to behold. Here is a taste from the Deadmau5 performance on day 2 of weekend 1:
There is fun to be had for all
Most assume that the attendees all fit the same profile. Clearly everyone has two things in common – they like EDM and they like to party. But the event has become so large that it actually spawned a fair amount of segmentation. The broad segments include:
Who doesn’t like a pool party?
While Miami still has a lot to learn from Las Vegas, the pool party was a central part of the scene during Miami Music Week. Pretty much every hotel in South Beach had some sort of event going on each day. The formula for all of these was fairly simple: lots of DJs, lots of sun, lots of little bikinis, lots of booze and safe to say a decent amount of Molly. Here is a snippet from SLS/Hyde Beach:
Given that the vast majority of revelers paid an entry fee and tables were being sold left and right, the hotels had to rack up a pretty penny from these parties. The odd thing – if you go to Miami on most other weekends separate of Miami Music Week, there are very few good pool parties to be found. Why is that?
The party line is that hotel guests during “normal” weeks would be livid if EDM music blared all day. While this is definitely true at the Ritz Carlton or The Setai, there has to be a way to make this work. The Shelborne has made an effort at its regular Saturday pool party but it hasn’t built the moment it should. The Gansevoort (when it was open) had a pretty good thing going but no more. The Fontainebleau has given it a go but the area they designated for their pool party is in the shade in the afternoon making it a fairly undesirable location. Hyde Beach at the SLS is still ramping up. There is no Las Vegas Encore Beach Club equivalent in Miami and there should be. A few tips for the struggling pool parties:
Here’s a thought: The Shore Club is basically bankrupt and can be purchased for a decent price given its size and location. Someone should partner with the Opium Group to buy it. When The Shore Club first opened, it was basically a party hotel but that was before the days of major dollars being spent for bottles at pool parties. The pool party there was nice but never met full potential. Instead of the two cabanas they have near the main pool, they should have 10-15. Instead of the back little pool feeling like an afterthought, that should be a super VIP area with hot tubs and bungalows. They could basically build a mini Wynn/Encore (minus the craps tables) right on the beach.
Interestingly, Ultra is on the docket for only one weekend next year (March 28-30 – book your hotel!). While the young raver set is probably not too happy about this, many residents of Miami are probably pleased. Could this mean a reduction in the craziness during Miami Music Week? Unlikely since, one; people always like to party at the beach and, two; this music genre’s popularity is growing by the hour. Each year, more and more EDM festivals pop up around the US (Atlanta and Kansas City most recently) but Miami Music Week will always be at the top (alongside that small little gathering out in Las Vegas called Electric Daisy Carnival).