Louis Puig, Carmel Ophir, and More Weigh in on WMC 2011

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Louis Puig says Space's events had no problem selling out during WMC 2011.
With Ultra Music Festival and the "new" Miami Music Week starting March 22, let's not forget that Winter Music Conference just came and went.

We'll admit, we stayed home for the most part. There was still plenty of events -- even if not all of them were worth attending. But we heard parties thrown at the Shelborne and the Surfcomber were very well attended. And Tuesday night's Def Mix, the official opening party for WMC at the Vagabond, also had a great turnout. (We hear the venue was packed all week.) So, it wasn't exactly the epic demise everyone predicted.

So, we had to ask Miami's nightlife power players: What did they think of this year's more intimate WMC?

Vanessa Menkes, senior vice president of communications at the Opium Group, said the venues had a "great weekend with Sharam, Paul van Dyk, and Green Velvet ... and numbers were up from last year," when compared to the same week in 2010. Of course, the Opium Group is set to possibly have its best March when Mansion hosts the official Ultra Music Festival Carry On parties on Saturday and Sunday.

Then there is WMC's biggest champion, Louis Puig, owner of Club Space: "We had an amazing week. All our events were sold out. It's just too bad that it had to take the breakup of WMC and Ultra for this city and this industry to finally realize what I have been saying for years: There is no reason why we couldn't make March Winter Music Conference Month with events, concerts, and pool parties every weekend."

Dennis Wheeler, consultant for the Shelborne's events, echoed the similar -- albeit tempered -- satisfaction. "We didn't have record numbers, but we had a full crowd for every party, and a lot of locals that don't go out during Ultra Music Fest week due to the giant crowds."

Still, you won't hear Wheeler complain about this year's conference. "It also gave us an opportunity to have some DJs that may not have played Ultra Week. I believe it was in some ways back to the first 10 years of WMC before the greed of everyone gouging the people ... with higher prices on every level."

But what about Miami's underground? Honestly, NE 14th Street didn't seem any busier than any other weekend. But Carmel Ophir, co-owner of the Vagabond, definitely sees the separation as something good.

"WMC was incredible," Ophir opines. "Pure magic in music and vibes. Glad to have it separate and have two great weeks of music."

There is no doubt that two weeks of non-stop electronic debauchery could be a tourist boon to the county and cities of Miami and Miami Beach. But there is still that pesky event in Austin, Texas, held every mid-March that we think will get in the way of ever seeing that possibility come to life.

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5 comments
Darrenhollanddj
Darrenhollanddj

yet another blinkered view of the WMC...shame alot of media don't talk about the music anymore which is whats it all about and thats this was a seperation of house music and the rest of electronica so to speak...also a shame the miami new times only talks about a couple of venues like thats all there is in miami??? no mention of the traditional WMC as usual like Gotsoul or Shelter or Soul on the beach, Afternoon Delight? some have been going for more than a decade but hey keep it to your clients and what you think you know. Its real definitive just talking to 3 people,hypocrites too. Rock on. Media like this is what has been the bain of true house music for years. Check something out you heard it from me first HOUSE MUSIC LIVES!

Djbatjuice
Djbatjuice

this WMC was suckz the worse of 15 yr to Black and Hip hop all the clubs on the bch to many hookers up and down no sleep all the fucking spring breakers sucks lot of Dj and producer disappoint i have video tell me . well miami music week is were it is next week u SEE

Smeejay
Smeejay

Without intending too, it seems that the latter half of March naturally evolved to be more for the harder electro side of house and the first part of March more attuned to the more organic roots of house. Body and Soul was simply amazing, Def Mix stellar and Let The Singer Be Heard was like going to gospel church service . As always. Can I get a witness!

LPisadouche
LPisadouche

Puig is a delusional tool. Please step down at space LP, nobody wants to see you spin 5nights in a week. Garbage

Puhleaseeee
Puhleaseeee

shit was waaaack this year....these money hungry assholes will say anything to make a buck.

the "spring break" crowd was more of a story.

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