By Adam Stewart
On Tuesday afternoon (November 16), a pair of press releases went out to fans, artists and industry folk in the electronic dance music universe, informing them that March would either be a really awesome or really confusing month for the community, depending on how you look at it. In a surprising shocker, the official Winter Music Conference press department distributed their 2011 WMC press release indicating that the official dates for the annual Miami conclave would be a full two weeks earlier than expected, starting Tuesday, March 8 and running through Saturday, March 12. That’s no big deal, right? Other than the fact that WMC has taken last week in March for all past years in recent memory, the only real damage done was to those who already booked their early bird plane tickets.
Fast forward to around three hours later when Ultra Music Festival distributed their press release indicating that the massive three-day event (which last year drew over 100,000 per day) would hold its ground and remain entrenched in the last weekend in March. That’s where the problems begin. With artist, labels and fans now potentially torn between two very different sets of dates (with two huge franchise names behind them), when will the real party take place?
The controversy played out on Twitter almost immediately. Steve Angello of the Swedish House Mafia recently told MTV News that he is moving full steam ahead with his annual Size party for what he thought would be WMC week at the end of March. However, based on his tweets today, his plans aren’t changing. “People, I won’t be in Miami 8th – 12th,” he wrote. “I’m having my Size part the last week of March. And most of the people I know will be there.” Kaskade added, “#WMC – R.I.P. – It was a good run, we will miss ya! Now we can just start calling it what it really is: Spring Break. Guidos Unite!”
Scores of other loyal #WMC hash-taggers voiced (and continue to voice) their mostly unhappy take on the situation as well. While most of the chatter right now leans toward the majority making their own unofficial WMC pilgrimage at the end of March, it’s still too early to tell which entity will score the biggest acts and hottest events.
What do you make of the divide between the Winter Music Conference and the Ultra Music Festival? Which will you end up going to? Let us know in the comments!