Swedish House Mafia Leave Ultra Music Festival Behind

By Adam Stewart

Late this afternoon, Swedish House Mafia announced to their Facebook and Twitter followers that they would be hosting a massive 10-hour party, “One Night Stand Masquerade Motel,” in Miami on March 26 in the spirit of their Halloween weekend party of the same name. In a year when Winter Music Conference and Ultra Music Festival have been shrouded in controversy due to conflicting dates, the Swedes have added an extra drop of fuel to the fire by skipping what would have been their third consecutive year at UMF.

“To clarify, we are not doing Ultra,” Axwell posted on Facebook. “We will do Masquerade Motel and then solo shows.”

Artists and fans alike had cried foul in the past over the alleged exclusivity deals that made Ultra the only place where thousands of fans would have the opportunity to see some of their favorite international and domestic acts. This is the primary reason huge names like Tiesto and deadmau5 only had one 2010 WMC date. But artists were able to use loopholes to escape that clause; the Swedes, for instance, would play other shows as Axwell & Friends. It has been rumored that the UMF promoters have been busy fixing the language in their artist contracts to forbid these alternative gigs, making the exclusivity deals ironclad.

Today, UMF blasted a 2011 lineup teaser and linked to the music video for the Tiesto and Diplo single “C’mon,” which debuted at the 2010 event, hinting that both will again be on the bill. UMF will announce officially signed talent for phase one of its three-day event tomorrow to accompany Crystal Castles and Norwegian duo Röyksopp.

Will you still check out the festivals despite all the drama? Let us know in the comments!