By Adam Stewart
Miami Music Week is just around the corner, so you better be ready to party. Before you touch down on the South Florida shore, you've got to prepare. Whether this is your first time or your 10th, here are some tips that will help make your 2011 Miami Music Week one to remember.
Don't call it "WMC," because it's not. The official WMC took place last week, actually. In case you hadn't heard, things changed a bit this time around. Next week (March 22-27) is "Miami Music Week" or "Ultra Music Week," both are the acceptable terms that won't result in having people correct you all week.
Pack wisely. You'll be thrust into a non-stop partying vortex, so be prepared to be spontaneous. Just because you didn't plan to go to a certain type of event doesn't mean you won't end up at one. Daytime calls for bathing suits and flip-flops, while the evening should bring button downs and dresses. Don't forget to bring real dress shoes for the clubs (sneakers will get you stopped at the door every time). And girls, is it really necessary to wear four inch stilettos to a pool party? You're endangering your life and the safety of those around you! Also, shades, tanning lotion and pain killers are all essential and should be purchased in bulk if at all possible.
Use technology to your advantage. It's 2011, and yeah, there's an app for that. In fact, there are several apps for that. Festival Pulse has launched UMF Essential, an app which help keep the dozens of artists and their schedules in check. Swedish House Mafia will also be launching an app that gives you insider access to their "Masquerade Motel: One Night Stand" event, including downloads and info on winning free tickets. And then there's Flow*d, a social networking app that streamlines Facebook and Twitter feeds and provides with check-in features and maps from your favorite artists.
Don't bring valuables. Your new iPad? Leave it at home, because you're not going to have time to play "Angry Birds" anyway. It's hard enough to keep track of your cell phone and wallet, so why complicate things? Always be sure to keep an emergency cash stash hidden in your hotel room. And by emergency, I mean it's the last day of the week, you're bank account is dry and you need to buy a bottle to get into a show.
Don't bring Debbie Downer to Miami. What's that? You say your friend won't stop bitching about how tired he is? Remind them this is why God invented coffee and energy drinks. There are 51 other weeks during the year in Miami that are perfect for this type of lethargic behavior.
Do some homework. Not everything in Miami has to suck every dime from our life savings. With a little leg work, you can in fact be very economical. Check out the Ultra Music Week blog for a pretty complete list of everything going on, many of which are cheap or free. Our favorites include the Beatport Beach Parties running from Thursday (March 24) through Sunday (March 27). They score some massive names and shows are completely, 100 percent free. This year highlights include the Mau5trap showcase on Friday and Steve Angello's "Size Matters" party on Sunday. Just be sure to get there early — doors open at noon, but it's smart to arrive at 10 a.m.