I’ll try to keep this short and simple … HA.
The Winter Music Conference marked its 26th anniversary with a noticeable change that stopped a lot of people I knew in their tracks this year. Instead of late March, hundreds from around the world gathered in South Beach only to face chilly temps and lukewarm reception at some venues since the event was moved up a few weeks earlier. Hype surrounding the Ultra Music Festival, usually held during the same week of WMC, was prominent, though. For the record, it didn’t matter because nothing can really come between true househeads and their music. Connecting with old and new friends, we danced and shouted and celebrated our love of soulful, deep house music all week long whenever and wherever the spirit led us.
Unfortunately, the “noise” police were in full effect, enforcing city code regulations left and right. Many people in attendance enjoyed themselves and made the best of the situation but said the vibe wasn’t quite the same as previous years. I agree. Clustering the more mature masses that tend to follow house music amid rowdy Spring Break crowds just makes no sense. The majority of us really are there for the MUSIC.
At least, fresh beats filled the air with a strong South Africa contingent represented at many parties. Hats off to DJ Black Coffee, Culoe de Song, Zakes Bantwini, Bucie (making her first U.S. appearance) and so many others like Louie Vega whose music continues to reaffirm the spiritual, sacred power of house music and underground dance culture. I still believe it is far from being overshadowed by techno/electro trends. But, we the people must support what we love or it won’t survive. I attend the conference and expect little in return besides good music and freedom to dance. When business venues are forced to order DJs to turn down the bass or block dancers by adding more tables to outdoor cafes, it defeats the purpose of nurturing a spirit of community. You see, I still remember house when house was about love.
Visit WMC 2011 Photo Gallery: http://www.taniafuentezmedia.com