Dance Party: a curated guide to Winter Music Conference, Miami Music Week and Ultra Music Festival 2014

Whether you call it Winter Music Conference (old school), Miami Music Week (new school) or Ultra (because three days can feel like an entire week), Miami is ready to convert into an electronic dance music magnet from now until the end of March.

The city hosts a couple hundred thousand people each year — including DJs, diverse music industry professionals, and fans — as they rove from DJ set to festival to pool party to panel discussion (true story) to nightclub to hotel lobby to street-side shenanigans.

There are countless events to consider attending, but not all are created equal. Some are more cutting-edge than others and that means that you have the chance to hear sounds for the first time. Invariably, the most innovative will sweep through the EDM scene and then explode almost immediately — from Miami to the mainstream. (Think Swedish House Mafia’s meteoric rise after playing in a small tent at UMF in 2010.)

Here’s a manageable guide to some of the most enticing events. Navigate through the neon and dance like nobody’s watching!

First, let’s get the dates straight:

Winter Music Conference (WMC) – the respected music gathering (in its 29th year) runs from Friday, March 21 – Sunday, March 30.
Ultra Music Festival (UMF) – the largest electronic music festival in the world (in its 16th year) is from Friday, March 28 – Sunday, March 30.
Miami Music Week (MMW) – an observance created by Ultra Enterprises three years ago. Takes place from Tuesday, March 25 – Sunday, March 30 at affiliated venues.

Must-see at Ultra (3/28-30):
Friday— Laidback Luke (main stage), M.I.A. (live stage), Luciano (Carl Cox & Friends)
Saturday – Alesso (main stage), Martin Garrix (main stage), Empire of the Sun (live stage), Afrobeta (live stage), Loco Dice (Carl Cox & Friends), Flosstradamus (worldwide)
Sunday – Hardwell, David Guetta, Sander Van Doorn (all main stage), Cirez D (Ibiza)
Tip: The Ultra app assists with set times and locations.

Assorted events for your consideration:

Friday, March 21

Time: 10 p.m.
Location: Do Not Sit on the Furniture, 423 16th St., Miami Beach; donotsit

Saturday, March 22

The Annual DEF MIX party featuring David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, Quentin Harris, Hector Romero, Tedd Paterson, Master Kev, and Micky Tomasino
Time: 10 p.m. –
Location: The Vagabond, 30 NE 14th St., Miami; vagabond

Dirty South
Time: Around 11 p.m.
Location: LIV, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; livnightclub

Monday, March 24

Winter Music Conference Exhibits – panel discussions throughout the day, including “PR & Publicity: Effective Campaigns for DJs”, Kick Start My Career: The DIY Launch Pad,” and “Sound Strategies: Artist & Producer Relations”
Time: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Hall A, Upper Main Lobby, Miami Beach; wmc

Wednesday, March 26

Dim Mak Miami Beach Party featuring Steve Aoki and guests all day such as 3 Lau, Autoerotique, Bones, Botnek, Caked Up, Chocolate Puma, Deorro, Felix Cartel, LA Riots, TAI, The Chainsmokers, Tony Junior, Uberjak’d, Yellow Claw, Yolanda Be Cool 
Time: Noon – 10 p.m.
Location: The Raleigh Hotel, 1775 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; raleigh

Paul Oakenfold presents Perfecto

Time: 10 p.m. –

Location: Space, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; pauloakenfold

Thursday, March 27:

Ushuaia at SLS Hotel South Beach Presents AVICII & Friends: Sounds by Avicii, Arty, Cazzette, Rebecca & Fiona, Spencer Brown & Syn Cole
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: SLS Hotel South Beach Pool, 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; hydebeach

Steve Angello’s #Decade party with Thomas Gold, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, AN21 & Max Vangeli, Norman Doray & Arno Cost, Third Party, Tim Mason, Nari & Milani
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: RC Cola Plant in Wynwood, 550 NW 24th St., Miami; #decade
EC Twins & Friends: Sounds by EC Twins, Eddie Halliwell, Project 46, Richard Beynon, Zen Freeman and Grand & Warren with special guest Plastik Funk
Time: 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Location: Hyde Beach at SLS Hotel, 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; hydebeach

Remembrance Festival featuring Bingo Players, Carl Tricks, Dada Life, David Tort, Henry Fong, MAKJ, Tommy Trash and more TBA. (This special event is, in part, in memory of the late Paul Baümer of Bingo Players.)
Time: 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.
Location: Ice Palace, 1400 N. Miami Ave., Miami; icepalace

Friday, March 28

Red Bull Guest House 2014 featuring Skrillex with Jack Beats, Kill The Noise, What So Not, Milo and Otis, David Heartbreak, and Yogi
Time: 2 – 8 p.m.
Location: Gale Hotel (rooftop pool), 1690 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; redbullguesthouse

Saturday, March 29

Deep Dish Reunion (Sharam and Dubfire)
Time: 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.
Location: Ice Palace, 1400 N. Miami Ave., Miami; icepalace

Jacked featuring Afrojack, Quintino, Bobby Burns, Apster
Time: 11 p.m. – 5 a.m.
Location: Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; afrojack

Sunday, March 30

Lazy Sunday BBQ featuring DJ Tennis
Time: 3 – 8 p.m.
Location: The Standard (poolside), 40 Island Ave., Miami Beach;