UR1's Emi Guerra threw one of the first parties Irie was ever involved in (the other organizer is Ultra Music Festival's Alex Omes). "He was part of a promotional group back in the day," Irie remembered of Guerra, "this was when we used to do all ages parties, foam parties." Their continued good relationship and mutual respect for the other resulted in this reunion.
"To me [UR1 is] so unique and so special not just because of what it is, but when it is. And what we're trying to do is break the mold of what these festivals have become. It's really very music driven, but they're making an effort to make it a unique experience with art as well."
He's no stranger to Art Basel events and has seen their impact. Last year, along with Premiere Beverage, Irie produced the NBA sponsored the Art of Basketball
. The employed local artists to use unusual canvasses like basketballs and backboards right in Midtown. "It blew up, because I was able to secure Chris Bosh to host it." Irie said, adding that Dwyane Wade and Juwan Howard got people psyched about the show. Its success had Bosh and other b-ball players quickly signing back on to be a part of this year's festivities.
Art is great and all, but we had ask again about foam parties. Irie laughed telling us of a particularly wild one at Gator Growl in Gainesville. But of course, South Beach bred the craziest tales. "When we used to do them down at Amnesia. It was amazing, pretty crazy, and kind of suspect. People in their bathing suits coming in for foam parties, doing their thing, at the end of the night, you'd have a couple people like 'where's my suit!'" he remembers hearing, "'Where's my bikini? I knew I had one on when I got here!'"
And the cherry on the sundae, or something like that: "I remember one particular party where this guy literally left wearing suds. He put the suds in the proper places, and went about his business!" Irie chuckled.