WMC 2009: Your Guide to Surviving Conference

ZOMG, ya'll! Winter Music Conference is finally here. Hopefully, you've already picked up our kick-ass guide and checked out our listing online to plan your entire week. Still, there a few things you should keep in mind if you are going to come out of this weekend alive. So here are a few pointers that hopefully will help you have the best WMC:

1. Accept the fact that you won't be able to attend every event. Smart way to plan is to list the acts you really want to see and check what events they will be performing at. You might not be able to catch an act on Wednesday, but they might be performing somewhere else on Friday. Also, keep in mind some parties and events have exclusive performances by DJs and bands, so if you really want to see that exclusive appearance put it as a high priority.

2. Sleep is good, so plan on getting plenty of it. You'll always hear people claiming to have stayed up five days straight during Conference. Those people are either lying or exaggerating. Unless your name is Amy Winehouse and you have a crystal meth addiction, your body is still going to need to rest.

3. Save the booze for the weekend. Alcohol will bring you down quickly if you don't watch yourself. Don't plan on drinking six-days in a row. Trust me, your body won't forgive you. Instead, keep a slow and steady pace the first few days and leave the really hard partying for the Friday-to-Sunday stretch.

4. Drugs are still illegal during Conference. Will the vice squad be out in full force this week? You betcha! And last I heard, there isn't going to a bitchin' Conference party at county jail. I'm not going to PSA the hell out of you, but use your head and exercise caution.

5. Twenty-four-hour partying means you should probably dress comfortably. I read in another guide that WMC is dress-to-impress. That's bullshit! Clubs actually tend to relax their dress code during Conference. As long as you have money for the cover charge, you are probably going to get in.

6. Just because you bought a pre-sale ticket doesn't mean you're getting in. Clubs tend to oversell tickets because most people tend to club-hop anyway so the chances of 5,000 people showing up all at the same time are slim. Still, many clubs will be at capacity and by law cannot allow people to exceed that unless they want to get shut down. So if you bought a ticket to an event you really want to go to, plan on arriving early to guarantee admission.

7. Bathroom lines will be long, especially for men. The ratio of men to women during Conference is always 324 to one (yes, I've counted) so bathroom wait times will be long. Also, not everyone is disposing of bodily waste while in the bathroom (you might notice loud sniffing, but don't worry, they are okay), so that also increases the wait.

8. Locals still have God-given priveleges. If you are waiting in line, you are probably going to notice a whole lot of people skipping the line with or without a ticket. Those people are either other DJs or locals. Locals tend to know people who own and work the clubs you are trying to get in, so no whining even if you've been waiting for over an hour.

9. Glowsticks are an outdated relic of the '90s. Drugs make you do a lot of stupid things, like taking a rescue device and turning it into the most annoying thing on the dancefloor. I can't guarantee you won't get punch in the face if you pull them out.

10. Unless you know the area, take a taxi when traveling in Downtown and Wynwood. Many of the mainland clubs are located in areas that no person living in Miami would actually want to reside in. In fact, you could be walking on a pretty average street one minute and then end up in a place that looks more like Afghanistan in another.

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Jose D. Duran has been the associate web editor of Miami New Times since 2008. He's the voice and strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's music, entertainment, and cultural scenes since 2006, previously through sites such as and He earned his BS in journalism with a minor in art history from the University of Florida. He's a South Florida native and will be a Miami resident as long as climate change permits and the temperature doesn't drop below 60 degrees.
Contact: Jose D. Duran