So, it’s just over a week since the end of Miami Music Week and, if the dust hasn’t exactly settled, it’s now time to reflect on our time there.  Firstly, and most importantly, I’d leap at the chance to go again.  The club nights, at large venues like Space, or intimate nightspots like Dream, were simply fantastic.  Rubbing shoulders with the DJs, meeting like-minded music fans from around the globe and some great (if not always well-organised) boat parties made for a week that couldn’t be equalled, even in Ibiza.

But I wouldn’t bother with Ultra Music Festival again.  And yet it was a very impressive festival, with incredible stage set-ups and the best sound systems that I’ve ever come across at music festivals.  Maybe I’m jaded by so many festivals or maybe the festival sets that the big name DJs deliver are not what I really want to hear – and I know that in a club they are much more in tune with my tastes. I think I’ve probably been to my last big festival. From now on, I’m going to stick to boutique festivals and club nights or small parties. (But don’t quote me!)

There were so many surreal experiences in just ten days … bumping into Markus Schulz on Washington Avenue and talking to him about the ten hour set he’d played the night before … chatting to Menno de Jong as we both waited for the toilet on the Musette boat … Renee being recognised by Giuseppe Ottaviani when we got into Club Souz for Pure Trance … getting John 00 Fleming to pose with the sign for Ayesha … the Sol Republic shuttle bus that was a nightclub inside … Paul van Dyk joining us on the dancefloor when Giuseppe dropped No More Alone … and that’s before saying how good the music was.  Award for most bizarre has to go to the Saturday bus trip and the spliff being passed round by the Sol Republic rep!

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So many great sets, it’s hard to pick out my favourite.  The contenders would be Markus Schulz’s ten-hour marathon at Space (we lasted longest of the whole group, but even we had to admit defeat after seven hours); Aly & Fila – both of Fadi’s sets were incredible, I don’t think I could choose between the set at Dream or the set on the boat party; Giuseppe Ottaviani – again two great sets, one at Dream, the other at Club Souz; Solarstone – two hours of awesome Pure Trance just blew me away.  John O’Callaghan’s set on the boat would surely rate amongst these if it hadn’t been cut short after a sensational hour.  I’m going to pick Solarstone as my favourite set of the week, but it was a close thing (although if the sound at Club Souz had been better, I think he would have run away with it as best set).

And I really can’t choose between Global Connection (at Dream on Tuesday) and Pure Trance as my favourite nights of the whole trip.  I loved both nights so much … and feel very lucky to have been able to be there.

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Biggest disappointment was missing out on seeing Faithless.  We really couldn’t face the rest of Day 2 at Ultra, just to see Faithless play towards the end of the night and we were worried about the logistics of seeing them and getting back in time to change and go out for Pure Trance.  We were also upset that we missed out on the Anjunabeats Pool Party, partly due to not arriving earlier and partly due to the accommodation nightmare that we had to resolve as an urgent priority.

Best of all was spending a week partying to such great music with so many good friends from around the world, old and new.  Now it’s time to start thinking about Ibiza in early August and Future Sound Of Egypt 300 and Luminosity Beach Festival in Amsterdam on 16/18 August.

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