Space Miami Owner Lashes Out At Ultra, Sells Club

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Space Miami Owner Lashes Out At Ultra, Sells Club

Louis Puig, founder and (former) owner of Space Miami cares about music. So much so that he’s not afraid to call a spade a spade. While he writes a sort of “Ultra Manifesto” every year, this one contains many utter truths that most people within the music industry are afraid to say.

After 10 years of pushing and trying, I finally got my wish. As you all know, I have spearheaded the effort to unify Winter Music Conference / Miami Music Conference /Miami Music Week / Ultra Music Week… and to extend conference to more than just 1 day, 1 weekend for 1 week. I am thankful to the Ultra boys for finally coming to their senses and doing 2 weekends. Now they can make even more money. All I have left to do is convince them to lift all the “Ultra Artist Exclusives” so that adults can also enjoy Carl Cox and other “exclusive” artists at our favorite adult events, pool parties, clubs and afterhours. Artists should be free to perform or create what they like, when they like and where they like and, anything which prohibits or limits artist’s freedom is anti-art and is the complete opposite of what EDM stands for. These exclusives are hurting our local venues and employees and are keeping the over 21 crowd visitors from enjoying their fav DJs. As I said before, I LOVE ULTRA and even saved its ass and kept it alive one year when the organizers were broke but I will not stand for monopolization in our industry or of our artists and especially when it creates an unfair competition towards our local business and venue owners. Greed and the monopolization of artists to the extent where you hurt our local businesses are NOT the ingredients of the EDM formula. These Ultra imposed exclusives are not just for MMC week as they also prohibit the artists from performing locally or in South Florida up to 90 days before or after MMC, which is our high tourist season. Establishments such as the giant Ice Palace Studios are going dark with no events or DJ’s during these 2 weeks of Music Conference because they “cannot get DJs.” The same is happening to many Miami and South Beach venues that own or rent property and pay mortgages, rent, taxes and employees not just one weekend at the park but 365 days a year. The irony of this is that Ultra is renting our public parks (Bayfront Park) to do so, which btw is completely illegal according to the Bert J Harris Act. In fact, the City of Miami could be liable for allowing this unfair competition by renting its land to Ultra who continuously ignores the local business owner’s and City’s requests to lift the DJ exclusivities. It took some work for us to get 2 weeks of music conference and now we are all the better for it. We have more days to enjoy music and Miami and, Ultra has more days to make more millions. It is time that they stop being so greedy and selfish and give back to the local business owners and community that hosts and supports them. Give the artists their artistic freedom and lift the Ultra exclusives that are hurting our community and local business owners or give us back our park.
FUTURE OF EDM. I am hoping that the future of Electronic Dance Music will be the complete opposite of the commercial Mash Up sound you hear at VIP clubs today. This sound is monotonous, tiring and not even the DJs that play it like it. In fact, they actually hate it but they sold out to it and are now stuck playing it. The sound reminds me of the Walt Disney Electric Parade. Some people call it Swedish House Music but I call it VIP Confetti Music but no matter what you call it, it is complete rubbish and what is worse is that it generates the complete opposite energy and effect of what dance music was designed to do, which is for people to dance. Believe it or not, the plan was never for you to show up, stand on a dance floor ignoring your date our friends and look at some clown jumping up and down waving his finger in the air while playing prerecorded laptop sets. Fortunately EDM fans are very intelligent and educated and they are finally catching on to these theatrics. These DJ finger waving performing clowns have numbered days. Techno, Tech, Deep House and other underground EDM genres will prevail. In case you do not understand what I mean by VIP Confetti Music, just visit the top 100 in the “progressive” category on my fav music dance music website and Robert Sillerman’s latest acquisition, I remember when the Beatport progressive dance music chart was actually progressive.

SALE OF SPACE. It is true; I sold Club Space and this will be my last Space MMC. I’m very proud of what we created in Downtown Miami and have been privileged to work with some amazing and talented people. 13 years is a very long time for any club to be around and I couldn’t have done it without all the people who supported Space in so many ways. Its 130 years if you want to compare it to human years. It was time for me to move on and let someone else carry the Space torch.

Space was a vision I carried with me for almost 20 years since my first visit to Ibiza in 1981. The concept that I am working on now is a product of a vision I have been formulating in my head since Space opened with Danny Tenaglia in 2000. This new space will hopefully have the same effect on our industry as the first Space. It will be bigger and better since I now possess a more thorough and extensive knowledge of the qualities and details that make a club a legend. In other words, I know now what I wish I had known then and plan to use that knowledge to create something truly unique. This space will be the antiestablishment of this new era and once again the antithesis of the South Beach / Las Vegas commercial VIP confetti clubs.

Sure, he sounds a bit bitter–but Ultra and the contracts they force upon artists kill the free-spirited, positive-natured, family oriented community dance music should be. EDM has flat-out evolved into pop, and Ultra, Ultra Clones, and festivals that solely set out to capitalize on these markets–while savvy business moves–become unsavory to those who really care.

That’s why industry folk go to Miami for WMC–not Ultra. And it’s fast becoming crystal clear that the real fans–and not teenagers looking to get laid or roll around on molly–get their kicks outside of the momentary glow of what’s mainstream.

Read The Whole Manifesto Here.


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