Last week, Smirnoff Sound Collective took over South Beach’s Gale Hotel for its US debut during Miami Music Week. With a series of raucous events, it ushered partygoers from day into night during the massive annual dance music gathering.
The party started on March 16 with a Black Butter Records night and ended on March 19 with a Dirtybird blowout. In between, dance music fans got to check out sets from festival favorites as well as up-and-comers for free. They also had the chance to try Smirnoff’s newest line, Smirnoff ICE Electric Flavors—which come with the crucial festival bonus of resealable tops, so you can dance like a maniac without spilling—while hanging out around the pool in Miami sun or in the hotel’s Rec Room after dark.
Destructo turned up on Thursday for a St. Patrick’s Day set at the Gale’s pool. Destructo, the alter ego of HARD Events founder Gary Richards, is known for festivals: He’s the guy behind HARD Summer and HARD Day of the Dead. Still, he told Playboy that he appreciates having the chance to play more intimate settings. “I like it when people are right there,” he said. He also enjoyed having the chance to play with friends like Zeds Dead, with whom he has previously toured.
A highlight came on Friday, when Anna Lunoe headed behind the decks for what would be her exclusive gig during Miami Music Week. Lunoe, from Australia and now based in Los Angeles, has been a mainstay on the festival circuit for a while and will be hitting up Summer Camp in Illinois and Electric Forest in Michigan in May and June. This wasn’t just the only chance to see Lunoe at Miami Music Week, but it was a rare opportunity to see her in a smaller environment. Lunoe hung out after her energetic set to check out Boys Noize’s back-to-back set with Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.
On Saturday afternoon, New York-based collective DISCWOMAN held court at the pool with a lineup that reflected their commitment to promoting female-identified DJs. Tokimonsta, the L.A.-based DJ who came up in the city’s famed beat scene, was on hand; joining her were New York-based house-head Honey Dijon and British DJ Laura Jones.
By now, the all-inclusive good vibes of Smirnoff Sound Collective’s Miami Music Week residency was palpable—from the eclectic sounds to the wealth of female DJs. It all came to a rousing conclusion on Saturday night with a party from beloved US house crew Dirtybird. Justin Martin, Christian Martin and Sacha Robotti were on the bill and the night’s special guest was, of course, label head Claude VonStroke. The Dirtybird founder took on a shift as bartender for the night. That’s not out of the ordinary for this crew. Dirtybird’s own parties include barbecues and, last year, they hosted a summer camp-style festival. For this party, the label also brought in a pop-up shop featuring their merchandise and other DJs on the roster, like J. Phlip, came to hang out with the revelers.
As VonStroke told Playboy, “We love our fans.”