Damian Lazarus sets a new party standard for Miami Music Week with 11th edition of Get Lost [Event Review]
Miami Music Week has certainly swelled over the past half-decade as dance music’s reign continues to allure wide-eyed patrons from all corners of the globe. Just outside of the traffic nightmare of South Beach and downtown, nestled in North Miami’s culturally rich community of Little Haiti, Damian Lazarus and event promoter Crosstown Rebels constructed the 11th consecutive edition of their notorious 24-hour marathon, Get Lost. Carefully crafted production, ethereal vibes and an unparalleled music lineup rescued partygoers from mainstream mundanity and teleported them to Little River Studios: a television and movie production lot, transformed for a day into a soulfully organic oasis where uplifting vibes and human connection were the primary form of currency. Upon arrival at the rustic greenhouse entryway, the sun pierced through the looming morning clouds revealing pockets of a dreamy orange-blue sunrise paired with the divine sounds of progressive pioneer Sasha.
Photo by Karli Evans
Unlike the often pretentious and self-indulgent door staff paid to ignore inclusivity at opulent SoBe clubs, Get Lost appeared to be a place of spiritual refuge as patrons — running on just a few hours of sleep and high doses of delirium — came alive with the transcendental spirit of the venue’s location and overly friendly personnel. A mixture of house and techno heads, soul searchers, Burners and free spirits collectively married the best of their personalities to create an ambiance that championed good conversation and uninhibited expression. Similar to the organic progression of attendee interaction, performance areas erupted throughout all hours with a multi-stage, multi-sensory setup consisting of a foggy, psychedelic two-room indoor area known as the Studio and the Nest, and two more stage areas adorned with Victorian chandeliers and tree swings situated outdoors with various interactive seating arrangements and local fare surrounding the lush perimeter. Lazarus and his team members could be seen mingling with guests who, for over a decade, have made his enticing mystique a must-see brand at globally-renowned destinations and gatherings.
A kaleidoscopic haze engulfs the studio room as swaying silhouettes maneuver through the smoke machine fog to the euphoric jungle vibes of Behrouz. Meanwhile, David Morales, Horse Meat Disco and Citizenn hosted scattered dance battle circles as the tropical humidity from outdoors slithered its way into the nest.
Photos by Khris Cowley
Santorini, a Brooklyn-inspired alleyway converted into one of the four non-stop stages, prompted the early birds to cocoon their way out of the patchy darkness indoors and flutter over to the seductive musical story-telling courtesy of Dance Spirit, and Soul Clap thereafter. Droves of new guests arrived, unprepared for what the subsequent 17 hours had in store. The phrase “time flies” simply didn’t apply. The seventh hour felt like the seventeenth, and ultimately, survival instincts had to be implemented.
Outside in the main courtyard was the nucleus of Get Lost, a simple stage complimented by a giant oak tree that summoned spectators to dance in the brisk winds with Eduardo Castillo’s tribal rhythms at the helm. Ominous thunderstorm clouds and intermittent rain couldn’t discourage the daytime effervescence courtesy of Serge Devant, Felix Da Housecat and Jamie Principle outdoors, which staff members aided by immediately providing enough umbrellas for all guests in attendance.
Photo by Khris Cowley
Back in the rainbow-splashed fog of the studio room, Blond:ish and Martin Buttrich set the tone for a party that blended booty-shaking bass, the artistic weirdness of A Clockwork Orange, and the delusional come-up of an acid trip. There was no escape as guests relinquished all sense of normalcy outside in the pounding sunlight and quite literally “got lost” in order to rediscover their inner party animal.
Dusk began to settle across the sky, and sitting was officially no longer an option. Pete Tong, Bill Patrick, Tiga and Seth Troxler all of a sudden appeared as the four horsemen of dance, unforgiving of guests’ withering physicality. Time slowed as if it had been suddenly crammed into an hour glass. For the first time, the finish line seemed manageable. The crowd’s anticipation grew as the bearded profile of Damian Lazarus took to the decks for a sonic journey aboard what felt like a Burning Man-mobile.
Photo by Khris Cowley
With just five hours remaining and an impossible selection of artists to choose from throughout the various stages, Kink’s live set-up in the alley proved reminiscent of his stellar showing at last year’s Paradise Miami staple. After an arm raise up to the heavens during Guy Gerber, one final dance-off at Skream and a nostalgic tear at Gorgon City and Kidnap Kid’s epic back-to-back, the hour glass had run out.
Miami is a city easy to fall in love with and even easier to fall out of love with, particularly every March during MMW. Often times the fabric of what brought this industry together fades, but Get Lost has spent the past decade reigniting the origins of our culture. Good company, great music, harmony — this year proved even more so that sometimes you have to get lost to be found.