In 2006 when I was saying my vows to my this amazing man, on the Comune di Positano terrace in Italy, I should have included “To Love, Respect and follow your husband into any crazy adventure he dreams of including but not limited to: becoming a fitness model, marathon runner and international DJ.”
Yep, with marriage, I committed to love and cherish this man for better or for worse. And honestly, there could be much worse than running around the globe chasing the sun, parties and music festivals. In fact, I really like the ‘Robert Murgatroyd Fountain of Youth Program’. Let’s face it he’s getting younger and younger, and not in a mid-life crisis ‘get an earring’ type of way. But in a, “I’m not done exploring myself and finding new things that inspire me.” kinda-way. And, yes, I have loved every minute of this journey…well, except one night, when he had pre-set the computer to start recording a music festival in the Netherlands. Apparently the computer speakers weren’t turned off, as I was harshly awoken by what sounded like 900 screaming monsters at 4am. That I could’ve done without. 😉
So- now, here I am, almost 10 years into this relationship and I’m the wife of a DJ Murgatroyd. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve had many thoughts of how can I keep up with my hubby, oddly he’s 12 years my senior and I’m trying to keep up with him. Part of him staying young, is finding new things that inspire him, gets his creative juices flowing and empty his crowded brain. At the moment, that inspiration is music.
It’s now the eve of our departure to our first ever experience at Winter Music Conference (WMC) which ends in a 3 day festival called Ultra Music Festival. It’s quite possible, unless you follow Electronic Dance Music (EDM) that you’ve never heard of this. But, let me tell you- it’s basically a week where every top DJ in the world descends on Miami along with 300,000 of their closest, glow-stick holding fans for a week-long, over the top, wild, crazy, yet magical event. It’s where DJ’s meet, deals are struck and careers are launched. It’s also a place that the top EDM fans can see just about every DJ they could imagine.
About Ultra Music Festival: Of course, it’s a music festival, so like Woodstock, Lalapalooza or any other festival- the dress is minimal and drugs are common. And with EDM festivals, wearing creative costumes or outfits is encouraged. But, the thing I absolutely love about the world of EDM is that it generates positivity. The music, is for the most part positive – from the beat to the words (if there are words). The message of the vast majority of DJ’s is about loving everyone and being nonjudgmental, something that is severely missing in our younger generation. The now-famous symbol of the EDM scene is making hearts with your hands. This is not BS, it’s real. Strangers are nice to each other at EDM festivals. In fact, it’s common to bring homemade bracelets called ‘Kandi’ and to exchange them with strangers by holding hands and sliding your bracelet onto their arm and vice-versa. It’s refreshing to spend time in a place where judging others is discouraged, positivity is encouraged and being yourself is mandatory.
Schedule of Events: During the week of WMC, there is an actual ‘conference’ for DJ’s, music buffs, equipment demos, music industry Q&A’s etc… buuutttt….then there’s the other WMC. The one filled with all-day pool parties and all night events at Miami’s best clubs. Then of course, there is Ultra Music Festival from Friday to Sunday 12pm-12am.Of course, in Jet Set Life fashion we’ve chosen to be in the VIP section, as the General Admission is a sea of sweaty people that neither Rob nor I want to be stuck in the middle of for 72 hours. No knock to those that love being in the middle of the crowd, but that I just don’t have in me. VIP gets you a private area to view the acts, clean air conditioned lounges and private bathrooms and bars without lines. All worth the hefty price tag in our opinion.
From what we’ve been told, we’ve got to pace ourselves…but in true Robert Murgatroyd fashion– we will be everywhere, all day, every day.
Seemingly sleep, won’t be a priority….either will food after Wednesday night. Here’s our schedules for WMC and who we’ll be seeing at Ultra….this doesn’t even include the actual ‘conference’ which Rob will be attending as well….and quite possibly, I may be sleeping through.
Drugs: When I talk to people, they always ask about the EDM world, and drugs. Yes, this is a week-long, giant rave and yes, I expect that many, upon many will be under the influence of multiple substances including the now popular Molly. But, just in case you care, no we will not and do not do drugs. We have a family, a business and are just too old for that stuff. So- instead, we’ll stick to a few cocktails and people watching.
Why Do This?: Some have asked why two seemingly sane 30 and 40- somethings would want to put ourselves in the middle of a 300,000 person rave filled with costumed people, drugs and beyond loud music. Well, the answer is simple, we love it. We love feeling alive and getting outside of our box. We love the music and the message that the music sends. We love how friendly and passionate EDM fans are. We don’t need to do Molly, dress up in an Indian headdress and suck on a pacifier to have fun. And we won’t judge those that choose to. Instead, we’ll experience WMC and Ultra15 on our own terms and in our own way. So tonight, I will get a deep spray tan, pack my favorite bikinis, florescent clothing and sparkly make-up. And yes, I’m making some Jet Set Life and DJ Murgatroyd Kandi bracelets to exchange with life-loving ravers.
So when people ask us “Why?”, we answer “Why not?”.