Just as the craziness of South By Southwest was coming to an end, a whole other music phenomenon kicked off in Florida. Ultra Music Festival, one of the world's largest electronic music festivals took place at the end of Miami Music Week. Apparently the headlines for the weekend were mostly hijacked by a squabble between deadmau6 and Madonna. Click the jump for more.
This is the 14th year of the event, but it has grown so rapidly in the last few years that it was moved within Miami to accommodate record crowds. Last year, more than 150,000 people attended the event and this year, it sold out in record time. I'm certainly no expert in the genre, though the pop-culture phenomenon of EDM is endlessly fascinating to me and I've been moderately interested in Ultra in the same way I'm interested in all sorts of mass audience events like Coachella, Comic-con, SXSW, etc. That said, I was reading up on the highlights of the event. Headliners included Tiësto, Kraftwerk, Justice, Avicii, Skrillex, David Guetta and Kaskade. The festival was drizzled with top names of past, present, and future with daily lineups peppered by Carl Cox, Afrojack, Miike Snow, Pretty Lights, New Order, Dirty South, Loco Dice, Neon Indian, Jack Beats, Fatboy Slim, Duck Sauce, M83, Metronomy, Little Dragon, Hardwell, Armin Van Buuren, Bassnectar, The Bloody Beetroots, Magnetic Man, Steve Aoki, John Digweed, and Sander Van Doorn.
I wouldn't have otherwise written about the event, but I found it freaking absurd, hilarious, ridiculous and the beginning of the end that not only did Madonna show up to the event, but blatantly endorsed "Molly", the common slang for MDMA or ecstasy, (which is still probably less blatant trend-hopping than naming her record, MDNA.) While introducing Avicii, she said, "I've just got to ask...how many people in this crowd have seen Molly?"
What's even better is that Deadmau5 railed against her. On his Facebook page, he posted, "very classy there madonna. "HUR DUR HAS ANYONE SEEN MOLLY???" such a great message for the young music lovers at ultra. quite the f'n philanthropist. but hey, at least yer HIP AND TRENDY! fucking cant smack my head hard enough right now." He followed with, "seriously, i giveth not a fucking single FUCK for slating on madonna for reaching an entirely NEW level of idiocy ... i can appriciate her meteoric career, and all good deeds done, but WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT? That's your big contribution to EDM? Thats your big message to ultra attendies? hipsterspeak for looking for drugs? fuck off you fucking IDIOT. fuck."
Later, Deadmau5 (real name: Joel Thomas Zimmerman) posted a further explanation via his Tumblr. "Im not perfect. i have my vices, and some of them are probably more harmful than a recreational drug or two… but i do know that i am at the very least morally obligated not to blatantly inflict or advocate anything that’s detrimental to society, others health, etc." He continued, "Now, weve taken EDM so far in the past decade, so goddamned far. It really hurts me to see rampant ADVOCATION of extreme bullshit lifestyles to a genre that spans pretty much any age gap these days...Im not pro, or anti drug… but… ill easily let you know that im pro-responsibility."
I may not get the music, but in this deadmau5 vs Madonna flaming, the mau5 is the clear winner.