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A field guide to people-watching at Miami Music Week
Image: Time Out

Nine types of people you meet at Miami Music Week

A field guide to people-watching at Miami’s biggest party.

Caitlin Driscoll
Written by
Caitlin Driscoll

Every March, music lovers from around the world flock to our city for the annual bass-filled bacchanal known as Miami Music Week. This year, seemingly every major electronic DJ is playing a show, from sun-soaked pool parties in Miami Beach to Downtown’s massive Ultra Music Festival, to sweaty warehouse raves in Little River. 

This eclectic mix of artists and events attracts a wide range of characters, offering up some excellent people-watching. Here’s a preview of the nine kinds of party-goers you’ll meet at Miami Music Week.

RECOMMENDED: The best Miami Music Week pool parties for daytime debauchery

1. The guy with the all-access Space pass

Miami Music Week is this guy’s Super Bowl. He put in his PTO request in September. Honestly, the stamina is pretty impressive. Watch him jump from Factory Town to the Space terrace, back to Factory Town, and round and round he goes. Without skipping a beat, this B2B party boy can tell you exactly who’s playing on any given stage across the Club Space universe—and that’s no small feat. 

Ultra Music Festival
Photograph: Courtest Ultra Music Festival/Doug Van Sant Photography

2. Rave babies

Going to Ultra is like a rite of passage for Miami teens. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the adorably clueless rave baby is having the time of their life with absolutely zero regard for how to behave in a crowd. They’re pushing their way to the front, wearing completely nonsensical footwear and dripping glitter from head to toe. They’ll scream and shout as the Metro Mover approaches the pearly gates, then get off two stops early like the rookies they are. 

3. The locals in the corner

These folks have a love-hate relationship with MMW. The traffic, the port-o’s, the price gouging. “It’s almost as bad as Basel,” they’ll say. But what are they gonna do, not see their favorite artists in their backyard? While eager out-of-towners keep a rigid schedule, the calm, collected locals float from stage to stage knowing every mega-star DJ returns to Miami sooner or later. Find this group huddled in the back corner, far from the stage but conveniently close to the bar where one of their high school friends will hook them up with free drinks.

The National Hotel MMW
Photograph: Courtesy Seven Lines Group

4. Huge group of shirtless gays

First, there are three, then a few more. Ten minutes later and BAM, you’re surrounded—it’s a gaggle of topless gays. Arguably the hottest party-goers of them all (looks-wise and also because they took their shirts off so they must be sweating), this sexy swarm oscillates with the music while keeping a watchful eye for more scantily clad revelers on the way. Eventually, they’ll break off piece by piece in search of cocktails and naughty adventure.

5. Euro ravers

Our visiting Euro ravers are no strangers to 24-hour marathons. (They kind of invented them.) Towering over a sea of short Miami kings (<3), they’re easy to spot but rarely draw attention to themselves—they’re just there to dance. Unfortunately, being accustomed to proper public transportation, they’ll wrongly assume the Metro can get them home. Or anywhere, for that matter.

6. Festival bros

Everybody knows a festival bro. A bit too loud, a bit too hyphy, but always a good time. He’s got pupils the size of Pluto and regularly shouts “LET’S GOOOO” at the drop. This classic archetype is easily identifiable by his uniform of colorful button-down shirt (unbuttoned, of course), printed shorts, bucket hat and the finest sunglasses Forever 21 had to offer. The festival bro loves a silly totem, too, and will proudly hoist it all day long, even if it disrupts everyone else’s line of vision. 

Halloweek at Club Space
Photograph: Courtesy Club Space/Adinayev

7. The healer

The healer is all about good vibes and spreading positivity. They probably have a hula hoop and a pocket full of those little sprout clips for gifting. Micro-dosing macro amounts of mushrooms, they are incredibly zen on the dancefloor even with the DJ bumping at 160 BPM. Look for the healer on the grassy lawn later as they offer up tarot card readings and free hugs.

8. Fan girls

Perfectly primped in Y2K-esque ensembles, these smokin’ hot ladies will inevitably end up behind the DJ booth. They got in for free on someone’s guest list, then ditched them immediately. You’ll hate the clickity-clack of their fans (but turn grateful when they bless you with a breeze). They’ve always got their phones out, but you’ll have fun living vicariously through their Instagram stories on your couch later. Our beloved fan girls are usually really sweet when you get to know them in line for the bathroom. Eyedrops? Tampons? Makeup smears? Fan girl’s got you.

9. Zombies

These nocturnal creatures have mastered the art of falling asleep while standing up. Truly impressive and borderline concerning—but hey, that’s Music Week, baby! With almost as much stamina as the all-access Space pass guy, the zombies stay low-key by wearing sunglasses at all hours and sneaking off for disco naps by the taco stand. Eventually, they’ll “Irish exit” and magically show up hours later, ready to do it all again.

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