Carl Cox likes to party. The 49-year-old producer is widely regarded as the 'grandfather' of British house music, having dominated the house music scene since the mid 1980‘s. Last week he reasserted his perpetual musical relevance at Miami’s Winter Music Conference, with appearances at multiple venues including his very own “Carl Cox Tent” at Ultra Music Festival. But performing for fans just wasn’t enough for this British sensation, so last Thursday he hosted his own very lavish, very exclusive yacht party for his intimate inner circle.
Presented by Safehouse, Carl Cox invited 300 of his closest friends to come celebrate decades of success with an afternoon of sailing, music, dancing, laughter, dinner courses, and of course, an open-bar!
Luckily, we were one of the few chosen members of the press to attend the soiree and we can promise you this: Carl Cox throws one hell of a party!
We boarded the three-story Lady Windridge Yacht that was docked on South Beach around 4 p.m., finding ourselves in a world of musical big-whigs, attentive bartenders, and the most smiles I’ve ever seen in a confined area. Carl Cox was already at the DJ booth on the sundeck, greeting everyone on board with his infamous toothy smile and directing the crowd to the spacious wooden dance floor.
The musical lineup included John Digweed, Guy J, Jon Rundell, Layo & Bushwacka!, Nicole Moudaber, UMEK and Yousef. The DJs spun European-sounding house beats that reverberated throughout the ship, providing the perfect background music for casual dancing, mingling and name-dropping with fellow music-lovers, and everything in between.
The yacht took us up and down the Miami Beach inlet, allowing for the breath-taking backdrop view of multi-million dollar homes, a towering skyline, and beaming, blue skies above. Guests enjoyed the open-bar fully, evidenced by the growing chatter and slight word slurring as the evening progressed. Although most guests had come in small groups, conversation flared in no time and strangers quickly stood with their arms around each other swapping stories about the industry.
Vagabond club employees blew bubbles off the boat’s bow, retired DJs crowded one of the private state-rooms and reminisced on the good-ol’ days of vinyl, and hipsters showed off their dance-moves as the sun went down on the upper deck. For such a large and fragmented audience, the boat held a surprising sense of intimacy amongst its esteemed guests.
I found myself in conversation with a retired DJ from England who told me wildly-unbelievable stories of his days behind the decks at his weekly residency in Ibiza. The 50-something-year-old said he had been making the trek to Winter Music Conference for years, with no intention of stopping any time soon. He spoke of his never-ending passion for electronic music, and it’s ability to span all age groups, all regional demographics, all language barriers. He seemed to share the same mindset of Carl Cox, who, relatively speaking, is a bit old to still be so relevant in the electronic music scene, but doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
“At one point or another, you might get too old to DJ. But even when that happens, you can never get too old to party.”