Dance-Music Craze Slowing Down
But behind the booming façade, the situation is not quite so bright. Some of Miami’s top clubs, such as South Beach’s Cameo and downtown’s Grand Central, have closed recently. SFX Entertainment, which several years ago bought a host of top dance music promoters, festivals and websites, inspiring predictions that billionaire owner Robert Sillerman would take electronic dance music into the corporate and consumer mainstream, recently declared bankruptcy.
The 2016 edition of the TomorrowWorld festival in rural Georgia, one of SFX’s trophy events, has been canceled after a debacle last September that saw thousands of concertgoers stranded in mud and rain. Icon, the name new owners have given to Mansion, a longtime South Beach dance palace, has seen a sharp drop in crucial VIP liquor sales and is struggling to fill the massive space.
“EDM is over – it’s like disco,” says Vanessa Menkes, former head of communications for the now disbanded Opium Group, whose clubs including Mansion and Set dominated South Beach nightlife for years. “In 2005, you could open your doors on a random Saturday night and make $150,000. Those days are not coming back.”