While speaking with DJ Irie about hosting a Black Friday event with Kendrick Lamar (more on that later!) he dropped the news that he'll also be hosting the huge Kanye headlined UR1 Music Festival
"You know it's going to be fun," he said of the crazy good lineup that includes everyone from Peter Murphy to Flying Lotus. "A lot of the festivals are all about EDM. It has become the mainstay or staple at festivals that happen on a yearly basis," he mused. "There's still another huge audience out there that can appreciate that but also wants to get into some other things."
With UR1, he noted, "It's just the kind of festival that is for the music lover. It's not about what you hear on the radio, top 10 Billboard, but people who really take the time to search for stuff, discover stuff that you can really get into. If you're open-minded, you'll experience totally different sounds."
UR1's Emi Guerra threw one of the first parties Irie was ever involved in (the other organizer is Ultra Music Festival's Alex Omes). "He was part of a promotional group back in the day," Irie remembered of Guerra, "this was when we used to do all ages parties, foam parties." Their continued good relationship and mutual respect for the other resulted in this reunion.
"To me [UR1 is] so unique and so special not just because of what it is, but when it is. And what we're trying to do is break the mold of what these festivals have become. It's really very music driven, but they're making an effort to make it a unique experience with art as well."
He's no stranger to Art Basel events and has seen their impact. Last year, along with Premiere Beverage, Irie produced the NBA sponsored the Art of Basketball
. The employed local artists to use unusual canvasses like basketballs and backboards right in Midtown. "It blew up, because I was able to secure Chris Bosh to host it." Irie said, adding that Dwyane Wade and Juwan Howard got people psyched about the show. Its success had Bosh and other b-ball players quickly signing back on to be a part of this year's festivities.
Art is great and all, but we had ask again about foam parties. Irie laughed telling us of a particularly wild one at Gator Growl in Gainesville. But of course, South Beach bred the craziest tales. "When we used to do them down at Amnesia. It was amazing, pretty crazy, and kind of suspect. People in their bathing suits coming in for foam parties, doing their thing, at the end of the night, you'd have a couple people like 'where's my suit!'" he remembers hearing, "'Where's my bikini? I knew I had one on when I got here!'"
And the cherry on the sundae, or something like that: "I remember one particular party where this guy literally left wearing suds. He put the suds in the proper places, and went about his business!" Irie chuckled.
Check back on Monday for more on what Irie thinks about bottle service and Kendrick Lamar.