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WMC 2012 Budget Friendly Party Guide & Money Saving Tips


If you have been to Miami’s WMC before then you know that this 10-day dance music festival would never be described as being budget friendly. But after dropping what seems like an arm and a leg on airfare, lodging and probably some pre-sale tickets, let’s be honest, the spending is just getting started. If you are independently wealthy, if you are still spending mommy and daddy’s money or, if you are lucky enough to have a sugar momma or sugar daddy, then this article isn’t for you. If you are like the rest of us, then right about now you are trying to contrive a decent plan on how to make it to your final day with at least enough money for a cab ride to the airport.

If you cringe at the thought of having a budget or know you just won’t stick to one, there is still some great info in here for you. Read on to find quick money saving tips, our recommendations for parties with reasonable ticket prices and other insider info that we have compiled over the years of attending this insane event.

First and foremost, if you haven’t purchased any of your pre-sale tickets, you’ll want to do that NOW! With each passing day you run the risk of increased prices, never mind events selling out. Many venues release tickets in waves, increasing the price with each release. If you are fortunate enough to snag some “early bird” tickets, consider yourself very lucky as these are typically deeply discounted and very limited!

fZOO Money Saver Tip: Save $5 per transaction when purchasing tickets for Surfcomber or Space (excludes Tong Pool Pary and Axtone Events) events by using the promo code “FZOO” during checkout - events - click here

fZOO Money Saver Tip: Try not to get caught in the trap of waiting to buy tickets as you wait to make plans with yourgroup of friends. It will only cost you in the end. Figure out what events you want to attend (I know, easier said then done) and start buying! Worse case scenario, if you change your mind later and decide not to attend a certain party, you can always sell your tickets (and probably make money in the end).

fZOO Money Saver Tip: Don’t plan to party every minute of every day. Attending a day party, night party and an afterhours event on each day that you are there is not only going to exhaust you physically but your wallet probably won’t have the stamina to survive either. Make sure you work in some down time, some chill beach time and, of course, some time to sleep. Not only will your body thank you but think of it as a way to save some money - you can’t spend money while you are sleeping (although I’m sure someone out there has a story to disprove this theory).

To help with your party planning, this year we’ve compiled a list of the most budget-friendly parties. These parties are low in cost but you will not get short changed when it comes to having fun. All parties listed below will cost you no more than $30 to get in (NOTE - prices were $30 or below at the time of publishing, prices are subject to increase).

16th - BE YOURSELF presents Past/Present/Future Classics with DJ Danny Tenaglia

17th - In Stereo with CHUS+CEBALLOS & Friends (Terrace & Loft) S.K.A.M Artists (Main Room)

19th - The list of parties is rather short on this day so we recommend you save some cheddar and make it a beach day. Oh and get to bed early if possible, the remaining day are about to get crazy!
25th - We couldn’t find anything under $30 on this day. It’s the last day of the festival, so plan on splurging a bit!


Aside from tickets, the things you will be spending your money on (in no particular order) are:

  • Drinks (by the pool, at lunch, during happy hour, at dinner, pre-partying, all night long in the club, mimosas at breakfast - REPEAT)
  • Meals
  • Hotel room supplies (snacks, alcohol, Gatorade, water, Pepto, Tums, etc.)
  • Maybe some shopping
  • But definitely cabs, cabs and more cabs!

I wish it was as easy as going through this list of items, assigning an amount to each, estimating how much of everything you will consume over however many days and nights that you will be there, and getting a grand total. Your best bet might be to give yourself a daily budget and try to stay within that the best you can (for example, I have $150 to spend in a 24 hour period). Even that is not fool-proof but it’s at least somewhere to start.

You have to remember Miami is one of the most expensive cities in the country to party in on any given weekend, never mind during WMC. Some may want to bring a little extra dinero to plan for for the unexpected. Say you lose one shoe at Space and need to buy yourself a new pair. Or you lend your sunglasses to your new best friend at Electric Pickle and you never see them again. You might have to factor in pitching in for a broke boyfriend, girlfriend or buddy. Or what if you meet the love of your life at Nikki Beach and you want to celebrate the amazing connection you guys have by buying him/her drink after drink? And for most, you will for sure have to take into consideration the fact that you will most likely be in an altered state of mind for the majority of the time that you are awake. This means you will probably forget you what the word budget means pretty soon into your trip.

Keep in mind, there are a lot of factors that will vary from one person to the next. For example, will you sit down each morning and have a plate of bacon, eggs and toast to start your day? Or will the Bloody Mary that you have at the first pool party count as your breakfast? Do you see yourself ordering lunch every day at the pool or might you just have a snack at the pool and grab a couple slices of pizza once you leave the pool party venue? Are you a big drinker where you like to drink all day and all night? Or will you limit your drinking during the day and go balls to the wall at night? Are you dying to hit the boutiques on Ocean Drive for a new outfit? Or maybe shopping is nowhere on your to-do list. Is one of your top priorities to experience the fine dining that South Beach has to offer? Or will you be ok hitting up the Dollar Menu at McDonald’s a couple nights for dinner?

There is no way for anyone but you to determine how much cash you will need for your trip. If it were me, I would get a general idea of how much I think I will need each day and then add a little more on top. To help with your guesstimating, here is some info to guide you:

DRINKS - Depending on the venue and what you order, drinks can range anywhere from $10-20 each. Let’s use a conservative example to put this into perspective. If you buy 5 drinks over the course of the day at the pool and 5 drinks throughout the night at the club, that will run you $100-$200 in just one day! Party people, be prepared to shell out a ridiculous amount of money on alcohol.

fZOO Money Saver Tip: – Liquor stores are hard to come by and the prices are just as outrageous as the drink prices at the clubs. To avoid buying the overpriced booze in Miami, you may want to consider bringing some alcohol with you. You can pack it safely and securely in your checked luggage (an unopened bottle of vodka, for example). Remember, federal travel regulations prohibit you from packing that much liquid in your carry-on luggage.

FOOD - When it comes to your meals, you definitely have a bit more control on your spending as compared to alcohol. If you are ok with grabbing quick meals (sandwich and chips, burger and fries, etc.) then it’s probably safe to estimate approximately $10-$12 per meal. If you want to have a casual sit-down meal (TGIF’s), then you can estimate about $20 per meal (not including alcohol). And if you want the 5-star dining experience, be prepared to spend a minimum of $75 on your meal (not including alcohol).

fZOO Money Saver Tip: If you stay in a hotel, do your best to avoid ordering room service and/or eating from the main restaurant as these options are typically over priced.

fZOO Money Saver Tip - Remember, in Miami, gratuity is always calculated for you and included in the total amount. If you don’t pay attention to this when the bill arrives, you could end up leaving a double tip and wasting your precious cash!

fZOO Money Saver Tip - A huge money saver is stocking up your hotel room with snacks, alcohol and water. If you have a mini fridge, you might want to consider buying a loaf of bread and some deli meat and making sandwiches in your room a couple times during your stay. This could save you on the expense of eating out and potentially the cab fare to get to/from the restaurant..

TRANSPORTATION – Hands down, this is the one expense that seems to blindside everyone at WMC. If you are not renting a car, then you are relying on cabs or public transportation and it adds up quickly! For example, a cab to/from the pool party then to/from the club later that night (depending on what part of the city you are staying in and how many friends you are splitting the cab with) could mean you are spending anywhere from $20-$40 per day no problem.

fZOO Money Saver Tip - If you can plan ahead a take the bus on a few occasions, your wallet will thank you. The Miami-Dade Public Transportation system is both reliable and affordable. Prices start at $1.25 per ride and many metrobuses run 24-hours a day. And if you are trying to get around South Beach, why not hop on the South Beach Local Bus? It’s air-conditioned, is scheduled to arrive every 10-15 minutes at its many stops, and only costs 25-cents! I’m sure there are lots of South Beach cabbies that wish I didn’t share that with you!

I think everyone will agree, the smart thing to do is to have a general idea of your budget before you go. But the fact of the matter is, it’s going to get messy, it’s going to get wild, and consequently, you are going to blow more money than you think you will. But it will all be worth it!

If you haven’t booked your accommodations yet, check out our Hotel/Condo guide for Miami & WMC.

Related posts:

  1. How much to budget for WMC and Miami Music Week
  2. Winter Music Festival 2012 Party Guide
  3. New Years Eve 2012 Party Guide - Miami
  4. Miami Music Week/WMC/Ultra Music Festival 2012 - Hotel & Condo Guide
  5. Electric Pickle - DILLicious WMC Party Guide 2012

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