The Ultra Music Festival Miami has been considered the “Best Music Event” by the International Dance Music Awards for years (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, to be exact). The Ibiza DJ Awards called it the “Best International Dance Music Festival” in 2008. But what really happens at the Ultra Music Fest will finally be unveiled on the big screen for all to see in the documentary Can U Feel It. The movie features interviews with the most well-known and knowledgeable DJs in the world, such as Tiesto, David Guetta, Carl Cox, AfroJack, Fedde Le Grand and Boys Noize. Of course, there's also the jaw-dropping scenes of the world's biggest and talked-about outdoor dance party.
Charly Friedrichs has been Fedde Le Grand's videographer since 2008. The first time he worked with him in 2008, they went to Ultra. It was Friedrich's first time, and that's where the story begins. Coming from Europe, Friedrichs has seen many amazing festivals, but Ultra was unlike anything he had seen before. “The weather, the line up; it is the Olympics of dance music,” he explained over the phone. “My first thought was, if I ever get to film this festival, it would be a dream project for me.”
One man's dream and millions of peoples lives will be shown during the premiere the documentary at the Ultra Music Festival. But Can U Feel It will also screen at theaters around the US on Thursday, with a special one night screening for the EDM movement.
To those who think Can U Feel It is just another boring documentary with a bunch of voiceovers, think again. Friedrichs put a year of his life into this project, and he now says, “I'm curious to see how traditional media reacts to it. It's always been a more underground thing, whenever the mainstream media picked up EDM, they always wrote about someone dying or a riot. They never once about thousands of fans having fun.”
He adds, “I think this movie is the moment in time, exactly, when the breakthrough of EDM merges with the global masses.” It's also a way for audiences to get the Ultra experience without actually going to Miami. “When you see the scenes for yourself, it's like you are in the DJ booth. You will get Dolby feel with the bass and will feel the CO2,” he says, adding, “When parents see this, they will understand why their kids love it (EDM) so much.”
This movie is also about what EDM brings to the music world.The Ultra Music Festival is the mecca of EDM, and all the biggest names are telling their story in this movie. “It's not a behind the scenes of Tiesto, David Guetta, Laidback Luke and Carl Cox. You will be in the DJ booth and they all tell their Ultra Music Fest story. It's not a dub over,” Friedrichs says.
“The movie is exactly an hour, which is how long a DJ set is at Ultra. The movie is music driven. Normally in a documentary, it's based on the story then the music. This one is surrounded by the music. The movie is like a DJ set with a story in it.”
“It's a rockumentary,” he quipped. “Not with rock, but it's meant to rock you.” Friedrichs says he hopes fans will not be able stay in their seats during the movie.
“I think this is something you will have to see…this one-night-only thing will not be enough” Friedrichs compares the rise of EDM with his movie. He explained that EDM gained its popularity over the internet, and DJs have a special bond with the fans by connecting via the internet through which fans were able to share their favorite songs. “Hopefully this movie will be shared by the fans,” Friedrichs says. The goal, after all, is world wide distribution. “I'm already getting a lot of tweets about it not coming to the UK. It's unique to have this movie premier in America because It has taken over 30 years for dance music to be accepted in America. Just six months ago, no mainstream media covered EDM. Now Skrillex is winning Grammys and Simon Cowell has a DJ show.”
Friedrichs chose the title very carefully. Can U Feel It is from a very old song by Mr. Fingers entitled “Can You Feel It”–and many say is the song that house music originated from. The title commands people to make a decision to embrace dance music, Friedrichs says.
Thought this movie was shot at Ultra Music Fest 2011, It's not a movie about Ultra Music Fest 2011. Friedrics said, “It's pretty timeless. The music i chose is not a bunch of 2011 music hits. It says more and it doesn't really matter if you go in 2012, 2013 or 2014.” There is a variety of music choices made by Friedrics, including Avicii's “Levels”. He feels that it is the core of 2011, that combines the breakthrough of EDM.
Can U Feel It is showing in Orange County on tomorrow at Aliso Viejo 20, Downtown Disney 12, Irvine Spectrum 20, Orange 30, Orange Stadium Promenade 25 and Tustin Legacy 14.
Like Heard Mentality on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @ocweeklymusic!