Best Reggae Club Miami 2006 - Madhouse at Bayside Hut
Let's make something clear right off the bat, people. "Madhouse is a party, not a place," says event organizer Marlon Whiteman, one of the members of the Trini South Boyz party syndicate. The confusion arose back when the Key Biscayne establishment Bayside Hut was known as Madfish House. At night the party promoters would remove fish so that the glowing red sign worked as a beacon for legions of Caribbean partiers. Among the island immigrant ranks, Madhouse became a must every Friday night. Famously decadent events took place, including many of the best-attended Miami Carnaval parties, bigtime reggae concerts featuring the likes of Elephant Man and Capleton, and last year's notorious Fourth of July Wet Fete, in which revelers were soaked with fire hoses, water guns, and water balloons. Then the organizers of the popular weekly bash came across some drama that led to relocation issues. "We went to Bongos first, and we spent three weeks there before we realized we had to move again. To put hype on it, I came up with the idea of taking the party on the road. So right now we're in Fort Lauderdale at Club Ole Ole," Whiteman explains. "But Madhouse has always been a Miami-based promotion. We on the road right now; we're enjoying it for the moment. But you never know what tomorrow might bring," the charming party-thrower quips. Madhouse's local base has dwindled somewhat in the face of the daunting trek to Broward, and the party is destined to return to Miami-Dade in the near future. Although Marlon Whiteman remains coy about the party's prospective destinations, he admits his ideal venue is one that combines indoor heat with outdoorsy space. "That venue in Key Biscayne was like our first child, and your first will always be your favorite. Unless the child messes up as he gets older and becomes a crackhead or something," he laughs. "But still, your love for that one will always be the strongest. In the parties we throwing now, the vibe isn't how it used to be," he confesses. For now, reggae revelers will continue to venture north for their weekly fix. But we light a candle and hope Madhouse will come home soon, to the Miami bay where it's meant to be.