Calle Ocho is the biggest, livest street party in the whole United States and represents the real Miami to the fullest.
Members of every nation including Cubanos, Boricuas, Nicas, Catrachos, Zuelans, Boludos, Zoes, Bajans, Trinis, Jamaicans, Chilangos, Norteños, Sureños, Truchas, Gringos, even tourists -- not to mention the rich and poor of every race and age -- flooded the MIA's famous SW Eighth Street to eat, drink, dance, and party to all kinds of music.
Here's a music video we made from the day featuring music by Techmaster PEB because we were so inspired by the outpouring of musical energy and the everflowing river of bass that is the city of Miami.
There were so many people on the street we probably outpopulated the states of Rhode Island, Iowa, and South Dakota combined. The weather was cool, thanks to intermittent sunshowers. And then every so often, a golden-hued glow threw down the heat.
The first thing we saw when we got there was a bunch of people dancing salsa in a parking lot.
They were twirling like gyroscopes. They were spinning like whirling dervishes. They threw eachother around and traded more partners than swingers at Miami Velvet. If there would have been rug there, they would have cut it. As it was, their footwear left burnt rubber on the asphalt.
The entire festival was like one giant conga line soundtracked by everything from Pitbull to country, salsa, hip-hop, finca music, booty bass. And as you walked between avenues, the festival had its own genius mix to accomodate the masses.
The action never stopped, the energy never waned, the atmosphere was charged with the energy of thousands of hundreds of trillions of party molecules.
When Flo Rida hit the stage, the crowd went crazy. But they didn't want to hear "Wild One," which he thanked Power 96 for making number one in the world. They wanted to hear "Boots With the Fur," and they sang along to every word.
We saw Miami 5-0 handle business on a couple of folks. This dude probably got arrested. Another one got body-slammed to the pavement. The cops high-fived eachother and probably met their quota.
The greatest mass of energy felt concentrated at 17th Avenue. We were glad to see !Mayday! come correct with their street promotion. That pole directly behind the flag is stacked top to bottom with album release posters for the band. Street promotion lives, way to go dudes.
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But the best music of the festival came from the streets. Every half a block, a different band of drummers, singers, percussionists, dancers, and instrumentalists gathered to cheer each other on and make live music for the festival. It was all improvised on the spot and kept it more real than any of the artists on any of the big stages.
The Calle Ocho festival is awesome. See ya next year.