When Dave Daniels opened Churchill's Pub September 1, 1979, he probably didn't think it would still be thriving in Little Haiti 37 years later. But in 2016, the place is still standing. The Soviet Union has broken up, vinyl has died and been revived, and Churchill's is still pouring cold beers over loud music. "We've had so many amazing venues close over the years — we've had no choice but to continue to be Miami's home for live music," says Ian Michael, who handles the booking at Churchill's. Michael wrangled 100 bands to play at Churchill's birthday extravaganza over the course of five nights, this Thursday through Monday. "We work with some of the best people in South Florida who present music. We want to showcase all of them over the weekend," Michael says.
Many of the acts that will play at the venue's three stages will be selected by different Miami music luminaries, Michael explains. "Look Alive Fest will be curating a stage. Oski [Gonzalez], who did the music at Tobacco Road, will be curating a stage. Sunday night, from the patio stage, Shake 108 will live-broadcast their Locals Love Show from the event."
Churchill's is also allowing many of the organizers of its popular nights to have some say in the bill. The venue's weekly open-mike night, Words & Wine, will take over the patio stage. Radio Bemba will showcase the best of Latin rock and punk. Churchill's monthly acoustic night will offer a quieter alternative, and, of course, Rat Bastard will present lots and lots of noise.
The Little Haiti dive bar is one of Miami's most interesting places.
Photo by Alex Markow
With an eclectic musical smorgasbord showing off everything from the psychedelic funk of Telekinetic Walrus to the Puerto Rican rock of Message to Venus, Michael is proud of the diversity that Churchill's is representing all these decades later. "I've been coming here my whole life. I remember back in '99, I went to an IDM noise show, and it was the first time I saw Churchill's use multiple stages. Now we’re running most nights with three rooms of entertainment."
Some feared Dave Daniels departure would ruin Churchill's.
Photo by Alex Markow
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A couple of years ago, when Daniels sold Churchill's, there was
Churchill's Pub Celebrates 37th Anniversary with Everymen, Askultura, and many others. 8 p.m. Thursday, September 1, to Monday, September 5, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1800; churchillspub.com. No cover.