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Dear Ricardo Guerrero: Ten Reasons Why Miami Venues Don't Suck Dick

​Recently, Crossfade covered local musician and promoter Ricardo Guerrero's declaration that "Miami Venues Suck Dick."

The scintillating article managed to pile up a total of 117 comments. Some people agreed with Guerrero's statement. Others tried to offer suggestions to grow this little scene.

It's a classic underground music fight, and it's funny to see that the argument never evolves. Either way, here are ten reasons why Miami venues don't suck dick.

10. Options, Options, Options

Grand Central, The Vagabond, Eve, Bardot, Transit Lounge, Churchill's Pub, Tina Hills Pavilion, Electric Pickle, Tobacco Road, Polish American Club, The Stage, PAX, Purdy Lounge, 71 Lounge, Jazid, Buck 15, and the list goes on.

If anyone thinks there aren't good venue options in Miami, they lack imagination. Not to mention, for every club that closes down (RIP Soho Lounge, The District, Pawn Shop), five more open (hello Vagabond, Bardot, White Room/Eve, Circa 28/Electric Pickle, Grand Central, etc.). And considering the size of this city's music scene, there's more than enough to go around.

9. The Party Never Has To Stop

Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and a lot of other major metropolitan cities have mandated last call. Could anyone imagine Miami nights always ending at 2 a.m.? The best part of any Friday or Saturday happens way after 4 a.m., right? Is the night really complete if you can't walk out of a venue and watch the sun come up?

8. This Could Be Your Life

Many of Miami's biggest names in local music started in the bowels of the city's nightlife. Whether it was the door guy at Cheers, a house party DJ, the booking agent at Hard Rock Cafe, or a small time promoter at Club 5922, the opportunity to do something great in this city is there for the taking. All anyone has to do is work for it and it can be accomplished. Ask a New York City door guy if he feels the same way.

7. One of Us

​A byproduct of owners and promoters building their careers from the bottom up is that they still act like they're one of the crowd. In other cities, these people sit behind velvet ropes, looking down on the regular people they make their money from. But stand at the bar of an underground venue in downtown Miami and there's a good chance you'll see the venue's owner partying alongside the patrons.

6. We'll Try Anything

Miami fans support the things they love. Whether it's the house parties thrown by bands like Bulletproof Tiger or a newbie promoter putting together his first show, people will show up. Sure, they may lose interest fast. But "willing to try anything once" doesn't just apply to hard drugs.

5. When You're In, You're In

One would think the cutthroat nightclub industry would be lacking loyalty. But it's totally the opposite. Working in a venue is like working with group of friends.

Don't think this holds true for only the crew who keep cups filled and trash off the floor. Bands who play in venues get asked to play over and over again. Believe it or not, venues actually give a shit about supporting local music, even if it isn't the most profitable or popular thing to do.

As Grand Central co-owner Mario Arango says: "We have done nothing but support the local scene and have had growing numbers in attendance for our free local showcases which is a very positive thing for Miami. We'll keep supporting the locals."

4. Everybody Knows Your Name

There may not be a guy named Norm, but there's definitely a six-foot tranny whose nipples have been X-ed out with black tape. Spending time in a Miami venue means getting to know most of the people involved in the Miami art scene. Is it because of the size of the "community"? Possibly. But even so, the beauty of this scene is that it's full of artists and creative minds. And going out is more than just an excuse to get trashed, it also means meeting a parade of interesting people.

3. Like Getting Blood From a Stone

Sad reality moment: To a venue, booking local bands is tantamount to a pity fuck with an ex-girlfriend who put on 20 pounds. The dark and dirty secret of live music promotion is that there really isn't that much money to be made from it.

Bands complain constantly about the money they don't make because they look at the audience and think the entrance fee should go directly into the bass player's pockets. Of course, they rarely stop to think of all the other expenses that go into putting on a live show: sound engineers, flyer costs, door person, security, stage equipment, and other band's guarantees. Trust me, no one is swimming in a giant vault of gold coins after putting together a live music show.

Nonetheless, venues still keep putting up bands. Not to mention...

2. C'mon, Do You Really Pay?

Every single person on the scene knows a bartender, a door guy, a DJ, a security guard, a band, a promoter, an owner, whatever. People who pay covers are people who don't spend much time around the bars and clubs of Miami. True scenesters get into wherever they want because everyone knows everyone.

1. Necessity Is the Mother of All Invention

No musician in their right mind thinks they're going to get discovered in Miami. There's no Knitting Factory here, no Mercury Room, no Bowery Ballroom, no Whiskey A Go-Go. Thankfully Charles Darwin taught that in an environment devoid of resources, survival of the fittest dictates that only the best will survive. So while small, Miami is incredibly talented. Whether bands know it or not, venues try their best to put that talent out there, not because they have to, but because they want to.

"The interesting thing to note about the Miami music scene is its untapped potential that has not been fully exploited yet," explains Illia Tulloch, drummer for Astari Nite, Fevers, Keeper, etc. "Even though we may have had some notable and sporadic periods of growth, I think it's exciting to catch something in its infancy. It allows the people to guide and mold it into something which will reflect them directly. And for that, I am proud to be a part of its culture."

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.


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