Greatest Day Ever! Festival in Wynwood Was Pretty Dope

A fire-breather charms the crowd.
A fire-breather charms the crowd.
Photo by Alex Markow

Saturday at LMNT was the Greatest Day Ever!

All right, maybe it wasn’t literally the greatest day ever. But when you name your party Greatest Day Ever!, you’re at least guaranteed some sweet social updates. The Brooklyn-born minifest made its debut in Wynwood this past weekend. And it was definitely a pretty dope day. We’d especially give it points for being one of the more adventurous and conceptual single-day events in recent Miami history, but we think the GDE crew needs a little more practice before this bash can live up to its name.

What is immediately cool about Greatest Day Ever! is the carnival theme. As we walked through security and into the outdoor lot, patrons were greeted with brightly colored amusements. The games were free, which meant anyone could take their turn at making baskets, popping balloons, or testing their strength. There was also plenty of free cotton candy with which to stain your tongue blue and bring on heavy waves of nostalgia.

Brenmar worked the crowd to life at Greatest Day Ever!
Brenmar worked the crowd to life at Greatest Day Ever!
Photo by Alex Markow

Milling about the crowd were stilt walkers and fire breathers, but Greatest Day Ever! isn’t really a carnival. It’s about beats and bass and booties, and musically speaking, GDE was of a pretty high caliber. DJs and producers were the main event, but there was no EDM to be had. Greatest Day Ever! is for the hip-hop heads and those seeking nothing but dope beats.

We got there as Brenmar churned out the heat under a gray sky threatening storms, though the rain thankfully never came. Inside, Miami’s Louie Arson worked the sound system for all it was worth as he tried to rally a thin early crowd. It was supposed to be an all-day affair, but the party people were definitely running on Miami time.

The girls get low to dancehall riddims from Ape Drums.
The girls get low to dancehall riddims from Ape Drums.
Photo by Alex Markow

Heads trickled in slowly as Ape Drums took the main stage. A drone flashed green and red, filming the party from above, as dancers got low to dancehall riddims. People sucked fruit-flavored smoke through makeshift portable hookahs. The bars were one show that never had trouble drawing a crowd, and the empanada trucks made sure munchies were always on hand.

Around 8 p.m., Salva took control. “I wanna see hands up from every motherfucker right now, or I'ma stop the music,” he announced as he teased Kanye West’s “All Day.” “I’m not fucking around right now!”

Partiers played free carnival games for prizes.
Partiers played free carnival games for prizes.
Photo by Alex Markow

Salva's attitude kicked the day's somewhat lazy vibe into a higher gear, and by the time hip-hop legend Just Blaze took over, the crowd was letting loose. Maybe people had finally got enough to drink, maybe it was because the sun had finally set, but what had been a sort of an awkward slow build had finally reached its peak. It’s not hard to have a great time when you’ve got a few hundred people singing along to Jay Z's megahits.

After Blaze, people started drifting inside to hear local boy Silent Addy deliver more fire dancehall, not unlike the stuff he drops Thursday nights at the Garret at Grand Central in downtown Miami. By 10:30, most of GDE’s partiers had moved indoors, which was somewhat strange since it’s kind of a big deal when Montreal’s Lunice comes to town. He’s one-half of TNGHT and possibly the most entertaining of all the names on the Greatest Day Ever! bill. But Miami doesn’t have the same tastes as Brooklyn, and dancehall won the sheer numbers game while Lunice's set was underattended.

Just Blaze delivered the set of the night.
Just Blaze delivered the set of the night.
Photo by Alex Markow

As midnight arrived, the party officially moved inside because of city sound ordinances, and the crowd filled up LMNT's back room for a smaller yet still hype get-down. But after opening too early for 305ers, Greatest Day Ever! also closed too early for 305ers, scheduled to end at 2:15 instead of running through to 5 a.m. like most Miami parties. It was a good attempt to throw a kick-ass party, and people were definitely having fun, but next year’s fest could cater to our city’s specific needs a bit more.

Miami is in need of cool concept parties, but we’re frustratingly hard to motivate, and free cotton candy isn’t quite enough. Still, any day you get to hear great music, hang with great people, and win a plushie frog is far from the worst day ever. With a little finesse, it could totally be the Greatest Day Ever!


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