III Points: "All About Connecting People"
III Points founders David Sinopoli (left) and Erica Freshman (middle) with Bardot owner Amir Ben-Zion.
Photo by Sarah K Moody
"Maybe it was crazy. But we believed."
Out of nowhere in the summer of 2013, Miami's David Sinopoli and Erica Freshman unveiled their vision for something called III Points, a sprawling three-day festival that aimed to unite our city's disparate creative communities -- and perhaps even help forge the future of the Magic City's cultural identity.
Over the course of a weekend in October, this enterprise would take over galleries, bars, and warehouse spaces throughout Dade County's hippest neighborhood, Wynwood. It would boast bold-name international DJs and bands, alongside local musicians and noisemakers. It would stage interactive exhibitions, graffiti seminars, strange happenings. And it would lure programmers, hackers, and gamers to dark rooms for workshops and hangouts.
"Music, art, and tech -- those were, are, and will always be the core principles of III Points," Sinopoli says, as if repeating some mystic mantra.
No doubt, this fest sounded awesome. But it also seemed quite possibly overambitious. And yet, with only three and a half months, the organizers spun the whole thing together.
"Last year, we were just catching up to our own idea," Sinopoli admits, recalling the 100-day scramble to sort out the thousand details of III Points' inaugural edition. "But there was this moment when everything synced up."
The most significant clinching factors for the debut festival were commitments and support from a few major players on the alternative music scene, including British independent record label Young Turks and the Red Bull Music Academy, as well as James Murphy, the DFA Records co-founder and former LCD Soundsystem frontman.
"The first big score was Young Turks," Sinopoli remembers. "We were at Coachella and we were hanging out with them. They were just our friends at that time, but they heard our idea, and they said, 'Jamie xx is down.' So alright -- we knew we had a headliner.
"Then the next development that made us say, 'Wow, this is happening,' was Red Bull, and they brought in James Murphy. Just like boom, boom. And it was on."
See also: III Points 2014's Activation Schedule
Triangles, the event's official logo, appeared on sidewalks. The streets of Wynwood were swarmed. The fest was a success. And now, after a full 12 months of conscientious planning and intense prep, III Points is set to return for another 72-hour blitz of music, art, and tech.
"It's amazing to be back," Freshman says. "Especially since this is a homegrown venture that's so carefully curated and locally involved. We're not trying to produce something just for the masses. We don't book music, art, or tech talent just because of the tickets that they'll sell. We want to bring the world to Miami. And we want to bring Miami to the world."
Simpatico with those sentiments, the Young Turks crew and Jamie XX are back too. So are the Red Bull Music Academy folks, who've recruited Flying Lotus, the Brainfeeder label boss and experimental producer-rapper, for this year's festival.
Among the other 2014 musical headliners playing III Points' Mainframe, Mindmelt, Spaceskate, and S3ctor 3 stages at Soho Studios in Wynwood, there will be Swedish indie-pop goddess Lykke Li, New York City neo-disco demigods Hercules & Love Affair, and British dance dynamo Duke Dumont, along with Hot Creations mastermind Jamie Jones, experimental electronic quartet Metronomy, and notable locals like Jacuzzi Boys, Lazaro Casanova, Austin Paul, Millionyoung, Krisp, Ketchy Shuby, and Telekinetic Walrus and the Pride of Ions.
Meanwhile, Miami's clubs will be overrun by satellite parties, the galleries will be mobbed by artsy hordes, and the warehouses will be invaded by computer nerds in skinny jeans -- even as uninitiated III Pointers squint at surreptitiously scrawled triangles on city sidewalks, wondering about the significance of three-pointed polygons.
"We have consulted with many individuals who have access to the spiritual realm and they've spoken to us about the meanings behind the triangle," Sinopoli jokes. "Everyone has a different opinion. And you can dig deep into connections with pyramids or aliens or messianic cults.
"But," the III Points co-founder laughs, "we don't personally subscribe to anything too weird. We just think of the it as a beautiful, balanced symbol of this cultural movement in Miami that we, the festival, our collaborators, and the attendees embody.
"Our triangle is all about connecting people."
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III Points Festival 2014. Friday to Sunday, October 10 to 12. Soho Studios, 136 NW First Ave., Miami, and various other locations. Three-day general admission tickets cost $99 to $120 plus fees. Single-day passes cost $55 to $66 plus fees. Visit iiipoints.com.
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