Miami's Best Concert of the Week: The Overtown Music and Arts Festival

Melanie Fiona performs at last year's festival.
Melanie Fiona performs at last year's festival.
Photo by A Freeman Photography

Now in its sixth year, the Overtown Music and Arts Festival is one of the city's biggest gatherings of art and culture outside of the annual Calle Ocho Fest. The free event features blocks' worth of local art, food, and music, with this year's headliners including Estelle, Jeremih, Kelly Price, Eric Benet, and more.

There's perhaps nowhere more culturally rich and historically significant in Miami than Overtown. Designated as the home for the city's black population during the days of segregation, Overtown became an essential visit for artists and athletes of color who found themselves in South Florida. 

Muhammad Ali shadowboxed in the pool of Overtown's Sir John Hotel. Artists and musicians like Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Nat King Cole often returned to sleep in Overtown after gigs in white areas of Miami where, legally, black people could not spend the night.  

The city still faces its share of adversity, marred by poverty, crime, and apathy from the wealthier, more  powerful parts of Miami. But if there's one thing Overtown knows how to do, it is overcome. The annual Music and Arts Festival is a shining example of the beauty and talent brewing within one of Miami's most historic neighborhoods. 

The Overtown Music and Arts Festival with Estelle, Jeremih, Kelly Price, Tito Puente, Jr., and more. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 23, in the Overtown Business District, NW Third Ave. between Eighth and 11th streets; 786-­529-­4586; overtownmusicartsfestival.com. Admission is free; all ages.


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