You may take for granted that Miami is a great dance music mecca, but there's a lot of work that goes into it. Big-name DJs don't just decide to come to town. They've got to be invited, and then provided for and paid and all that backstage business shit. Same with the underground acts, and in that case, you've really got to know your shit, and know your audience.
It's hard to make it in the Magic City, and it's often a thankless game. It's about time we took a moment to celebrate those promotional groups keeping the 305 in the list of must-see dance hubs. Thanks for all the good times, bruhs.
See also: South Beach's Ten Best Dance Clubs
Photo by Ian Witlen
Most promotion companies are satisfied sticking to the club scene, but not this new kid on the block. 3P is what happens when the booking minds of Bardot step outside the box. If you think they sound familiar, it's because it's essentially a shortened version of III Points, the Wynwood music, art, and technology fest that made their name. They're also behind big Art Basel performances, like last year's Darkside set at Mana, as well as Boy George and Kendrick Lamar. Maybe we're a little biased, we are partnering with them for this year's III Points, but we'd bet 3P will set up big-time bi-annual events, and maybe more, for years to come.
Photo by Alex Markow
This underground house mainstay has been a big part of the Miami music scene for seven years. That's like, basically forever in club terms. To stick around so long, you have to be doing more than something right. Maybe it's that they bring the unexpected, and their legion of dedicated fans has come to recognize that whatever they bring, it will be well worth the ticket price. When you're ready to move deeper than the EDM scene and get to discovering real house vibes, let SAFE be your professor.
See also: Downtown Miami's Five Best Dance Clubs
Photo by Daniel De Las Casas
3. Slap & Tickle
These dudes bring the perfect mix of hip and underground to the tables. It's not so pretentious as not to be danceable, but listing their out of town bookings will impress even the snootiest of your house-loving friends. They bring the up-and-comers mixing groove with funk, think Duke Dumont, Anna Lunoe, The Magician. They're keeping E11even's rooftop lounge cool every Saturday night, but their flagship Tuesday at Bardot is the real must-see.
Photo by: George Martinez
2. Link/Miami Rebels
Link and Miami Rebels are real Kings of the underground. That being said, they throw a lot of parties at less-than-underground locations, but that word is so up to interpretation these days. Sure, they're not technically the same company, but it's like when you're referring to that couple that's always together. You can't just say one of them. They took the Dirtybird crew from rare breed to frequent flyer in this city, and their weekly bombardment of must-see house DJs to Story and Trade have made them a damn-near household name. Way to kill it, dudes.
Photo by: George Martinez
Poplife is the rare bird that's old and hip enough to make the 30-something crowd all misty-eyed, yet young and raw enough to get an 18-and-up crowd foaming at the mouth. These party vets will book it all, from trap to dubstep, electro to indie. But whatever the act, you can bet it's top quality and high in demand. They've got their finger on the pulse, and the beat is good.
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