SAFE Miami is turning 5 years old.
That fact might mean something if you're a regular New Times reader, because this publication has been following the tastemaking electronic-dance music promotion team since the beginning. And it'll definitely mean something to you if you're a regular on the local underground EDM scene, which in recent years has grown tremendously thanks in no small part to SAFE's efforts.
"[Our] original concept was to create private, intimate underground music experiences with a fine, full-range sound system," cofounder Diego Martinelli explains. "[They] would feature mostly unknown artists who were friends of ours. Our main focus was the quality of the experiences, from the smallest to the most obvious of details.
SAFE Miami's Fifth-Anniversary Weekend
SAFE Miami's Fifth-Anniversary Weekend, with DJ Koze, Maya Jane Coles, Claude VonStroke, Omar S, Eats Everything, and James Holden. 10 p.m. Thursday, August 30, through Sunday, September 2, at the Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-456-5613; electricpicklemiami.com. Weekend passes cost $80 plus fees via safe.brownpapertickets.com. Ages 21 and up.
"We envisioned people would be invited by association, that sort of thing. At the time, we felt it was risky and somewhat impractical to execute," he says. "But the first SAFE event happened in 2007.
"In the few years leading up to it, we kept developing the idea as we witnessed Miami's cultural curve become gradually more favorable to what we envisioned," Martinelli recalls. "And now SAFE is about community and celebrating underground music. It's about improbable connections that manifest themselves through the nights.
"Most important, it's about the collective experience and the vibe," he insists. "The vibe is everything." And those collective experiences and that vibe (plus the quality international bookings) are precisely what has made SAFE parties so memorable.
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Most serious Miami party people should fondly remember the greatest hits, including beloved label Ghostly International's tenth-anniversary party during Art Basel 2009, as well as epic WMC lineups such as Flying Circus, Listed Plays It SAFE, and Last Resort.
But Martinelli and team are also busy year-round, holding down a residency at the Electric Pickle while constantly booking international house and techno luminaries such as Danny Howells, Lee Burridge, Steve Lawler, and Cassy. The collective even launched its own weekly show on Wynwood Radio last month.
With that kind of track record, die-hard following, and nonstop work ethic, it's hardly surprising that SAFE is going all out for its fifth-anniversary party plans — a long weekend's worth of world-class music hosted by the Pickle.