Last month, while most of Miami was busy preparing for the clusterfuck of Hurricane Matthew and III Points, a Facebook event page started to make the rounds online. The event was called House of Creatives Music Festival, and it boasted an impressive lineup for such a low-key announcement: the Flaming Lips, Crystal Castles, Empress Of, Shigeto, Breakbot, Jean Tonique, and more. The two-day concert was scheduled to take place November 18 and 19 at the North Beach Bandshell — not a venue known for housing an event of this stature.
Though the first-time festival may have raised a few eyebrows in suspicion, it thankfully was not a hoax. Instead, the inaugural House of Creatives Music Festival was actually years in the making, according to operations manager Carlos Aybar.
Aybar and his team at House of Creatives have experience when it comes to putting on concerts. House of Creatives is the relatively new media branch of its parent company Mishu Music — a record label, publisher, and events company formerly based in New York. For the last four years, Mishu has been throwing a flagship festival in the Dominican Republic called Isle of Light, which has enjoyed a steady stream of success thanks to bookings like Chromeo, Run the Jewels, Twin Shadow, and Neon Indian.
"The success of that festival is what really prompted us to give it a shot in the U.S.," says Aybar.
"We see Miami with a lot of room to grow," Aybar says, so much so that
"But Miami does have that room to grow," Aybar says. "Some of these bands skip Florida altogether; some of these bands only hit Orlando." One of those bands that
Since the initial announcement, the festival has added Cold War Kids to the lineup. The California band will headline the first day of the festival, Friday, November 18, along with Breakbot, Pompeya, the Drums, XAXO, Hunters of the Alps, the Moon Caravan, Grey 8s, and Freckles. On Saturday, Flaming Lips and Crystal Castles close the night out with help from Empress Of, Shigeto, Jean Tonique, and more.
There are also some locals on the bill, which is something Aybar says was important to House of Creatives. South Florida acts include Grey 8s, Hunters of the Alps, the Moon Caravan, Freckles, Artofficial, Los Walters, and Millionyoung.
"We definitely want to make a statement," Aybar says. "And we want to bring acts that wouldn't necessarily come down here."
Aybar anticipates capacity to be somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000, depending on a few fencing details that are still in the works. It will certainly be a squeeze for the Bandshell, a venue that has a legal capacity of 1,483, but House of Creatives has locked up additional space at the park behind the Bandshell to accommodate crowds. A map of the grounds will be made available before the festival on hocfest.com.
With such an intimate crowd, House of Creatives is certainly a departure from large-scale Miami music festivals like Ultra, III Points, or Rolling Loud. "We see these as boutique festivals. We see them as very finely curated festivals and specific for the market," Aybar says. "There's other ways to make a lot of money, but we want to do something that's more in tune with our demographic, our generation, and the kind of music we actually listen to. We're actual fans of all these artists."
Both single ($55 to $70, plus fees) and two-day tickets ($110 plus fees) are currently available via flavorus.com, and Aybar says — despite the poor timing of the festival announcement — reception and ticket sales have been strong.
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Though he can't share specific sales numbers, he offers this as an official answer: "So far, so good."