"Global Gathering Miami is a test vessel," says Nick McCabe, coproducer of the event. "This first year, we may not even make a profit; we just want to put on such a great show, create such a great experience, that it will spread nationwide." Indeed this event is a very well-financed experiment in which, according to McCabe, "all the money goes front stage for the people, not backstage for VIP rooms.... It's all about the audience."
The festival will cross genres to include rock music along with electronica and DJ-based acts, creating even more diversity. Each of the festival's five arenas will be a world unto itself, all containing their own superstar musicians from around the globe.
The B-Live Beach Stage is the festival's rock venue, attracting not only the iconic Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie, who are expected to pull in more than 10,000 concertgoers on their own, but also talented up-and-comers like hard-rock quintet Flyleaf. "If one of our songs is urgent or angry or frustrated or in love, you'll hear it," says Lacey Mosley, Flyleaf's soft-spoken lead singer. "I'm just so excited about this festival.... This is a like a dream come true."
Global Gathering takes place beginning at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 18, at Bicentennial Park, 1075 Biscayne Blvd, Miami. Tickets are $55 in advance, $65 the day of the show, and are available through www.globalg atheringfestival.com
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The excitement seems contagious. "I'm on pins and needles," says Brent Smith, lead singer of the Shinedown, who describes his group as "a pure rock band, with big guitars and raw energy ... ready to get up there and throw down." Also performing on the B-Live Stage will be Bullet for My Valentine, metal superstars Coheed and Cambria, the melodic pop-punk Alkaline Trio, the politically conscious Rise Against, death metalists Killswitch Engage, and the gritty, loud, female-led Lacuna Coil.
The Downtown Stage will feature, among others, dance legends Sasha and John Digweed. "The whole festival is very strong, and with bands like Nine Inch Nails, the whole thing will be great and very diverse," Digweed says. "Also this will be a much bigger crowd than I normally play, so I will definitely adjust to it." Award-winning producer and DJ Ferry Corsten will also be spinning his ethereal, dance-inducing sounds, alongside Holland-born Armin van Buuren, who firmly holds the number three spot in the prestigious public-voted DJ Top 100. Electronic heroes the Crystal Method, who recently DJed the Independent Spirit Awards, will perform, as well as Jonathan Peters, George Acosta, and local favorite Stryke.
The Biscayne Tent will be headlined by Ali "Dubfire" Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi a.k.a. Deep Dish the Iranian-born, deep-house sensations whose performance at last year's Ultra Music Festival was one of the most galvanizing. Innovative dance music DJ/producer/remixer Steve Lawler and Grammy-winner Roger Sanchez will also perform, accompanied by sets from Murk, Charles Feelgood, Dean Coleman, Cedric Gervais, Franco Fabi, Ivano Bellini, Tom De Neef, and Denny Tsettos.
The Global Beats Tent will feature the amazing, experimental, danceable, and beautiful sounds of Adam Freeland. This tent is perfect for those seeking cool, lounge-style music. Freeland's sound draws from not only electronic and dance but also hip-hop, world, classical, and soul. Freeland will be in good company with electro-breakist Freq Nasty and the innovative Evil Nine, who have worked with the likes of Aesop Rock and Toastie Taylor. Also spinning will be New York DJ sensation K-Swing, whom Freeland calls "the best undiscovered DJ"; Merlyn, the funky breakbeat artist; and old-school dance specialist Ash Rock.