Miami is a vibrant city. It might even be described as colorful. And come November, it's about to get drenched in color - literally.
What originated in India as part of a Hindu tradition has inspired a festival of colors, which brings together people, music, and entertainment: the Holi One Color Festival. Though Holi One has no religious affiliation, some might consider electronic music and a large crowd sharing an experience as proof of a higher power.
Making its way to the states for the first time ever, Holi One is coming to Wynwood on Saturday, November 30. Basically, here's what will go down: thousands of people will get together to listen to DJs spin electronic music, and every hour you'll have the opportunity to toss different colored powder. Guests are encouraged to dress all in white and leave multicolored.
Think of it as the Color Run, but without all that pesky exercise.
Carlos Mormeneo, a partner of Holi One, describes the experience as powerful. "The concept of people of all walks of life, of different races and backgrounds, coming together to have fun dancing to great music amidst blasts of colored powder, then emerging the same - all colored - is a powerful one." He tells us how the event has been previously held in the UK, Germany, South Africa, Costa Rica, and Brazil, "and in entering the USA, we decided Miami, with all its energy, was a great city to start in."
If you've never heard of Holi One fest before, don't fret -- it's a "recent phenomenon," says Mormeneo. This year alone, the festival has traveled across three continents and held an event practically each month. "Just in August, we had festivals in Berlin, London, Sao Paulo, San Jose, and Manchester," he says.
The Miami festival, Mormeneo says, has a line-up of local, national, and international DJs. "What we look for in DJs is simply great music, that they have played at festivals, clubs, and some are fresh faces who have become big hits as Holi One residents," he adds. Some of the musical acts announced so far are Florian Kunicke, Raffael de Luca, and Los de la Vega.
Aside from music, Holi One aims to deliver a complete festival experience. There will be vendors selling food, so the rainbow colored crowd doesn't go hungry or thirsty, and "we plan to have other artists, such as belly dancers, stage dancers, and other surprises," says Mormeneo. He wants guests to be fully emerged in the festival and not just an audience to the entertainment; the color blast is only half of the participation aspect.
Arguably the most interesting aspect of the festival is the colored powder - you're allowed to make a huge, flashy mess and liven up your clothes and not worry about cleaning up after yourself! But what about the next day, when you wake up and realize that your favorite shorts are stained forever and that you have done irreversible damage to the environment? Actually, that won't happen, because, as Mormeneo informs us, the colored powder is "made by natural colorants and organic ingredients, such as rice flour, is cosmetic-proofed and skin-friendly and it is non-toxic, not harmful, and free of allergens." It is also a water-soluble residue, so it's easy to wash off your clothes. Nonetheless, it's still recommended to go in clothes you can "dispense with or save as a lasting memory of the event."
The powder is so fine that it's easy to breathe out and does no harm; however, Mormeneo does suggest wearing a mask if you plan on spending most of your time in one of the powder heavy zones. There will be "Powder Free zones" throughout the area so guests can enjoy the festival without worrying about being caught in the hourly blasts.
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Mormeneo pointed out how Holi One is not just another music festival: "While we have great respect for all music festivals, we view ourselves as a Color Festival with music, dancing, attractions, and color blasts together making the event." Upon arriving, guests will have the option of getting their faces painted, "to get colored," and in addition to the DJs, obligatory dancing, and color tossing, there will be dance shows performed by entertainers, a yoga area "where guests can relax," a water area to clean up, and various food tents set up to refuel and rehydrate.
The message of the festival is "we are one," and as Mormeneo explains, it's tied to the event being open to all, with everyone being treated as equal, "and with everyone leaving colored."
Holi One Color Festival arrives in Miami on November 30 at Production Village at Mana Wynwood (318 NW 23 St., Miami), running from 12 noon until 10 p.m. Tickets for the event begin at $25 for a night pass (entrance after 6 p.m.), and go upwards to $45 for a day pass with five colored powder bags included.