Crossfade's Music Guide to Calle Ocho 2011

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Here's the plan: Our co-presidents would be this year's Carnaval Miami kings, Hansel y Raul. We would appoint Pitbull to serve as executive officer of party relations. And no surprise, the national anthem would be Mr. 305's "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)."

Indeed, it's a crazy dream. But it could work. Until the day, though, when our vision of a glorious Ocho nation comes to fruition, we'll take what we can get -- namely an afternoon packed with a million friends, eight live music stages, and several thousand tons of street food.

Kiss Country Stage

At SW 12th Avenue

Who would ever expect to find a time-space portal to Homestead in the heart of Little Havana? Nadie. And yet, we can guarantee that it'll be there this Sunday, presided over by "South Florida's Country Station" with performances by Top 40 twangers LoCash Cowboys, Celtic country girl Amber Leigh, and Nashville's David Ray.

8th Street Jam Stage

At 13th Avenue

Last year, the 8th Street Jam was a $30 megabash held inside a secure and gated private party zone. However, the 2011 edition will be totally open and free, just like the rest of Calle Ocho's festival stages. Another difference: The entertainment's been slashed to just three bands from 2010's grand total of 12. But that doesn't necessarily mean there'll be less fiesta 'cause the triple-bill in question is Locos Por Juana, Suénalo, and Spam Allstars. And those bros know how to throw down.

Power 96 Stage

At 17th Avenue

Seriously, the local pop-hop radio station is gonna be dropping it hotter than your Uncle Tramar after a jumbo Calle Ocho gyro. Try not to totally lose control of yourself, though. It'd be really shitty if you missed Dade-made rap superstar Flo Rida and MIA's thug princess Trina -- not to mention Jeremih, New Boyz, Mr. Vegas, Jay Sean, Mann, Black Dada, Honor Rebel, Qwote, and Kevin Lyttle.

Telemundo 51 Stage

At SW 22nd Avenue

If we were forced to choose the capital of our incipient Ocho nation, it just might be the Telemundo 51 stage. This seems to be the spot where royalty naturally congregates, especially since both this year's kings Hansel y Raul and el rey del año pasado, Pitbull, will be gracing the stage with their musical magnificence. Plus, there will be another 17 royal reps including Four Elements, Local 34, and Aymee. The kingdom is bountiful.

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S. Pajot