It's been five years since III Points made its debut, offering Miami a boutique music festival experience if there ever was one. Instead of concentrating on big names or mainstream trends, III Points has kept its focus squarely on the underground. At the same time, it has become one of the few local music festivals that allowed homegrown acts to share the stage with national ones.
That's why it hurts to announce III Points won't return this October.
The good news: It will come back for a sixth edition in 2019, February 15 through 17.
If you know anything about the festival's history, the date change shouldn't come as a big surprise. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew almost forced the festival to be canceled. Though the event went on, several acts, including headliner LCD Soundsystem, bailed. And last September, Hurricane Irma struck South Florida. Although the storm arrived several weeks before the festival and the damage in Miami was relatively minor, it still killed III Points' momentum.
"As many of you know, through the years we've faced some challenges — a rite of passage for any independent festival," the organizers wrote in a letter released today. "Challenges like Hurricane Matthew, the Zika craze in Wynwood and most recently, Hurricane Irma last fall. These storms not only resulted in a heartbreaking talent cancellation in LCD Soundsystem, among
III Points sees the move to February as crucial in guaranteeing its survival. "[With] the hope and mission to make III Points a festival that will live on ten, , and  years in the future — we have decided to fully respect Mother Nature and move on from our October dates."
Though Miami's winter is the perfect time for any music festival — cool temperatures, little rain, tourist high season — it does come with its own set of challenges. Winter is South Florida's music festival season. Ultra Music Festival, Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival, Rolling Loud, and Tortuga Music Festival all take place in the winter and spring. And though there is little overlap in music style and fan base with an event such as Tortuga, there is some with Ultra's Resistance programming, Okeechobee's left-field acts, and some of the quirkier hip-hop artists at Rolling Loud.
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So is III Points ready to face the competition? Cofounder David Sinopoli says it will happily coexist with Ultra. "There are enough acts to go around," he says. "And I have so much respect for what [Ultra] is doing." Sinopoli says III Points was already playing nice with Ultra by avoiding acts that were scheduled to appear six months later at Ultra in March. Though exclusivity contracts rarely ask for a six-month window — 90 days is more common — Sinopoli says it was done to avoid ruffling any feathers. Now that III Points is moving to a month before Ultra, he doesn't see a conflict.
The date change also means III Points can take advantage of another selling point: the weather. Music fans in cities such as New York and Chicago looking to escape frigid temperatures will see the February date as a perfect opportunity to travel to Miami. According to Sinopoli, so many tourists pour into the city during the winter that there are plenty of visitors to go around.
Tickets for III Points 2019 will go on sale tomorrow, May 17, at 10 a.m. Tickets cost $111 for general admission and $195 for Foresight VIP.