Ever since DJ Khaled dropped a cryptic video advertising an event called Impact17, the event has been shrouded in mystery. Ads for the coming Miami event/conference/phenomenon, all showing DJ Khaled’s lovable face but not imparting much real information, have been popping up on the interwebs.
A news release called it a "platform for industry leaders and influencers to share their stories with young, spirited entrepreneurs of tomorrow." What does that mean? Is it a motivational seminar? A real-estate convention? One of those get-pumped, pyramid-scheme-like gatherings trying to rope us into selling some sort of energy drink that the FDA will absolutely ban later this month?
What kind of impact should we expect? Will a car crash be involved? We hope not.
Until yesterday, most of what we knew about the event came from its tagline — "Music, tech, fashion, art" — and basic information such as date, time, and ticket cost. (Impact17 is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, June 29, at the University of Miami’s Watsco Center. Tickets start at $39 and go up to $249 for a VIP experience.)
So what is DJ Khaled selling us?
According to Matt Krane, one of the producers of the event, the day will consist of two unique parts: one that’s free and one that will require a paid ticket.
The free element, dubbed the “pop-up station,” will kick off at 1 p.m. in the U’s field house (attached to the Watsco Center) and boast a number of pop-up shops, an art gallery showing local street/contemporary art, and other local/cultural goodness.
At 4 p.m., the “conference,” as Krane calls it, will begin with a red-carpet entrance. This portion of the event — which requires a ticket for entry — will present panelists, roundtable discussions, speakers, DJ performances, and a fashion show, as well as that DJ Khaled performance.
Among the 20-plus "impacters" slated for the conference are Jeremy Wiesen, a Harvard-educated lawyer who's been a professor at NYU's Stern School of Business, UC Berkeley and UCLA; ex-NFL player and Arivo CEO Bryant McKinnie; entertainment attorney Ivan Parron; RecordGram CEO Erik Mendelson; artist/producer LunchMoney Lewis; and Slip-N-Slide Records founder Ted Lucas. All guests are subject to change, so organizers advise potential Impact17 attendees to check impact17mia.com.
Topics include everything from "The State of Entrepreneurship" to “Protecting Intellectual Property” to “Fashion Brands and Business Development.”
And, of course, there'll be a performance by Khaled himself.
“There’s been nothing like this to come to Miami,” Krane says. “We didn’t want it to be a regular concert... We wanted to dabble in all the different cultures and art forms. And we really wanted to pay it forward and get the community engaged... We want everyone involved with the movement.”
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On the charitable front, Impact17 has partnered with ridesharing app Lyft. For every "RidetoImpact" promotional ride taken June 1 through June 29, a buck will go to Make-A-Wish Southern Florida and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
“Really we’re looking to give back to our youth... and invest in our youth,” adds Nasha Clark, media and marketing rep for the event. “You get to see some of the most impactful people in these industries — some stars and some emerging. You can learn how to push that mixtape if you’re into music... If you’re in art, how to find a mentor... or how to start a fashion line. We’re marrying all these subcultures and making a really dope event.”
Amid these details, there are still some pieces to the inspirational puzzle being ironed out — and guests can expect some hearty surprises. We'll just have to brace for Impact.
Thursday, June 29, at University of Miami’s Watsco Center (1245 Dauer Dr., Coral Gables). Free event from 1 to 6 p.m.; ticketed event with DJ Khaled performance begins at 4 p.m.; tickets cost $39 to $249. Visit impact17mia.com.