Asked how long he’s been throwing parties to observe 4/20, the internationally recognized day to celebrate all things weed-related, David Sinopoli replies, "Unofficially with my friends? I can’t even remember."
It’s an appropriately playful response from the Miami nightlife veteran who, along with the help of his team of cheeba-chiefing pot gourmands, has been throwing the Magic City's premier marijuana-themed event, III Joints, for the past few years.
The 2018 edition of III Joints promises to be its biggest and most potent doink yet. Now in its third year, tomorrow will mark the first time that III Points has brought in non-local acts to share in the loud with Miami, including furious footwork DJ/producer DJ Earl, singer Suzi Analogue, and a live score of kung fu masterpiece The 36th Chamber of Shaolin courtesy of Wu-Tang Clan visionary RZA.
The origins of III Joints lie with Sinopoli’s time as the music director for the much-missed midtown venue Bardot.
“We always threw something at Bardot back in the day 'cause, well, you know how Bardot was,” Sinopoli says, alluding to the spot’s sweetly seedy nature.
Since those initial smoke seshes, Sinopoli has gone on to become co-owner of the downtown staple Club Space as well as cofounder of III Points, the music festival from which III Joints gets its painfully punny name. Besides honoring hashish and announcing the addition of Method Man and Redman to III Points’ 2016 lineup, the inaugural edition of III Joints at the Anderson was also meant to benefit Miami artists by giving them a shared platform on which to vibe and, presumably, smoke one another out.
Even as more widely recognized acts join the lineup this year, Sinopoli says showcasing Miami-grown talent continues to be a top priority, as does booking artists that fit III Joints’ core concept.
“Everything I do in this city is an opportunity to put our local scene on; that's just how it's going to be,” he says. “And the [larger acts] that we chose were artists that we would want to see at an event for 4/20.”
Always striking a darker chord than other music festivals, III Points has rejected the hippy-dippy vibes of the Bonnaroos and Okeechobees of the world for something more sinister and ultimately true to Miami’s character. While you won't see III Joints attendees compulsively high-five one another, there also won’t be vintage TV sets, vaporwave malls, neon pyramids, or other identifying hallmarks of III Points.
“III Points in itself is kind of serious: It's music, art, and technology with the installations... and we take everything very seriously there,” Sinopoli says. “Whereas III Joints is a little bit more lighthearted. It's going to be somewhere in between Adult Swim type of humor with [experimental producer Flying Lotus’ sonically and aesthetically adventuresome record label] Brainfeeder type of production.”
Despite the two gatherings’ differences in mood, Sinopoli says the degree of curation involved with III Joints is consistent with that of its parent event, with careful consideration given to everything from the performers to the vendors.
“[A III Points-related event] has to have this concept of going to a not-so-typical festival,” Sinopoli explains. “You're going to something where you're going to watch a kung fu movie for two hours and watch RZA score it. That's not typical shit that you see a club or a festival play, and I think it's a more enjoyable thing for a 4/20 party to have something unique and weird like that.”
In light of the above, the question begs to be asked: Because pot is still illegal in Miami, how does one throw a high-profile weed-themed event without pushback? Although medical marijuana has been legalized in Florida, you must clear significant hurdles to use it, and the framework in which you can do so without fear of legal repercussions remains limited.
According to Sinopoli, nothing about III Joints poses a problem in the eyes of the law because the event is not operating as a weed vendor.
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“We have no intent to sell drugs or break any laws; we have the intent to throw a comfortable celebration of marijuana culture,” he says. “It's the humor behind marijuana culture; it's the music behind marijuana culture; it's the fashion; it's the spirit of it, which is basically ‘Let's hang out and chill.'"
With that said, Sinopoli and the III Joints team are hopeful that Florida will soon catch up with the likes of California, Colorado and other US states that have had more robust processes of decriminalizing and legalizing weed. In the meantime, all they can do is throw a particularly dank music festival.
“We want to be a little bit ahead of the curve, and we wanted to establish what we feel is a really good concept for a safe, comfortable, laid-back event on April 20. We have hopes and ambitions — high hopes if you will — that [legalization and decriminalization] will all come to fruition, but we're still going to evolve with the law in Florida and law in Miami. At the bare minimum, we’re going to throw a really great party on 4/20.”