Back in April, thousands of floatie-wielding Miamians stormed South Pointe Park for a Miami Beach gathering known as Floatopia. The event did not originate in Miami, but people embraced it nonetheless as a welcome excuse to bob around in the surf like drunken pelicans.
But sadly — and not unsurprisingly — the day after Floatopia, the beach was in absolute fuckery. Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine voiced his utter distaste for Floatopia immediately after the event, and Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco went on Facebook Live to broadcast the mess.
Environmentalists protested any future Floatopia, and it seemed the event would cease to exist in Miami Beach.
All this was still fresh in folks' minds when an event called Float Bash starting showing up on people's Facebook feeds. On the Float Bash website, the event was marketed as follows: "Float Bash is an all inclusive open bar music event on the beautiful beaches of Key Biscayne Miami. A cool new concept promoting a relaxing environment on floats while enjoying music from a live DJ in the water or on the sand."
The party would be held on Virginia Key Beach Park and would feature live DJs, plenty of booze, and floating.
It all sounded a little too familiar for some. After swift pushback from environmentalists and concerned citizens, Guy Forchion, the executive director for the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust, says the City decided to cancel the event.
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"There was a lot of controversy behind it," Forchion says. The cancelation was definitely due to "community concerns" stemming from the Floatopia debacle.
Float Bash organizers did not immediately respond for comment.
Forchion says Float Bash organizers were in "fairly positive" communication with the city and had taken the necessary steps to ensure the event would adhere to regulations. Float Bash was to be capped at 2,000 people, and the promoters had sought the proper permits. Forchion isn't sure whether Float Bash will be moved elsewhere, and the event's Facebook page has yet to comment on the cancelation of the Virginia Key Beach Park event.
In the end, the city just didn't think it was worth it to risk another possible beach party disaster and decided to side with the environmentalists and Facebook groups like Clean Up Miami Beach. "It might not seem like much, but for Miami, it's huge," says Michael DeFilippi, who was among the vocal opponents of Float Bash both online and in person. "Floatopia raised a lot of awareness about people trashing the beach."