After three years of planning, a yearlong delay, and an impressive inaugural lineup, Miami Beach Pop Festival announced this morning that the event, scheduled to begin just one month from today, has been postponed. A new date has not yet been announced, but the festival is offering ticketholders refunds, which organizers say will be issued within seven business days. In light of the festival's challenging past, the announcement does not bode well for the festival ever taking place on South Beach.
Originally scheduled for the weekend after Art Basel 2018, the festival was pushed back a year while organizers sorted out logistics and built support from locals, who are already overwhelmed with major events taking place in their backyard.
In May, the festival's production team — Steve Sybesma (Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival), Paul Peck (Okeechobee, Outside Lands, Bonnaroo), Bruce Orosz (ACT Productions and Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau), and Don Lockerbie (the Parker Company) — announced the November dates and, one month later, an impressive lineup. There was a groundswell of excitement for the diverse, top-tier roster, which included headliners Chance the Rapper and the Raconteurs, along with Kim Petras, Nile Rodgers, and the Roots.
But in its statement, Miami Beach Pop organizers said the lineup is expected to change once the festival is rescheduled — if it comes to fruition at all — "as some performers may be unable to accommodate a rescheduled date."
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Music festivals typically pull the plug at the 11th hour due to low ticket sales, but Miami Beach Pop organizers have not yet revealed a reason for the postponement beyond "unforeseen circumstances." Asked specifically about ticket sales, a spokesperson for the festival declined to comment. In May, however, organizers told New Times they would add single-day ticket options if early-bird sales looked promising. Three months later, in early August, the festival announced its daily schedule alongside single-day tickets.
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Now, however, the team behind Miami Beach Pop will face an uphill battle to convince involved parties and the public that it can pull off the event after two major delays. The statement the festival released to media and ticketholders certainly sounds like a goodbye: "To our supporters and ticket buyers, artists, and the hundreds of people who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes for almost three years to bring this event to life, we thank you."
Read Miami Beach Pop Festival's statement in its entirety below:
Miami Beach Pop Festival has announced the postponement of the 2019 event, originally scheduled for November 8-10. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the continuation of the original plan is no longer viable. The producers of Miami Beach Pop Festival will be working with all involved parties to secure a new date in the future. The lineup will change, as some performers may be unable to accommodate a rescheduled date.
Ticket holders who purchased through the official Miami Beach Pop Festival website can expect to see refunds on their credit card or bank statement within seven business days from today, October 8th. All other ticket holders should reach out to their point of purchase for refunds. We apologize for the inconvenience while we determine a new date and the best path forward for the future of the event.
To our supporters and ticket buyers, artists, and the hundreds of people who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes for almost three years to bring this event to life, we thank you. We especially want to thank the City of Miami Beach for its continued support.