Last year, a group of music festival veterans revealed plans to stage a three-day event on the sands of South Beach. Originally scheduled for 2018, the festival was delayed because of concerns from residents and city officials.
That seems to have been sorted out, because the Miami Beach Pop Festival has now announced its debut this November 8 through 10.
The people behind the festival are a who's who of event production, including 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).
In a statement provided exclusively to New Times, the group shares its concept for the festival: "Since we began, our vision has been to create a world-class celebration of our city and its tropical flavor, and to bring a positive, unifying experience to the sands of Miami Beach. This is more than simply a music festival; it's a celebration designed to welcome and engage people of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds for a meaningful, shared experience."
Unlike local festivals such as Ultra and III Points, the Miami Beach Pop's focus seems to be appealing to a broad audience and keeping it family friendly — or at the very least, offering a wide variety of acts. The idea is reminiscent of West Palm Beach's SunFest. However, the potential of Miami Beach Pop to grow into a nationally acclaimed fest like Austin City Limits seems to be greater.
The biggest obstacle for the festival won't be ticket sales or bookings — although those are big challenges for any new event — but Miami Beach residents tired of major events and their gridlock traffic and chaotic crowds.
Still, Miami Beach Pop's organizers seem to reassure residents they know what they're doing. "We bring a stellar team of best-in-class event management professionals and service providers. As with all of our past events, we are working collaboratively with the city and its officials to ensure a highly organized event for Miami Beach, with focus on traffic management, security, and sustainable practices for the beach."
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No word yet on the lineup for the festival's premiere. Last year, Sybesma showed New Times a wish list of potential performers, including Björk, Frank Ocean, Paul Simon, and Pitbull. (Dear Universe: Please let a music festival where Björk and Pitbull share the same stage happen!)
Below is the festival's full statement provided exclusively to New Times:
Miami Beach Pop Festival. Friday, November 8, through Saturday, November 10, on the beach between Fifth and Tenth Streets; miamibeachpop.com.