Life came at you fast in 2017 — and not just the political part of it. Musicians, festivals, venues, and other nightlife-adjacent entities kept Miami's music scene as lively (and sometimes as embarrassing) as the nation's politics. Here are the biggest things that happened in Miami music in 2017.
1. Rolling Loud. The annual hip hop festival hit its stride in its third year, topping its beast of a lineup with the hottest rapper of the moment, Kendrick Lamar. And after the announcement of its big names came even bigger controversy. Bayfront Park, which was announced as Rolling Loud's new venue, appeared ready to pull out of its agreement with festival producing organization DOPE after downtown residents complained about noise from Ultra Music Festival. Happily for hip hop fans, Rolling Loud went on as planned.
2. Ultra Music Festival. Ultra is the biggest music event in Miami each year, and 2017 was no exception. The festival's announcement of acts like Cypress Hill, the Prodigy, Justice, and Underworld for the 2017 edition had music fans of all genres amped.
3. Kodak Black. Over the past three years, Kodak Black transformed from an unknown teenager to one of the hottest rappers in the nation. New Times' deep dive into his life, including his sexual assault allegations, offered an intimate look into one of South Florida's most notorious celebrities of the year.
4. LIV's $10 million renovation. If you want to stay on the cutting edge of nightlife, you've gotta drop some serious cash. That's what LIV did over the summer, installing a massive LED "spider," a projection-mapped stage, and new flooring, bars, and wall coverings, among other upgrades. The club reopened in September, inaugurating its new digs with performances by Travis Scott and Skrillex.
5. The Office's strip-club hurricane watch party. There's really no wrong way to psychologically deal with an impending disaster as long as you're ensuring your own safety. Some of us — the few, the proud, the brave, and the bold — stare into the uncertain oblivion of the storm and think, I'm going to a strip club. That's why the Office, a gentlemen's club in Miami Gardens, reportedly held a hurricane watch party before Hurricane Irma. It sounds like a silly bit of minor news, but thousands of readers shared the story to take the edge off the days before the storm.
6. Yoli Mayor on America's Got Talent. In May, Miami got to see one of its own sing for some of the toughest judges in the entertainment world — Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel — as well as millions of viewers, on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. “I went in for an audition in Miami and was very nervous. I wasn’t sure if they liked me,” Mayor told New Times afterward. Spoiler alert: They liked her, and so did audiences in her hometown, who cheered Mayor on to the show's semifinals.
7. A Marley brothers reunion at Kaya Fest. In 2016, for the first time in more than a decade, the children of reggae's martyred megastar, Bob Marley, posed together for a GQ photo shoot. In 2017, they made their long-awaited collective return to the stage right here in Miami. Stephen Marley reunited with brothers Ziggy, Damian, and Ky-Mani at Kaya Fest, the first time the brothers had appeared onstage together in 20 years.
8. Gorillaz finally come to Florida. For 17 years, the virtual band Gorillaz had never set foot in Florida. But that changed in October when Damon Albarn and his long list of contributors headlined III Points on the only Florida stop of the Gorillaz' 2017 Humanz tour. The band celebrated by playing "Plastic Beach" live for the first time since 2010.
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9. Danielle Bregoli's aborted tour plans. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The worst: Danielle Bregoli, AKA the Cash Me Ousside Girl, announced two tour dates to launch her music career, including one at Broward's Revolution Live. The good news: The tour was canceled. Maybe a grownup realized it wasn't a good idea to subject a 14-year-old to a live Q&A with an audience that's there to mock her to her face. Or maybe people just didn't buy tickets. Either way, good job, world.
10. Chris Martin at the Wynwood Yard. Coldplay fans got a preview of the band's arena show in a far more intimate venue when Chris Martin joined Coldplay opening act Izzy Bizu onstage at the Wynwood Yard. Martin dropped in to perform one song with Bizu, who was the scheduled performer that night, and then stayed after the show to take photos with fans.