Music Festivals

Inaugural North Beach Music Festival Will Bring Funk, Jam Bands to Miami Beach

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Photo courtesy of North Beach Music Festival
An eclectic mix of funk-rock and jam bands will descend upon Miami Beach later this year when the inaugural North Beach Music Festival takes place at the North Beach Bandshell the weekend of December 10-11.

On Wednesday, organizers behind the first-year festival announced the lineup of artists scheduled to perform at the outdoor venue in Miami Beach. Notable artists within the jam and funk-rock genres who will perform throughout the weekend include Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Spafford, the Motet, Holly Bowling, Aqueous, Ghost-Note, Eric Krasno & the Assembly, Marco Benevento, Tauk, and Karina Rykman. The lineup is rounded out by young guitar phenom Brandon "Taz" Niederauer, the duo of guitarist Brendan Bayliss (Umphrey’s McGee) and singer/horn player Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band), and a pair of notable hometown bands, Electric Kif and Juke. More artists for the December 2021 event will be announced in the coming months.

The minds behind Miami’s newest music festival are local concert promoter Gideon Plotnicki and his brother Noah. Gideon moved to South Florida in 2019 in hopes of using his industry connections throughout the jam and funk communities in cities like New York and New Orleans to help establish the cult-favorite genres in Miami, a market that is often left off tour schedules by up-and-coming bands in recent years.

“A lot of music that would be popular here goes to Fort Lauderdale. That’s been one of the big challenges for me as a promoter trying to bring music to Miami — that Fort Lauderdale has an established music scene,” Gideon told New Times earlier this year. “That’s one of my goals being here, to show artists, agents, and managers that Miami is a viable market for other genres — for funk, for jam bands, for jazz.”

Plotnicki’s GMP Live has produced a handful of shows by popular touring acts at the North Beach Bandshell this year, including Dumpstaphunk, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Dead & Company bassist Oteil Burbridge, and Big Gigantic.

The festival’s lineup announcement comes at a time when the embattled concert industry holds its breath in fear of another possible domino affect-like series of cancellations for fall concert tours and festivals owing to a nationwide rise in COVID-19 infections. Earlier this week, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was forced to postpone its long-awaited return in October to next spring, citing rising COVID-19 infections, especially among children. Miami-Dade County, in particular, has seen a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations since the start of the summer months.

The North Beach Bandshell itself had to relocate, postpone, or outright cancel several scheduled events in July as local officials and rescue teams used the venue and Bandshell Park for relief efforts after the Champlain Towers South condo building collapse on June 25.

Tickets for the inaugural North Beach Music Festival go on sale today, August 13, at noon.

North Beach Music Festival. Friday, December 10, and Saturday, December 11, at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-672-5202; Tickets cost $135 to $245 via
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Tom Shackleford has written about and photographed the national music scene since 2014 and has spent time working for major and independent concert promoters, record labels, and radio stations since graduating from Ohio University's School of Media Arts & Studies in 2010.
Contact: Tom Shackleford