Overtown Music Festival Returns Saturday With CeeLo Green and Keyshia Cole

Get ready to party with CeeLo.
Get ready to party with CeeLo. Photo by Daniel de las Casas
The Cirque du Trump and rain, rain, rain might be hard to ignore, but there's some actual entertainment coming to Miami this weekend. The highly anticipated Overtown Music & Arts Festival, which attracted more than 9,000 people last year, returns Saturday, July 15.

Produced by the Headliner Market Group, the free outdoor fête will allow divided communities to come together to enjoy the arts. Among the stars who will take the stage are Keyshia Cole, Tito Puente Jr., Monica, and CeeLo Green, who tells New Times he's excited to perform.

"Miami, for as long as I can remember, has been a second home, and I've always been embraced as extended family," Green says. "It's truly one of my favorite places on Earth. I'm gonna move there when I get rich and get chubby. Wait, I'm already rich and chubby."

As word about the family friendly festival has grown across Miami, its numbers have soared in recent years: last year's event attracted 3,000 more people than the 2015 festival. This year is expected to attract the most yet, as locals and visitors flock to see its impressive lineup of musicians and its growing repertoire of things to do.

That said, the festival, which will sprawl across multiple city blocks, will also offer some new features that will help attendees unwind. In addition to a barbecue cook-off, there will also be an art expo zone displaying photography, mixed-media works, pottery, and handcrafted jewelry by local artists. In this section, guests can watch the performance of live art installations and even talk with artists, such as New York City-based Alejandro Guzman.
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Courtesy of Overtown Music Festival
Miami City Commission Chairman Keon Hardemon, who helped organize the event, says the festival aims to bring locals and visitors together through "food, entertainment, and culture." There's nothing like art to relieve the headache of politics.

The Green Family Foundation — named for Steven J. Green, a former U.S. ambassador — will also present an area for teens to have fun. In the youth zone, teens can participate in fitness activities or create their own custom T-shirts, jewelry, hats, and other items. To add to the cultural offerings, the Miami-Dade Public Library System's Techno Bus, a mobile innovation lab, will be onsite for kids to enjoy.  And representatives from Pérez Art Museum Miami will hand out guest passes to PAMM and coloring sheets for kids.

With so many things to do and people to see, this year's Overtown Music & Arts Festival is gonna be lit.

Overtown Music & Arts Festival. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 15, at the Overtown Business & Entertainment District, NW Second and NW Third Avenue between Eighth and Tenth Streets; 786-529-4586; Admission is free.
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Jonathan Kendall is a former editor at Big Think. He studied journalism at Harvard and is a contributing writer for Miami New Times as well as for Vogue, Cultured, Los Angeles Review of Books, Smithsonian, and Atlas Obscura.
Contact: Jonathan Kendall