Wow. Much year. Many new.
Miami turned a corner in 2014. The Heat may have failed to three-peat, but there's a certain positivity in the subtropical air that can't be denied. Even as some of our most treasured music and nightlife establishments disappear into the abyss of time, there are lots of things to be excited about.
But wait just a minute... Let's not get carried away with the woo-hoo-ing. We all have some work to do in 2015. So here are our friendly annual suggestions for a better scene.
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Stop Tearing Down Venues to Build Condos
Progress can't be stopped, but maybe it can be occasionally curbed for the sake of cultural integrity. We're especially sad about having to say goodbye to Tobacco Road in 2014. After almost 102 years of good music, good drinks, and good company, it's all part of the past. Don't forget, the Fillmore Miami Beach also narrowly avoided destruction. There's obviously no way to halt redevelopment, but we have to stand together as a community to keep some piece of old Miami as we transition into the new.
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Foster the Live Music Scene
Part of the problem with destroying existing venues is we have so few of them, particularly when it comes to live music. Sure, we've got tons of clubs for DJs, and our rep as an EDM mecca is something to be proud of. Still, our local rappers and bands have been picking up a lot of steam. We need to cherish this growth and help Miami's live music scene flourish. Let's make 2015 the year that Miami became known as a great place to start a band.
See also: Miami's Ten Best Reggae Acts of All Time
Support the Locals
Of course, there's no use saving (or creating) a bunch of live music venues if the people aren't going to fill them. In 2014, we were all exposed to a lot of great Miami talent during festivals like III Points and Virginia Key Grassroots, but it's time to make a more intense effort to support the locals. Miamians are up to some really impressive shit. Buy the damn t-shirts and the vinyl pressings and the limited-edition cassette releases, all that good stuff. Go to the show and buy some drinks, damn it. Vote with your presence, then go and tell the world.
Quit Trying to Ban Ultra
So traffic sucks and the kids are dressed like neon shits. Ultra Music Festival is an institution. It's also the one of very few all-dance music festivals with enough balls to book truly talented artists instead of just whoever sold the most records last month. This fest is a boost to Miami's economy, and it was homegrown with hard work. Now that Ultra's adopted a strict 18-and-up policy, maybe everyone, including politicians like Tomás Regalado and Marc Sarnoff, can give up their endless attempts to rid our city of UMF's flashy fabulousness. In 2015, how about downtown Miami and Ultra Music Festival coexist in the spirit of Peace, Love, Unity, Respect.
See also: In Defense of Ultra Music Festival
Stop Shitty Beer
This year, we were absolutely haunted by Beck's. We understand the German brewer threw down a ton of cash to make this event possible, but does it have to be literally the only option? There isn't some liquor company willing to do similar things? Can we just get a liquor drink even if Beck's is the sponsor? Please, someone, stop the madness. And we don't want to hear about how you "actually like Beck's." You're disgusting.
Keep Up the Positivity
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It used to be that everyone bitched about living in Miami. These days, people from New York and Los Angeles are actually making the move south, talkin' about how "it just seems like the place to be." That's awesome, and you know why they feel that way? Because we are making big things happen! We need to keep up the good work in 2015. Start fresh, approach old problems from new perspectives, and remember everyone who has helped us along the way. Now is not the time to get snobby or full of ourselves. The road ahead is full of challenges, but we can make Miami something really special and culturally significant. So let's stay focused and put our best foot forward -- and lay off the fake molly.
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