Coconut Groove Takes Over Fuller Street With a House-Fashioned Block Party

Jason Rault spinning during one of Coconut Groove's past events.
Jason Rault spinning during one of Coconut Groove's past events. Photo by Alexis Aleman
Those who got the chance to attend Berlin's late and tragic Love Parade will remember it fondly. The mobile music festival traversed the German capital with buses crawling slowly through city streets. On the vehicles, DJs blasted unadulterated techno while massive crowds followed.

Dan Travieso, founder of the monthly party series Coconut Groove, hopes to revive the nostalgia around outdoor raves during Fuller Music Fest, an open-air block party in the heart of Coconut Grove, on January 29.

With the much-needed renovation to Cocowalk now complete, the increased foot traffic has led to a bit of a renaissance for the historic neighborhood. And although the Grove is more commercialized and a far cry from its hippy-haven golden era in the 1960s and '70s, Travieso sees Fuller Music Fest as a way to bring the community together with a house-music-focused block party.

"It's really a block party," Travieso tells New Times. "We call it a music festival because there are three different areas, but the main party will be in the middle of the street. It's trying to bring the community out and show people that the Grove used to be a destination for a party and is now starting to come back."

Travieso sees the Grove as an unfettered territory for DJs. It doesn't compete with downtown or Wynwood— but it doesn't have to. Between the restaurants and remaining vintage shops and bars, the Grove's nightlife is a low-stakes affair with the promise of being home by 2 a.m.

Yet, the vibe is just as captivating as any other Miami nightlife destination.

Growing out of small block parties, Coconut Groove began in 2017 at the now-closed Grove Spot. The event grew in popularity and moved to Tavern in the Grove (now at Barracuda Taphouse & Grill), featuring a lineup of skilled local DJs spinning late into the evening. Travieso, a weekend clubbing warrior and new father, tries to put on a Coconut Groove show once a month.
"As far as nightlife, there's a little here, and there but not the nightlife most of us are accustomed to," he explains. "But if I can bring it once a month, maybe there will be some consistency."

Fuller Music's epicenter will take place on Fuller Street, with events happening at the Sandbar on Main Highway and Barracuda starting at 11 p.m right after the Fuller Street showcase ends.

"Since Barracuda only sells beer, I figured people can do that infamous walk from Barracuda to the Sandbar," Travieso says. "I can put some buddies on the Sandbar's terrace who have an ongoing vibe. You can hang out at the Sandbar or be where the party is in the middle of the street."

The event won't feature your cousin trying to beat match Top 40 hits. Instead, talented DJs will be playing throughout several venues, with a formidable sound system to boot.

"Jason Rault, who worked with me in the past, has great energy and a fantastic sound," he adds. "He's the co-owner of Nomad Soundsytem and will be curating music with an acoustic Funktion-One sound system."

The street festivities start at 2 p.m. with Grove Shaman and end at 11 p.m. with Jason Rault. The lineup is segmented into about two-hour slots with five artists. Attendees will have access to the Sandbar starting at 5 p.m., where they can enjoy the laid-back scene with Groove veterans Soto, Atomyard, and Kike Roldan. The party will shift to Barracuda with Miami's disco-loving DJs Beki Powell and Mau in what Travieso describes as a "more Boiler Room experience" starting at 10 p.m.

"I like to put one person in charge of the booth, there's always someone playing too long or too short, and you have to adjust," Travieso says. "When I'm organizing a party, the last thing I want to worry about is the booth. So I told Jason, you handle what's in there and bring along whoever you enjoy playing with or vibe with."

Fuller Music Fest. 2 p.m. Saturday, January 29, at various locations; Admission is free.
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Grant Albert is a writer born and raised in Miami. He likes basset hounds, techno, and rock climbing — in that order.
Contact: Grant Albert