The Miami Music Festival Opens With A Clang

By | November 12th, 2010 | 5 Comments
Pangea Kidz

From West Palm Beach, the Pangea Kidz closed down the Miami Music Festival's disappointing opening night at Cafeina in Wynwood.

When I went to pick up my press pass for the Miami Music Festival yesterday, the MMF staff made a sincere defense against its critics, which include The (Other) New Times, local musicians, and us. MMF staffers told me the fact that many of Miami’s bigger and/or better acts (Rachel Goodrich, Jesse Jackson, Sloane Peterson, Jacuzzi Boys, etc.) are not on the roster is immaterial because the Miami Music Festival is not necessarily meant to showcase Miami music, but rather to present live music to Miami. They said the disparaging comparisons to other, bigger music festivals like SXSW and CMJ are erroneous because those festivals are further along in their respective evolutions — the implication being MMF would get “there” eventually. Finally, they conceded the MMF of today is not perfect, but contended that one could not expect it to be in only its second year.

I agree with this last point. Developing a grade-A music festival doesn’t happen over night, particularly in a city like Miami whose music scene is still wriggling in its infancy. So it was with an open mind and reasonable expectations that I attended last night’s MMF opening show at Cafeina in Wynwood. But even with the bar set low, it was a disappointing night.

First of all, there were fewer than 150 people there (a generous estimate), and many of them appeared to be either entourage or industry folk. Actual Miami music fans were few and far between. This became clear when South Florida musician Mike Mineo asked his audience, “How many Floridians out there?” and only a few hands shot up. Also when the lead singer of the West Palm Beach-based Pangea Kidz yelled “What up Miami?” and was met with awkward silence — further evidence that Miami was either not in attendance or not listening.

Beyond that, there were issues with the sound. There always are, but the technical difficulties that delayed Mineo’s set dragged on for about 20 minutes. “Give it up for electricity — if only we knew how to use it,” a good-natured but frustrated Mineo said at one point during the prolonged SNAFU.

As for the music itself, R&B singer Vaughn Anthony (John Legend’s little brother) put on a good show, but his set elicited little reaction from the thin crowd save for clinical nods from record label scouts.

Now, I’m not ready to write off the MMF after its first night. I’m still excited for a (very) few of the 400 shows scheduled over the weekend (see “Diamonds in the Rough at the MMF”). But last night did not bode well. If the rest of the festival draws as little local support as opening night did, then Miamians themselves will share some of the blame for another disappointing MMF. Then again, if opening night ends up being an accurate forecast of the rest of the festival, who could blame them for staying away?


Here are some more photos from the event.

Mike Mineo at MMF
South Florida vocalist Mike Mineo

Vaughn Anthony
Vaughn Anthony, R&B singer and John Legend’s little bro

MMF Crowd
And the crowd goes … mild

All photos by Robby Campbell. See more photos from the Miami Music Festival HERE.

5 Comments on “The Miami Music Festival Opens With A Clang”

  1. 1 2010 Miami Music Festival Day Two | Beached Miami said at 3:55 am on November 13th, 2010:

    […] the Miami Music Festival’s disappointing opening night, my plan was to go to Tobacco Road for a promising Miami triumvirate: madame Omine, Fernando […]

  2. 2 Pangea Kidz said at 3:31 pm on December 24th, 2010:

    I was kinda lost about the remarks about the pangea kidz…

  3. 3 Anon said at 5:25 pm on December 24th, 2010:

    The reporter failed to mention that it was raining the whole night at that event. Its not a big wonder that performers had sound issues and the crowd was thin, because everyone was trying to stay dry

  4. 4 Jordan Melnick said at 5:27 pm on December 24th, 2010:

    That isn’t true. This was a little while back, so my memory isn’t too fresh. But it definitely wasn’t raining the whole night. It just wasn’t a well-oiled event.

  5. 5 L'orrin Nelson said at 6:12 pm on December 24th, 2010:

    Well, don’t remember it it raining all night. However, i do agree with Melnick as Far as this event not being a well oiled machine. It boasted 28k Should be in attendance (if there was that number), you would never have known because each event seemed isolated from the MMF Brand itself. To a different Point, I am a HUGE PangeaKidz supporter and i dont beleive that this article paints them in a good light. If i did not thoroughly read this article i would think that they were responsible for making this the sham that it was. Come on Melnick go listen to those kids, I am positive you will come back with a fan.

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