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.