Filled with mesmerising visual art and music, the Miami music festival iii Points returned for its sixth installment after a 16-month hiatus. Taking place in the Wynwood Art District at the Mana Wynwood Convention Center, the festival set-up provided for musical experiences both inside and outside with seven stages, each one providing audiences with entertainment both visually and audibly.
The Skate Space stage transformed part of the convention center into an indoor roller rink. Those brave enough to strap on a pair of free rental skates whizzed around the elevated DJ booth while whimsical projections flashed on the ground as people skated in circles to the groovy electronic music. Although never over-kill, the festival’s production still managed to transport audiences with the use of art and light. In Boiler Room, viewers feel as if they left Miami and walked into a simplistic NYC club with projected lips and eyeballs sprinkled around to keep things interesting. Whichever stage you found yourself dancing at, your ears and eyes were kept busy.
The festival was open from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. The later start time was enacted so people would not rush to get to the grounds, which I enjoyed. The end time may seem extreme, but with multiple acts going on, there was always music to listen to if one so desired to explore different stages in the early morning hours. Artists like Virtual Self (also known as Porter Robinson) and James Murphy (from LCD Soundsystem) kept the energy up close to dawn at Main Frame, the unofficial secondary stage reserved for electronic and rap acts.
Although many acts performed throughout the night, some of the major headliners, like SZA, Erykah Badu and A$AP Rocky, started much later than their set times, with A$AP Rocky and Erykah Badu being over 30 minutes behind schedule. Another low point of the festival was their lack of water refill stations. One might argue that the cool February temperatures make it acceptable to allow for only purchasing water, but the festival environment with people consuming all sorts of substances require audiences to have easy access to water.
For anyone anticipating to attend the festival next year, be warned: The concrete kills your back. It took me a while to realize why my back hurt so bad even though I had not walked or stood for that long; the concrete allows for little to no impact absorption.
Overall, iii Points showcased a diverse range of artists, from R&B to rap to house to what I would describe as “whale EDM.” The festival is worth attending, especially with one-day tickets available making it affordable for those wanting a taste but not wanting to take the financial plunge of a three-day event. The Miami music festival returned in full groovy, dark, melodic force and hopefully will make a name for themselves in the years to come.