It isn’t common to come across a festival in Miami that legitimately threatens to rival other big local festivals like UMF, WMC or Art Basel. So the announcement of a new festival taking place in Wynwood called III Points got the attention of many. The line up has gradually been released and buzz has been building, but what exactly is this event that promises to be the ultimate get-together of the local music, art and tech scene?
We spoke to David Sinopoli, one of the organizers of this festival and music director at Bardot, one of the venues for this event. Here are three questions you may have about III Points, answered.
What is III Points?
It is Miami’s version of SXSW or CMJ – at least that’s how many have described III Points in music-news blogs or in conversation among friends. Although that’s not how David Sinopoli wishes the event to be described. Sinopoli admits he presented the festival to be “like SXSW”. Still, he argues that this event is in a league of its own.
“We are a really unique community; we are a really unique city just like Austin [where SXSW is held] is a unique city to itself. Our thing is going to be different, our thing is going be ours with our own unique spin to it.”
The festival will feature a mix of local and big-name heavyweights in the areas of music, art and tech. It’s an exciting combination pairing music and art – which are creative mediums already very much entrenched in Miami culture – with the local tech scene that is just now making a home for itself in Miami. Just take a look at a local tech institution like the LAB Miami, which will be one of the participating organizations.
What Sinopoli is personally excited about is the various “activations” that will also take place in conjunction with the festival. Side-events will range from panel discussions to free events around Wynwood in interesting locations. He says there will be something relevant for all tastes and ages.
So how did it come together?
Sinopoli is credited as being the founding father of the festival, but there were many other players who contributed their own pieces to this puzzle. According to Sinopoli, some of the biggest contributions were made by sponsor Red Bull Music Academy who helped secure James Murphy, and the London-based record label Young Turks who helped acquire Jamie XX. These are probably the biggest names currently in the lineup, but local acts are also well represented, including Austin Paul whom Sinopoli himself manages.
Acquiring DJ Shadow was inspired by what Sinopoli described as a setback to the Miami music scene. After Shadow was booted offstage by Mansion nightclub (a move promoters later regretted and apologized for) late last year, Sinopoli made it his personal mission to right what he felt were extreme wrongs.
“I felt pretty pissed off that Miami was getting slammed from a national standpoint, especially since me and my team work tirelessly trying to push the scene forward. We’re trying to change the overall reputation worldwide and nationally about Miami’s great music scene and what we’re doing down here. We are eclectic and diverse and alternative and we have the counterculture.”
So why now, why here?
III Points isn’t the most ambitious project that has tried to make its mark on the festival scene in Miami, but it does have the advantage of learning from the mistakes of others. The failure of the UR1 festival to get off the ground, despite its own impressive lineup initially, is still fresh in the minds of many of Miami’s organizers and event-goers alike. This includes Sinopoli.
“I think the intentions were really great on what they wanted to do, but the time period of Art Basel is in a sense like SXSW where you bounce around from place to place. I don’t care how good the lineup is, I’m not going to buy a ticket to stay in one spot during Art Basel because I’m probably limiting myself and my exposure to what I can see around the city.”
Taking note of that, Sinopoli did two things that perhaps the organizers of UR1 also should have done. The first was putting the event in the month of October, which Sinopoli says he did to ensure that there would be no conflicts with any other events in Miami. He also reached out to Wynwood’s community, which included surrounding businesses and other event organizers to ensure there wouldn’t be any other “distractions”.
“Before I even put anything on sale, I put in a good three to four months meeting with everyone that really makes up Wynwood to make sure they were down with this idea. We tried to bring them in so that, when we did go live with the idea, there was community support and it was something that collectively we could pull off. We wanted to pick a weekend where everyone could benefit”
Sinopoli’s focus on community is not only evident in his approach when organizing the event, but it also seems to be a factor in the hopes he has as far as the benefits from the aftermath of his event.
“The hope is that the music community and the art community and the tech community that are still rising have their forum, have their weekend, have their time that they’re able to link with each other and showcase to our local community and to the world what we’re doing.”
IF YOU GO:
III POINTS FESTIVAL
[VARIOUS LOCATIONS IN WYNWOOD]