The founders of the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival want to launch the Miami Beach Pop Festival, this time not on a farm in the middle of nowhere, but right in the heart of South Beach. And why not? It’ll be fun, boost the economy, and elevate the area’s music scene, often seen as struggling for traditional rock / pop music.
The Dec. 14-16 Miami Beach Pop festival would take place on the beach between Fifth and 10th streets, with a capacity of up to 30,000 fans per day, following Art Basel. But according to the Miami Herald, “nothing has been decided. The city of Miami Beach wants to get public input on the idea before approving any permits.”
That input came Tuesday night as residents gathered to voice their opinions. The meeting went pretty well. Producers outlined their plans as residents listened attentively. Many in attendance provided testimonials as to the professionalism of the producers, Paul Peck and Steve Sybesma, both highly experienced in musical festival production.
The producers themselves pushed home the point that the festival would be inclusive, and they actively compared it to Outside Lands in San Francisco and the Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, which is probably the best comparable. In his vision, Paul Peck, known for creating the “Superjam” concept used at Bonnaroo, seemed really adamant about the new festival having a lot of collaborations.
There were minor concerns from volleyball players but their needs appeared met, and some residents who thought the festival would cause congestion or attract a “bad” crowd, also addressed to satisfaction. The consensus after the meeting, at least in the room, was that everyone seemed excited for the festival, which would not only include music, but also local vendors, restaurants, artists, students, media and production. Miami Beach Commissioners would be acting against the interests of residents of the beach and city as a whole if they deny this. They are expected to vote on approving the Miami Beach Pop Festival in March.