Riptide Music Festival: Is The Third Year the Charm? (Review)

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This year the Riptide Music Festival decided to go big or go home. Held on the sands of Ft. Lauderdale beach, they expanded to three days rather than two, extending  their formula of curating the day based on demographics.

Riptide Music Festival Day 1 

We can’t report on this day because we weren’t able to attend. But, it was definitely geared towards a 50+ demo based on the bands.  Sugarhill Gang, Sheila E, Lisa Lisa, Baha Men and the headliner: The Jacksons. All of these bands are from the 70s and 80. We interviewed Tito Jackson, it was insightful.

Riptide Music Festival Day 2 

This past Saturday on the sandy shores of Fort Lauderdale beach fans of indie rock in South Florida witnessed a minor miracle of sorts. Traditionally not known to draw indie acts (South Florida is often skipped over due to its heavy Latin and urban influences) the organizers of Riptide, are perfecting the currents hopefully forever by organizing what can only be described as an epic lineup.

lovelytheband, Dreamers, Alice Merton, Sir Sly, Robert DeLong, Bishop Briggs, Cold War Kids, Dirty Heads, Young The Giant, Sublime and Panic at the Disco!

It wasn’t quite as good as last year, but it was good vibes. The crowd was active and young and beautiful and the weather superb.

Encore, Encore: Day 3

The third day of the Riptide Music Festival was a little meh. The crowd was a definitely older, filled with 40 somethings, and the vibes were toned down compared to Saturday’s vigor. It was also really hot on the sand, like 86 degrees on December 2nd.  But also, the music was just outdated. Third Eye Blind, Everclear, Live, Collective Soul and 311 — Matt and Kim did play — but they would’ve been better on Saturday and Sublime would’ve been better on Sunday.

All in all, the turn out was decent, maybe a little less than last year, but hopefully this festival continues to grow in a sea of more and more competition.

And in a Florida market where there is always something to do.

Photo by Miami filmmaker Shane Kinsler

J.J. Colagrande

J.J. Colagrande has written about Miami culture for fifteen years, first with The Miami Herald, then Miami New Times and Huffington Post. He is the author of Reduce Heat Continue to Boil and Decò 2.0.