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Ultra, Rolling Loud, iii Points: You're all the same.

Yup, we said it. The biggest music festivals in Miami are all, let’s say it again, the same. Genre? Ok, that’s different but we aren’t talking genres, we’re talking big picture. Date? Yes, that’s valid and venues, those are different too. What we’re talking about today is pricing, accessibility, and goal.

Ultra, Rolling Loud, and III Points (2019) ALL have price points over $300. I don’t care where or when you bought the ticket, there’s no way you payed less. To be honest, most of us payed more (if you’re lucky enough to go). To make the math quick, it’s $100 a day. Add drinks, food, weed, and all the extras you’re looking at $150.

We love to say that “we’re rich” in Miami, right? That we can afford anything? Try going to one of these festivals and tell us that you aren’t hurting after. We won’t believe you. No matter how much $150 is to you, $150 is A LOT of money for one day of fun. Yes, you get to see all these great acts that separately would’ve been $50 a pop. We understand that. But, and there’s always a but, these festivals have the ability, first of all, to make it cheaper. On top of that, they’re using the same venue for multiple days (meaning better pricing). You start thinking about that and well, you get upset. Just like we are.

To understand our frustration we have to look back at what makes music (and music festivals) so great. Music festivals started with the idea of bringing people together, plain and simple. It didn’t matter where you came from, what you did, what you were outside of the festival what mattered is that you were there to share a moment with people you knew, love, or if you didn’t know any, to share a moment with everyone (sorry for the run on sentence, we got excited).

From being a public gathering, we’d make the claim that music festivals have gone private. Staying in the 305, Rolling Loud has become the largest hip-hop music festival in the world. This year marks their five year anniversary. What has changed between year one and five? Price. Five years ago at Mana you could get a ticket for $50! Now we’re looking at $400 (with no single day tickets available). Ok, ok. The festival is three days, the names are huge and the venue/times have changed. Cool. I feel you Tariq. Our question remains: Why so expensive? Why aren’t their opportunities for underprivileged individuals to go? Why aren’t their volunteer positions? Internships? Anything?

For us it comes down to accessibility. Music festivals like Ultra, Rolling Loud, and III Points have the ability to change individuals lives. Their power is across all social media outlets, locally and globally. They need to take advantage of what they have, respect the culture of music festivals, and understand, ultimately, what music is. We’re not in the 1990’s in which blacks and whites couldn’t be in the same arena. Today, we have the ability to bring all peoples together and learn, connect, and grow. Our problem with music festivals and the world is something so simple yet complex: Why can’t we be the same? Why do certain people get to experience things others can’t? And, finally, why can’t we help each other, at least locally, grow?

UMAMI’s here to bring back the reason music festivals began. Woodstock and Monterey Pop Festival, to name a few, started a legacy of what we now know as “music festivals”. We aren’t bringing back Woodstock, it’s the mantra that we’re looking for. It’s not about the money (to a certain extent), it’s not about materialism, it’s about bringing people together for the love of music, plain and simple.

* We have to say that we’re lucky enough to attend all three festivals and support the culture to the most. Yes, all three can improve but so can we! We all can. *

* We have to say that we’re lucky enough to attend all three festivals and support the culture to the most. Yes, all three can improve but so can we! We all can. *

LOCAL VS GLOBAL

Our weekend was crazy. Friday’s festivities started with Dylan Hall’s E.P. Release Party and ended with INVT’s set at Little Spaiti. Saturday got us way too tired, football during the day and another local party at night. What better way to wrap up the litness than with a blog? Are we right…

Well, whatever you think you’re still reading. We’ll take it as a yes. The weekend brought an important point to all our eyes. By all we mean the UMAMI crew. After seeing multiple amazing performances from local talent, we realized we need to cover an issue that stands in the way of UMAMI, locals, and a lot of listeners, whether you listen to music on the daily or on the boat throughout the weekend.

What to listen to. It sounds simple but it isn’t. When we turn on the radio or we use the outdated but still very popular Pandora you get the hits. Billboard hits, radio hits, mainstream hits, all types of hits. Now imagine you’re in the car. You’re on your way to school in the morning and it’s a Monday. Fuck we hate Mondays.

Anyways, your on your way and you’re listening to music. If you aren’t, we’re sorry to say that you’re lame. What are you listening to? For most, hits. Again, hits on the radio or hits that Spotify and Apple Music want you to listen to. Is it bad? We’re not the biggest fans but no, it isn’t. Close to all Americans listen to them.

After the story there’s always a point. Our point is that A LOT of people listen to hits. Now our question: How many people listen to locals?

We got to give credit to Dylan Hall and his amazing performance to finish off an amazing event. After he rapped his last phrase, he made a speech in which he gave thanks to friends, family, his crew and said “I listen to locals on the daily”. We do too. That doesn’t make it amazing. The way he said it, the way he went about it really stuck to us. The people that were in the room listening to him felt his sincerity, his realness for the local community, and the want for locals to be heard. All in all, it taught us a lesson that even though we’re listening to locals, we’re also listening to the Migos, Travis Scott, Diplo, Flatbush Zombies and too many more. How do we find a balance between our city and the world?

Since we started with music let’s keep using music as an example. If you’re starting to catch onto our drift (and have hopefully dived into the deepness of our blogs) you’ll notice that this can be for any art form anywhere. Where does a person find the balance between giving to the local community while giving to the world? At what point does the artist give him/herself freedom to go outside of the local community? As a listener and observer, who should we listen to? Who should we support?

All of you won’t like our answer but we think it’s the truth. Listen, support, watch, learn from who you want to learn from. Yes, we support locals to the max but we’re all humans, you’re attracted to what you like. Someone who doesn’t appreciate FOOM! shouldn’t have to support them because they’re local. On the contrast, someone who loves FOOM! shouldn’t feel forced to enjoy the radio. We’re all different, we all like different things and, us included, have locals we aren’t real fans of.

Appreciate locals but you don’t have to love them. Support the people you think are amazing, not the ones your friend is always listening to. Do the extra step and immerse yourself in Youtube, IG, or any other platform. Find those people you like, even if they aren’t only locals. From a creatives perspective, we cherish 10 committed supporters more than a 100 bots. Keep it real Miami, not only for the creatives, but for you.

#SUPPORTLOCALS