Filtering by Tag: wynwood

(Almost) Nothing is Free

Today’s blog comes from the heart. Our goal, which we’d hope we’ve made clear, is to be a platform for all creatives from all artistic outlets. This platform, as many of you know, consists of different events throughout Miami and the greater Miami community.

Why are we telling you this? Because we heard a story (and have experienced multiple more) that we can’t shake off. It’s not like it’s a crime or anything, it’s just wrong. Here’s how it goes:

There was an event last week near Wynwood: 100-200 people. Nothing huge, just a nice get to getter with local musicians, artists, and the youth. From our memory the show started at 8 and went to 12. The details, to be really honest, are irrelevant. What we learned from being there is something that only made sense after the fact. Thankfully, we knew the event organizer and could ask him what’s up. Our question was simple: Why are there so many people without wristbands?

Like many events in Miami and the world, wristbands is the way to go. It’s easy to recognize who has a wristband and who doesn’t, it’s cheaper than printing tickets and more than anything, it’s effective. The event organizer told us something along the lines of “I don’t know”. Well, being investigative and all that, we searched for the answer.

There’s two possibilities. One, people walked right past the “host” and never paid the ticket. Two, people used the backdoor. Both instances are preventable and it’s the event organizers fault for not having security at the front and back door controlling the ticketing. Another pain point is (probably) that the “host” of the event knew many attendees, either letting them in for free or giving them the yes nod to proceed without paying.

What bothers us more than anything is not that people got in for free but that they didn’t try to pay. This is the time to tell you that the event (last week) was only $5! How could people not pay it? That’s the question we need to answer and together, we need to think about. More than telling you the answer we want to give you the facts. We’re event organizers, we talk events on a daily, maybe even hourly, basis. Events cost way more time and money than any attendee would ever expect. Here’s a list of some things that we keep in mind when forming a budget:

  • Permits

  • Insurance

  • Musicians

  • Artists

  • Marketing

  • Security

  • Venue

  • Bar

  • Staff

  • Production: Sound and Lighting

This is just the tip of the iceberg of expenses that event organizers have to endure in order to throw an event. Yes, we know, there are exceptions. Someone might know someone and get a hook up on a venue, someone might not pay musicians, artists, security, etc. The possibilities are, of course, endless. Speaking only on our experience and how we like to produce events, we like to pay everyone. In order to pay everyone, we need, more than anything, income.

Another story we’ve been throwing around in our heads is one an attendee told us at Dylan Hall’s E.P. Release Party last year. She said, and I quote, “If the event isn’t free for me then I’m not going”. Excuse me? Free for you? Why? Because you're a girl? Look sweetheart and all the other sweethearts in Miami that think it’s ok for men to pay $20+ cover and for girls to be free: It is not ok. It is not normal. It is sexist, and Miami is one of the only places in the world that allows it.

We can go on a rant about how sexist and condescending the idea of girls being free and guys having to pay at events is but we’ll leave it for another blog. This blog already addresses such a large stigma about events that we think we did our job. Now it’s your turn. When you go to the next event we want you to think about all the time and expenses put into it. We want you to imagine what the event organizer went through, from first finding the venue to forming the theme of the event, adding musicians, artists and most importantly, executing it. Have a great day and while you're going to your Spring Break events, whether it be this week, next week, or in a month from now, think twice before sneaking in.

Side-Note: This blog is meant to address an issue that happens all over the event world and will never be resolved. Specifically in Miami and with us, UMAMI, the problem is greater. People do everything they can to get around paying and were left to hire additional workers to take care of the perpetrators. Do we want to? Absolutely not. Do we want to loose money? Definitely not. All we want is for the Miami arts community to grow and prosper. That’s why we do it.

III POINTS, WE LOVE YOU

Hey fam! Happy February. It’s weird to say that we’ve been busy but what can we say? We always are. Today marks the day that we’re on another grind: get these fucking events going! Why? Well we’ve been held back by venue owners, speaker rentals, partners, and all that stuff ya’ll don’t need to worry about. What we all need to worry about is iii Points, not only an inspiring festival full of creative and most importantly, local people, but a festival that this year, did it all.

We were lucky enough to attend all 3 days of 3 points (see what we did there). Friday’s headliner was Tyler, Saturday Beach House and Herbie Hancock, Sunday was full of legends: Erykah Badu, Egyptian Lover, A$AP Rocky, Danny Daze, David August, DJ Koze, lets stop there before we take up a whole page. It was a musical masterpiece to say the least. Our experience, which is what we want (and can talk about), is heaven (if there is one, of course).

The day before iii Points was a stressful one for one main reason: weed. We needed it. Once we settled that we focused on our schedule, made conveniently using the iii Points app. Just for reference, the two essentials to iii Points are weed and schedule. The rest’ll be history.

Moving forward to something more educational, our first day (and last) were an absolute blast. We posted our full schedule on IG for Friday. Mostly house and techno music, we focused on the isotropic and boiler room stage. The main stage, called Mind Melt, was shaking with Tyler and a special appearance from the man himself, A$AP motherfucking Rocky. Crazy. That’s that.

Saturday and Sunday were a lot of the same. House, techno, house, hip-hop, bands and to add to the mosh posh: Valentine’s Day weekend. iii Points, in its decor and music, made love a vocal point. For crying out loud, we left Herbie early to go to Masego. If you weren’t at his set and you didn’t feel the love, well, you had to. It was really a joy and eye-opener.

Summaries sound boring. All in all, boring. In conclusion, yawn. Let’s go with “a heavenly weekend”. From music choice to stage design, sound, lighting, vendors, merchandise, venue, and even security, we can safely say iii Points did an amazing job. If you’re convinced on going to iii Points already, you can stop here. You have the 2020 vision that Ms. Badu (and the poet who introduced her) stated. For those of you who need more info, details, a little kick in the ass to get to Mana next year, here’s our breakdown on what they did well, how they did things different, and why iii Points is different than anything else.

  • Music: We read an article in which co-founder David Sinopoli said “we want 50% local, 50% big names”. He explained the idea behind it: Put someone on stage who brings a large crowd (meaning big name) right before or after a local act. By doing so, you're attracting a larger audience, most who’ve never heard the local act, to interact and listen to locals. Genius. Line-up was on point by the way.

  • Stage: iii Points 2019 had a couple of major revamps: different date and a lot more stages. Six stages made up the festival this year spanning all of Mana Wynwood. Isotropic was our favorite with Door IV being the lesser of the great. Our opinion: keep making stages original and stop being modern. We don’t want the black stages with curtains, we want something new and creative. Just like iii Points is.

  • Vendors: Throughout the festival there were art instillations, food vendors, clothes, bars, buses, and even a little market called Little Spati. A little birdy told us the food was programmed by someone different this year. Even though we don’t know who it is, job well done. The food was delicious. Clothing stand and the extras were cool, but our eyes were set on the weed maps bus. Not only a dope idea, but a useful one.

  • Merch: Cool. Very cool. Wanted to buy a long sleeve but they closed before we could make it. Made us think of a system that attendees should be able to buy before and pick up later. That way we can all party and deal with business in the morning.

  • Venue and Vibe: The two v’s go together, don’t they? Mana Wynwood is conveniently located and has been/still is the perfect place for iii Points. Storage containers, wooden structures, lights, and a disco ball only made Mana shine “brighter than a diamond”.

  • Security: We know you guys don’t really care about security but you’ll care about this, iii Points doesn’t give a shit about weed. Put it in your pocket gentlemen, you don’t have to tuck and go for this one.

A festival comes down to being together with people, listening to amazing music, and having a memorable time. We can say that iii Points needs to work on having less technical difficulties, time management skills, and nitpick points of improvement but, for this festival, it isn’t worth it. All the artists showed up, nothing really went wrong, and everyone had a great time. iii Points, we have the 2020 vision, we love you, and can’t wait to be doing what your doing <3

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Note to Developers

We’ve said repeatedly on this blog that Wynwood is still a beautiful place, for creative locals and tourists to connect, for art to be a vocal point of the community and for people, especially locals to feel at home. South Beach became tourist heaven so locals came to Wynwood. Everything, even a couple months ago was alright. We had Wynwood Yard, O Cinema, Churchills, the Electric Pickle, and a few less skyscrapers in the works. Of course it wasn’t the “old Wynwood”, but it had places keeping its integrity, its rawness and ultimately, the haven that locals and artists need.

Today we have to say its a little different. We’ve become obsessed with what’s happening to Wynwood because it’s the integrity of Miami. The integrity, and UMAMI hates to say it, is rapidly being destroyed. Here’s the list of no-no’s we’re hoping won’t destroy the local community:

  • The Wynwood Yard and O Cinema sit together on NW 29th st. Right on the outskirts of Wynwood, they’ve in the last 3 years became a institution to the local art, food, and music community. Due to one of the largest developers in the U.S., they’re being moved in 2019 for a mixed development space (a.k.a. apartment buildings).

  • The Electric Pickle is closing down after 10 years (Spring of 2019). As the Pickle states “It’s been a crazy ride and we’re not done yet. It’s time for a change. We look forward to one more trip around the sun, filled with parties and memories.”

  • Churchills has been through it’s ups and downs. Let’s not have it close before it turns 40!

The impact of money in Miami is prevalent. We have nice cars, a tropical climate and beautiful surroundings, why do we need to destroy it? Having a home in Wynwood is not as important as keeping it’s integrity. People, especially locals (#localsonly) go to Wynwood for the art, local businesses, and real “Miamians”. First the locals (thanks Goldman), then art galleries, now social establishments, fuck us we’re getting kicked out!

Our question is plain and simple: What’s next? Where will the locals go after Wynwood? From personal experience I can tell you I used to love South Beach, I’m still deeply in love with Wynwood, but I’m feeling North Beach next. Once Wynwood has buildings like Brickell, I’m out.


LOCALS PREVAIL, DEVELOPERS DON’T. WE’RE THE ONES THAT LIVE HERE AFTER ALL.

*Fill the comments up with neighborhoods, communities, even a place. We want to know where to find the locals next!*

Rendering of Wynwood Green, set to start building in 2019.

Rendering of Wynwood Green, set to start building in 2019.

It's been a week?

Shit we've been busy. Already a week has gone by and we haven't gotten a chance to tell you the real truth, the whole truth, and the I don't give a fuck truth about Miami. Might as well get into it. 

We're in a time crunch. An event July 6th, promo event to the end of July and, with the time we have left, an elegant rager in August. It's been hectic to say the least. Answering emails, texts, calls, facetimes, checking stats, finding solutions to problems, this really doesn't stop. I'll tell you personally, if I didn't really want this, believe in it, and love it, I wouldn't dare to do it. It's a plethora of lists that never stop. Sometimes we have to take a break, look at some idiotic posts on Instagram, read the news (fake news for my Trump lovers out there), and write a blog.

Tonight's for reflecting. We're running back and forth trying to do the best for the community, for artists, creatives, musicians, entrepreneurs and, ultimately, people. It's a deed that most don't do. Not because they don't want to, but because the steps to doing so are ridiculous. 24 hours work days (and weekends), being the happy, go lucky self you really are while maintaining a social life and family? It isn't ideal.

What I've learned most from trying to do this (I'll never say I did it, trying always has room for improvement, doing it doesn't) is balance. Life balance? Absolutely. It's that bullshit your mom and dad try to teach you but you never listened. You're stubborn, just like me, but you'll learn the hard way. I know I did. 

Balance is exactly what it says it is. Figuring out how to balance your work, with social, with family, with personal life is what makes Richard Branson, well, Richard Branson. Bill Gates, Bill Gates. Diplo, Diplo. Tupac, Tupac. Action Bronson, Action. Kendrick, Kendrick. I'll stop with Kendrick because, ya know, its KENDRICK.

After I did my "deeds", I know that I can work all day everyday. Of course I can. You can too. We're, after all, the most closely related to chimpanzees. If they can be trained to eat apples all day we can work all day. What I want to say, hopefully without ranting this time, is that working  non-stop isn't the solution. It doesn't even get that much done! 

The smart thing to do is...... and this is where my Miamians come in...... TAKE A CHILL PILL AND RELAX. For fucks sake, I'm minding my own business driving home on 95 and this pinga cuts me off to only get back in his lane, all while, texting his lesser important of 3 girlfriends. There I go again, ranting on like there's no tomorrow.

Working is great. It gets things done, it makes you money (hopefully) and it gives us a sense of fulfillment. We're opening your eyes up to more. At UMAMI we believe that once work becomes real work, like a 9-5 job you rather kill yourself then stay in, it's time to shut down. Don't actually shut down, close your computer, read those texts tomorrow and do what you feel. I know you always feel our events so we're talking about other stuff. "Walk" with that girl you've been wanting to hit up, watch your favorite series or who knows, do both at the same time!

Talk soon and see ya July 6th. Link listed below:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/connect-tickets-47389100074

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Wynwood has it all... right?

Good fucking Monday. I have this love, hate relationship with Mondays. Even though it doesn't get easier to wake my ass up, Monday has this "do nothing" aura that's great. We all know it yet don't admit it. Just one more of our social mysteries. 

We finished a week back with Wynwood, it's history, and how it's come to "Wynwood" today. Let's talk about Wynwood today, starting with what the hell it is.

Poppin'. All I got for Wynwood (today) is poppin'. Tourists have flooded the streets, artists have only added more to the already full murals and the shopping never (I mean never) stops. Our view on Wynwood is simple. Its become a tourist hotspot and we should feel honored. 

Before we get caught up in our favorite, trendy spots,  I'd like us to see Wynwood from two perspectives. 1.) as a newcomer and 2.) as a local.

Newcomer: As a newbie to the 33127, it can be a little much. There's so much art that most don't know where to look! We take this as a bad thing (all these fucking tourists with their cameras!!), but ya'll know I think it's great. What community has such a vast array of murals, stencils, graffiti and portraits? I'm not asking about Miami, I'm talking about the world. Wynwood is one of the most active arts entertainment districts, period. With the addition of shops and food, it's a beautiful maze you don't want to get out of. 

Locals: Miamians tend to complain a little. Hey, it's not against you. I'm born and raised here too! In general, all locals have a complaint about tourists busting into their home away from home. Wynwood has seen it's fair share of locals. We started what has grown to be an international hub for art, culture and creativity. Now we see Wynwood as South Beach. Let's remind you that South Beach 30 years ago was a shit hole. Past 16th street (Lincoln Rd) and you'd have a hefty risk of getting shot. 

So, what can we do but get this all straightened out! We made a beautiful community that other people want to see. Through the years, we added more art, more shops and developed something that's never been done before. Why aren't we proud of that? Why let tourists keep us away from home? I have no clue. Yes, Wynwood is becoming too expensive, overpopulated and saturated in business. That isn't an excuse. That, young madam or man, is Miami. We made it. 

PS: Stay on the lookout for our view of Wynwood in the next 10 years. If we've developed what we have now, who knows where we'll be in 20. God I love mysteries. 

Wynwood has it all... right?

When you have nothing to do in Miami you go to Wynwood. There's cool people (for the most part), some bad ass graffiti, a bunch of bars and restaurants to devour (and great drunk at) and our favorite, all types of people. As we speak I'm sitting at Panther, enjoying a cup of expertly brewed coffee. I mean it better be if I'm paying $6 a cup. 

Wynwood has been through a lot. 20 years ago, Wynwood was a community of locals and even though it's hard to believe, gangs. A typical day in Wynwood  included shootings, an occasional robbing and definitely no tourists. We fast track 20 years and here we are. A bunch of tourists taking pictures, many gallery owners who are leaving because as they say, "people are coming to Wynwood to party", and a used to be hipster community that's turning into Miami Beach. So wtf happened? How did we go from gangs to then a hipster community to now a tourist hotspot. 

Goldman. Tony Goldman. That man right there made Wynwood what it is. He's no artist, no musician and honestly nothing besides an entrepreneur. As you can already tell, I'm not too big of a fan. Why you ask? Haha you don't wanna start down this road but I'm going there! No stopping UMAMI once we get started!!!!

Goldman is a genius. He bought all the property in the Wynwood area, kicked all the locals out and told them to get lost. My favorite story is one I heard from a local, living in Wynwood 20 years ago. She said a lot. I'm telling you a lot, some of which I didn't need to hear (how her brother went to a store that morning and forgot milk for example).

She woke up one morning with a paper on her front door, basically saying that in a week a bulldozer was coming to tear up her home. Great news huh? Anyways, she couldn't believe it (same). She went to the city of Miami, asked what this all was about and to her suprise found out that our man, Goldman, bought the property. With just a weeks notice she had to find a new place, move all her shit out and go on her merry way. 

After hearing this I dug a little deeper. As I suspected, she wasn't the only one. With the beginning of Wynwood, Goldman went on a torment of kicking people out of their homes, knocking them down and building galleries, artwalks, etc. Yes, we approve of the art but no, we can't approve of locals being moved deeper and deeper into Miami. 

This happened, Wynwood came and it was great for a while. Locals loved it, there were some great hole in the walls, graffiti instillations, art galleries and Miamians finally had a place they could call home. As usual, Wynwood started being in all the "Lonely Planets". Slowly but surely, tourists flooded in. Look, before you start thinking we don't like tourists, we don't, but we see their value. Miami can't function without them. We need tourists for our economy, for our city and ultimately, to keep Miami "lavish". What sucks is that they, even though most don't admit it, change everything. Wynwood became overcrowded and people started seeing Wynwood less for locals, and more for parties. Again, that's cool, it's just not what Wynwood was intended to be. 

I'll stop myself here, let you get your head around what I'm saying and continue another day. I don't want to say tomorrow because I know I'm going out tonight. As we all know, who knows where I'll end up? 

&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;THE GOAT TONY GOLDMAN

                THE GOAT TONY GOLDMAN