The Future of Festivals Looks Bright: III Points 2019
Miami’s sixth III Points festival was three days of awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping performances from across the unique spectrum of their diverse visual and musical line-up. The Mana Wynwood Convention center hosted seven indoor and outdoor stages, each with their own creative quirks and distinct company, and a plethora of interactive installations, such as Max Cooper and Architecture Social Club’s Aether installation, and Erica Bernhard and Nonotak’s entry portal into the festival. Unconventional spaces, such as the indoor “Skate Space” had patrons put their roller-skating skills to work, with a performance space in the middle that hosted artists like Keanu Orange and Suzi Analogue, and a tucked away, intimate space for DJ sets inspired by speakeasy’s called Door IV, were innovative choices that set III Points above and apart from many American festivals today.
Starting at sunset, eccentrically dressed patrons pour into the Mana Wynwood convention center, walking through an entry portal designed by New York City-based artist Erica Bernhard and Nonotak Studios. The installation was almost like an allegorical representation of the traverse from the real world into this creative hot spring, a safe space to watch, listen, dance and learn through music and art. The main outdoor stage, Mind Melt, kicked off the weekend with headliners, like The Internet, Beach House, and Tyler the Creator. The outdoor electronic stage, Isotropic, which resembled a greenhouse, hosted artists like Jaques Greene, Honey Dijon, and Peggy Gou, and was the last thing you heard when exiting the festival each night.
Russian political activist group, Pussy Riot, put on a banging show at III Point’s Sector 3 stage. Known for their protest art and signature balaclavas, Pussy Riot uses their musical platform to fight back against and raise awareness for the Russian government’s complacency corrupt government enabling of corrupt officials and the unlawful imprisonment of political protesters
Saturday was a night of classics, with III Points hosting Herbie Hancock, Wu-Tang’s own Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy delivering funky DJ set. The Heineken room, which housed Max Cooper and Architecture Social Club’s audio-visual installation, Aether, was almost always packed with festival goers relaxing on the ground, looking up at the captivating piece hanging from the ceiling. Sector 3 saw performances from John Maus, Miami locals Haute Tension, and the joined forces of Ty Segall and White Fence.
New York City artist and producer, Yaeji, blew the roof off of III Point’s indoor stage, Main Frame, with an energetic performance that just couldn’t be topped. Her melodic and mysterious vocals and beat-heavy tracks elevated the late night energy, helping to bring the crowd into the depths of the long evening ahead of them.
The last day of the weekend was quite honestly the longest, trying to take in everything the festival had to offer before it was over. An ambient performance by Tim Hecker and The Konoyo Ensemble brought in the night with a very introspective mood and creating a space of analysis and observation of the event itself. It was beautiful to see how so many people can come together with a common interest and how the energy generated really creates a magical environment for learning and inspiring. Erykah Badu was whimsical under the disco ball moon, and Khurangbin delivered a psychedelic, groovy set, complete with an insane amount of fog, at the Sector III stage. Miami’s own Danny Daze and Mariel Ito closed the weekend with an intense b2b set and exiting through the entryway portal made the weekend feel like it had gone as fast as it could come. The unique concoction of dance music, R&B, rap, psychedelia across the spectrum, and immersive and interactive art pieces set III Points apart from today’s festival culture and gave me hope in the future of American music festivals. Until next year, III Points!
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s hour-long performance at III Points' Main Frame stage was not nearly enough. An intense, experimental brain-fuck, Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s performance was mesmerizing. The nine-piece group from Montreal has on and off been around since 1994, and their craft shows the perfection that twenty or so years of work would create. All of the members play in perfect tandem with each other, exchanging quick glances as their composition morphs and changes almost autonomously, sharing what looks like to an outsider, a hive-mind of creative process and performance.
The unique concoction of dance music, R&B, rap, psychedelia across the spectrum, and immersive and interactive art pieces set III Points apart from today’s festival culture and gave me hope in the future of American music festivals. Until next year, III Points!
Coverage by Izze Thompson
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