Miami Music Festival Ready to Make a Huge Impact

Unlike Live Nation or Grand Central, the annual Miami Music Festival failed to make an immediate impact. Now in its second year, it has the potential to overhaul a slice of South Florida's music calendar, turning the second weekend of November into a free-for-all of live tuneage, booze, and industry schmoozing. The schedule is peppered with 200 performers, including national acts like Brooklyn garage poppers the Vivian Girls and St. Louis blues-rock crew Devon Allman's Honeytribe. Locals include jam beast Juke, mashup experts City of God, Spanglish psychedelicists Arboles Libres, and rap boss Iceberg. The elimination of last year's pop-up tents, which were used to create an artificial main drag between Transit Lounge and Tobacco Road at the first festival, is also a step in the right direction. And beyond tents, there have been two more major improvements to the venue plan. For one, the festival's decision to harness some of that Live Nation magic by booking showcase stages at Bayfront Park Amphitheater makes solid sense. For another, the addition of Miami live music institution Churchill's Pub corrects one of MMF 2009's most serious slip-ups. And although it's premature to expect the festival to come close to standard-bearers like South by Southwest, it's clear now that the Miami Music Festival fully intends to return in 2011 and every year after.

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