If music is your sanctuary, III Points Miami is about to become a mega church next weekend.
2021 III Points Music Festival will begin at 5:00 PM on Friday, October 22 and ends on Saturday, October 23 in the wee, who knows when hours. Its two days of music, art, and technology are massive displays of immersive, interactive, and cutting edge installations, environments, and experiences. Six stages host this year’s lineup with the latest audiovisual technology and unique multi-dimensional environments. Big stages, large stages, not so large stages, small stages, side stages, elevated stages, etc. Murals, lights, graffiti, food, and countless performances by an enormous number of promising music acts as well as celebrated ones from all over the world are on the docket. Bands, groups, DJs, sectors, coalitions, alliances, mixers, strobes, rappers, toasters, dancers, imposters, blenders, screamers, shouters – there just aren’t enough nouns and definitely not sufficient adjectives.
The lineup has more bodies than the Dolphins, Canes, Marlins, and Panthers combined. Friday’s sets are highlighted by The Strokes, Eric Prydz, Jamie XX, Peggy Gou, and particularly beloved repeat visitor Khruangbin. Though most acts bring it straight up, banging club style, Devendra Banhart, Moses Sumney, Le Poodle, and Rick Moon are among the exceptions.
Saturday brings more variety with old head like me legends Wu-Tang Clan joining funky Thundercat, Kaytranada, Washed Out, Three Six Mafia, and super soulful Gabriel Garzón-Montano.
To be honest, III Points has had to reschedule the festivities several times. The event had been originally rescheduled to take place on April 30 and May 1, the original dates in May of last year changed to October 16-17 before rescheduling to 2021. The dreams of normalcy having never panned out, vaccine wars, misinformation, Kyrie Irving, and questions about the effectiveness of boosters versus the variants of the virus, plus length of their immunity further muddied the prospects of III Points ever getting off the ground. Yet the festival looks like one of those jumbo double decker airplanes with the VIPs on the second floor. It seems to be pushing back from the gate and ready for takeoff.
In order to try to thoughtfully address the madness of both the virus and the deniers, erring on the side of good sense, attendees will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours or, alternatively, proof of full vaccination.
In February 2019, pre-COVID, Miami celebrated III Points acts like A$AP Rocky, Erykah Badu, and Blood Orange; I saw then upstart Khruangbin on a stage in the back corner which reminded me of glory day concerts with exuberant crowds who worshipped acts that provided the fantasies that sustain people through difficulties like those we have gone through recently.
I’m an old head, and music has always provided me refuge from life’s unwelcome 99 problems. I’ve been blessed to have seen Santana, the Rolling Stones, Parliament, Beyoncé , the O’Jays, Sting, Kurt Elling, Janis Joplin, Miles Davis, Average White Band, Frank Zappa, Hot 8, Jay-Z, Johnny Hallyday, BB King, James Brown, Fishbone, Lenny Kravitz, Black Eyed Peas, Yes, Tromboranga, Roy Ayers, and Ziggy Marley among a hundred others. So I cross my fingers and remain optimistic that this incarnation of III Points will add to future memories.