III Points Music Festival set the bar high for Miami’s 2019 music scene. Mana Wynwood brought us, III Points, three days worth of music, art and great food that made for a 4th-dimensional experience. III Points existed in multiple spaces, each one consisting of diverse realities. L’Etage dived into the III Points universe for all three days and this is what we saw.
First things first. The entryway to the III Points experience was an installation called “Tides,” created by renowned artist, Erica Bernhard, and Nonotak Studio.The piece was created with the intention to give the guests of the festival the sensation of entering a space-time warp. The sounds and the LED lights of the installation did exactly that as we walked through it to begin our III Points journey.
The art didn’t stop there. III Points was an art magnet. Every room, every stage, and every corner was art. Little River Box Company filled the space with their repurposed containers, bringing to the festival their well known Garden Box, as well as a preview to a Performance Art piece by Judy Chicago, titled “A Reckoning,” in partnership with Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Art.
We did say every stage was art, right? Let’s go one by one.
Heineken presents Aether
This visual and sonic experience was transcending. Inside this room, we found an art piece titled “Aether.” Cocreated by Max Cooper and the Architecture Social Club, Aether produced a somewhat psychedelic yet calming sensation on the III Points guests. Lights seemed to hover in the air while dancing to Cooper’s music and creating shapes on the walls. Witnessing Aether was a vivid sensorial event.
III Points partnered up with Stillhouse, America’s Finest Whiskey producers — created by G-Eazy and Brad Beckerman — , and Miami’s own Faena Art to bring to us Skate Space. A room designed to roller skate with friends and drink whiskey cocktails like, “Peach Don’t Kill My Vibe” — Stillhouse Peach Tea Whisky, lemonade, and lemon — as you trip to projections on the walls and Faena’s Art. This room was also equipped with an installation created by Cuban-American interdisciplinary artist Aileen Quintana, better known as Haiiileen in collaboration with @color_assassin. The piece titled “Haiii-liiight” was created as a representation of colors in their light wave patterns inspiring in its spectators a hypnotic sensation.
The famous Boiler Room didn’t disappoint. In this room, there was an art installation created by Late For Work, titled “Wink”, that truly contributed to the energy of the room. Eyes, mouths, and other human body parts were projected to spheres floating from the ceiling, giving the Boiler Room an eerie ambiance. Club Space Miami’s Resident DJ, Thunder Pony, had the room jumping, early in the night on Friday, and Marvin and Guy, had us hoping late in the night. Other artists that packed the room were Keinemusik, who closed on Saturday, and DJ Stingray, who performed late on Sunday night. These and other DJs played the music of the future inside the Boiler Room, making the audience feel like they were flying in hyperdrive, into another dimension.
This stage felt, exactly how its name sounds. Funky vibes filled the space and people danced to the different combinations of sounds. Headlining DJ’s were Honey Dijon, Mall Grab, Ben UFO, Joy Orbison, and others. These last two performed together and like the rest, they really brought life to this section of the festival.
Toro y Moi took the Main Frame stage on the first day of III Points. His set was ‘groovy,’ to say the least. People danced to his beats with glowing lights, as they passed around an incense from the stage, around the audience and then back to the stage. It was a cleansing experience. The merging energy of the artist and the fans was vitalizing. It made for one of the best moments at III Points.
Main Frame’s great moments didn’t stop there. Two of the most influential hip-hop artists of all time, Wu-Tang Clan members, Raekwon, and Ghost Face Killah brought us back to the classics when they performed songs from the hit album “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.” The space was packed with people from the stage to the entrance. At least half of the people at the festival could not wait to get a glimpse of the legends. Bouncing, dancing, and rapping to the Wu-Tang Clan Logo, flashing like the Bat-signal in the back of the stage, Main Frame was the place to be when these artists hit the stage.
Grammy-nominated, for his song “Ghost Voices,” artist Porter Robinson performed as Virtual Self on the last night of the festival. The performance felt as if we were entering a space ship, that shook us into the” in-between”. We were not in this dimension, nor in the one that follows, but rather, somewhere in between. The combination of light, sound, and visual media made Virtual Self one of the artists to watch in 2019.
The main stage at this music festival was Mind Melt and the first act to puddle our perception was The Internet. Syd Tha Kyd’s soothing voice in songs like “Get Away” and “Girl” felt like an escape to another planet. Sporting a T-shirt and jeans, Tha Kyd’s performance transported its audience to The Internets world. Purple backgrounds and starry skies had the crowd feeling as if they were inside the “Girl” Music Video and singing along as if they were the band members themselves.
Next, we witnessed Beach House. Have you ever been hypnotized by someone because they were speaking a foreign language? That is exactly the feeling many of us get when we listen to Beach House. The band has a way of putting its audience in a mysterious and calming trance, nobody wants to wake up from. Beach House creates a combination of sounds that has its audience imagination bursting.
Tyler, the creator closed the Mind Melt stage on Friday evening and every song he performed gave his fans a glimpse of the feelings behind the man. “November” had a special effect, transporting us to a park where we sat as Tyler sang. Tyler’s captivating voice muted the rest of the noise of the night, leaving the audience with no choice but to listen. The Creator surprised the audience more than once. First by singing his hit “She”, and then by bringing A$AP Rocky to the stage. The crowd lost it. People rushed towards them as the two performers gave us an unforgettable show. The chemistry between the two was undeniable. Just before leaving the stage, Tyler said ¨Sorry about my voice,¨ not that he had anything to be sorry for. But, just in case he did, the audience’s consolation prize was the sweater he was wearing, an original Golf Wang item.
Day two of Mind Melt brought to us Herbie Hancock. The legend’s rocking jazz tunes brought generations of people together. Hancock is a pure musician, and it really shined through in his performance. His set was created for a true appreciator of music.
The beautiful Sza closed the Melt Mind stage on Saturday night. The best way to describe this woman after watching her in this performance is two words: Nymph Goddess. The Contemporary R&B artist shared her contagious energy by dancing on stage and singing songs from her album Ctrl. Occasionally altering her songs slightly with hints of Blues, or adding completely new parts like it was with her solo version of “Love Galore.” By the end of the set, this mesmerizing princess announced that her album is almost finished and that she will be dropping singles soon. We, for one, can’t wait to listen to what she has been working on.
Sunday night’s Mind Melt was magical. Erykah Badu, master performer, and spiritual priestess had us all believing in the supernatural by the end of her performance. Her soulful voice and charismatic personality made for a visceral experience. To finish her performance, Erykah made everyone in the crowd, including the cameramen, stop what they were doing and put their hands up in the air. “Do you feel the heat in the palms? We are creating a vortex of energy. We transcended race, sex, religion and everything else. Energy is real.” This moment of the festival seemed to encompass what the purpose of III Point is, and everyone witnessing that performance knew it.
Finally, A$AP Rocky hit the stage, but not before making the crowd wait about forty minutes to watch him play. The anticipation for the young rapper was palpable as the audience waited for his arrival. As soon as the music started so did the screams. The performance began with A$AP Rocky and Tyler the Creator, dancing behind a curtain, rapping their song “Potato Salad,” allowing the audience to see only their shadows. As soon as the curtain dropped, the energy between the artists and the audience was so strong, it was probably felt inside all of the III Points stages. When Tyler left the stage, A$AP proceeded to ask the audience about the psychedelics they were consuming that night. This comment could only mean one thing to his fans, at this moment everyone knew he was going to perform L$D. This slow song was a necessary change of pace, coming from his and Tyler’s performance, and then transitioning into a moshpit? Yes, a mosh pit. A$AP demanded the audience look at the images being projected onto the stage which instructed how to create a mosh pit. Then, he demanded all cameras be pointed at the crowd as the chaos began. To say the least, A$AP’s performance was crazy, the artist is a fantastic personality and a thrill to watch on stage.
III Points is a call to experience the art and culture of the magical city that is Miami. The festival itself is so jampacked with artistic jewels in every corner, that it seems unfair to only have it for three nights. III Points is art itself, delicious local foods, creative cocktails, art installations, poetry, dance, music, clothing, every form of art imaginable to man had a part in this festival. It is truly a can’t miss experience.