Miami’s House of Creatives returned for a second year of art and music. The festival changed location from Miami Beach’s Bandshell Park to the Historic Virginia Key Park. I don’t recall ever using the word “comfy” to describe a music festival, but when I walked in to House of Creatives, that was all I kept thinking. The festival is surrounded by food venders from some of Miami’s tastiest eateries. There were rustic jewelry booths and art installations such as “sacred geometry”; projections of fast, distorted, symbols were shot over two screens. There was plenty of room to dance and everyone from the concertgoers to security to Miami-Dade Police Officers seemed friendly enough to spark up a chat.
Saturday had absolutely perfect weather. There were no clouds and the stars hovered above the main stage with aplomb, making everything a little more magical. However, Sunday brought forth tropospheric challenges. Rain constantly teased the event, but it was typical Miami weather; it rains for four minutes then goes back to normal. The audience didn’t seem phased by it and the show continued. However, during Washed Out’s funky indie rock set, the show was temporally shutdown due to lightning in the area after finishing the classic indie anthem, “Feeling It All Around.” Perhaps a tad bit ironic.
But let us backtrack. Rawayana took the stage a little after 6 p.m. and delivered a rhythmic, jazzy, Latin-based sound that kept the audience, or what I call “creators” of House of Creatives, happy and carefree. Wild Belle took the stage next. The two siblings, Elliot and Natalie Bergman, brought a gritty, reggae and jazz-like style. Natalie Bergman vocals are both powerful when you need it, but also a bit subtle. It is a voice that can follow the blues, jazz, and a bit of rock.
Away from the main stage was the makeshift area “Where Are My Keys?” A set of wooden pallets held up a mixer and two CDJs. The residents of one of Miami’s most institutional clubs, The Electric Pickle, spent the day and evening spinning. Jeremy Ishmael, William Renuart, and Terrance Tabeau all took turns dropping some needed electronic tunes. It is an outdoor event after all. The DJs were lighthearted and clearly having a lot fun. As the bass lowered, you could hear the wind and the ocean behind them from the lovely bay.
As fun as a festival with lots of experience can be, it is refreshing to check out festivals that are just getting their feet off the ground. House of Creatives has gotten bigger from last year and set the mood for the end of the year. Despite the aforementioned weather, the acts were great and the Sunday headliner, MGMT, managed to play after all. Albeit, only four songs before the curfew was enacted. The food was delicious and the drinks weren’t too expensive.
I am not totally sure what the future of House of Creatives will be but I could see them coming back for another year. However, it seems a new location may be better. As beautiful as Virginia Key can be, the parking is pricey and there is only one entrance, which makes a simple Uber/Lyft ride a struggling task. I, for one, really enjoyed the Bandshell on Miami Beach. But is it weird that I don’t want this festival to become too big? Miami has enough big gigs and big festivals. Let’s praise the underdogs, the ones who make Miami feel more humbling and welcome.