One of the most unheralded quirks of the music industry is how hard it is to see live music in South Florida. Despite the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale/West Palm Beach metro area ranking in the top 10 in the US in terms of population size, the area is passed up in tour routing so frequently, it starts to feel like a cruel joke, with artists unable or unwilling to make the trek south outside of a more convenient loop from Atlanta to the Carolinas. A 2016 article in the local alt-weekly, The Miami New Times, points out artists like Lorde, Bjork, Gorillaz, and Tame Impala had never played the area at that point, and that’s exactly the gap in the market that led to III Points Festival debuting in 2013.
“III Points is a locally based organization that started out seeking to bring musicians and acts that were passing by Miami on their tour plans,” explained David Sinopoli, the festival’s co-founder and longtime Head Of Programming for Miami’s Bardot. “Because of our geographical location, it’s really difficult for some touring bands that are developing, especially in the indie sphere, to make it down to us in South Florida before starting another leg of the tour. We missed out for so many years on so many bands.”
But since that first event in 2013, III Points has been instrumental in changing this. Some bands eventually come down on their own accord (Tame Impala has their first local show scheduled in May), but others, like The XX and the aforementioned Gorillaz, have the festival to thank for finally visiting their Floridian fans. But this very practical reason for throwing the festival, which has typically taken place in October until skipping 2018 to relaunch this weekend as a February festival for 2019, is not the whole story when it comes to the programming III Points is doing. The drive to expose Florida fans to the excellent music they might be missing, as well as amplifying local artists (about half the performers are locals) and bringing down some of the brightest rising stars in music, has led the event to raise its profile enough that it’s hard to pick an equal in terms of rising American music festivals.