How An Immigrant Collective Upended Miami’s Nightlife Hierarchy By Opening Their Own Club

Red Bull Media House

“The vision and the goal is still the same: To throw a party in outer space.”

After a statement like that, it’s easy to think Coloma Kaboomsky is kidding. But when he talks about his goals for Link Miami Rebels, the immigrant collective community he co-founded in 2009 with fellow Miami promoter, David Denese, Kaboomsky’s deadpan never wavers. Sitting in their sunlit office in Miami, it’s only a slight twinkle in his eye and a slow, sly smile that imply he knows his plan sounds outrageous — but that hasn’t slowed him down in the slightest.

“Perspective is incredibly important,” Kaboomsky continued. “It’s probably the most important thing we could learn while we’re here. That’s what we try to provide in our club — a transcendent type of feeling for everybody involved. For people to get a positive experience and take that with them through their everyday travels of the 9-5 system that we’re in.”

As the Link Miami Rebels have grown in stature, even purchasing their own venue (Club Space) a few years ago, Kaboomsky’s reputation has begun to precede him. Known affectionately as the “mayor” of Miami nightlife, his commitment to creating an alternative to the exclusive guest list and bottle service-driven elements of the city’s electronic music scene has resulted in an underground community, mostly centered around Club Space.

Walking into the club for the first time earlier in the weekend, these differences are unmistakable. Glancing around the stage, I spotted a dreamcatcher hanging above the DJ booth — a first for me. Such a diverging aesthetic from what I normally experience in clubs signaled that something different was going on here, a shift in priorities toward spiritual and communal elements.

Typically, the dress code of short, skin-tight dresses and towering high heels have kept me out of late night club culture — and even away from electronic music as a whole — as have expensive-looking tables and cordoned-off areas where only VIPs could go. But hanging at Club Space around 3 AM offered an experience that didn’t fit the stereotype. Plenty of people were in t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers, and passed trays of espresso shots and fresh juice, which made dancing into the early morning light and cheerful, the opposite of an alcohol-drenched night. Instead of being blocked off by tables for bottle service, the dance floor was large and expansive — and most of the crowd stayed out there instead of on the fringes, moving all night as the music rose and fell with each DJ’s subsequent set. By the time we left around 7 AM, I wanted to come back every night.

“I think nightlife transcends into daytime,” Kaboomsky said. “Nightlife is something that can be one-dimensional, but it can also be omnidirectional. It can take a lot of shifting forms. It depends what you do with it, how you guide the community.”

Kaboomsky and the other Link Miami Rebel leaders, joined later on by Lucaz Zaglul, were spurred on to create a counter-movement strictly out of dissatisfaction with the status quo in the electronic music community. They came together to purchase their own venue in an attempt to change what they deemed to be a boring sameness in local late-night culture.

“We were just promoting our parties, and started noticing that when we went out to the clubs, you heard the same music from the DJs there,” Kaboomsky said. “They’re exactly the same. I mean that. It was boring, essentially. Plus, looks and status were extremely important in nightlife, and we have nothing against that, but it just wasn’t what we wanted.”

Initially, Kaboomsky’s crew was Miami Rebels, and one of his partners, Davide Denese, had his own promotional company, Link Miami. After collaborating on a number of events together — including a stage at Miami’s III Points festival the year a hurricane threatened to overtake the fest — the pair decided to form one cohesive group: Link Miami Rebels. In the process, the people involved began to create relationships that superseded their business efforts and grew into an actual community.

“It used to be Link Miami in collaboration with Miami Rebels,” Kaboomsky explained. “Eventually we realized we had to unify, and in the process of unifying it in terms of branding, we were also going through a lot of struggles together. We had already unified as a group, spiritually and physically, mentally, and we were already working together. So it came down to saying, ‘okay, let’s unify everything in the digital world, and how we label this.’”

Around 2016, as Link Miami Rebels was in the process of solidifying as a unified collective, the opportunity to purchase Club Space emerged, and along with the founder of III Points, David Sinopoli, who had worked with them on a joint stage at the fest, the three set out to rebuild the nightclub’s legacy to reflect their communal principles and create a safe space for a city that is driven by its foreign-born citizens. This would be a club owned by a collective of immigrants who’d grown similarly tired of traditional late night club culture, and wanted to foster a sense of inclusivity instead.

As the Link Miami Rebel movement grew, it attracted the attention of Red Bull’s initiative, Inspire The Night, which set out to make a mini-doc about the impact the group was having on Miami’s culture — particularly in light of the attack on immigrants and harsh restrictions being passed down by the Trump administration. Check out Red Bull’s exploration of the community below.

“Miami is not just a home to us, but an opportunity,” Kamboosky noted. “Man, it’s almost like a country for us. Before our own countries, where we were born, Miami became that much more special because it’s a place that opened its arms. Miami, to us, also represents entrepreneurs as people that are trying to bring culture. Miami’s a baby, it’s brand new.”

As he and I wrap up our final conversation about the group’s history and future, I ask if there’s anything else he wants to make sure people know about the movement.

“Definitely,” he says. “Tell them that we’re going to outer space.”

Uproxx was hosted for this story by Red Bull Music. You can read more about our press trip/hosting policy here.