For the last two years Miami’s Indie Scene has taken a toll on where or when a local hip-hop showcase will happen. One of the biggest concert venues GRAND CENTRAL in downtown Miami has announced they’ll be closing their doors on September 26. And before a mass amount of supportive venues have shut down as well: The Stage Miami, LMNT, Club Eve, The Nest, The Goose Lounge, and the list goes on and on. We may call this a local entertainment recession right now.
Here’s a bit more information on me and my experience with Miami’s Indie Scene. I’ve coordinated events in Miami and West Palm Beach areas since 2011-2014. With my accounted history I’ve coordinated about 50+ shows that were artist showcases, networking events, artist listening events, beat competitions, open mics, anniversary parties, The Walking Dead Viewing Party called iScream Sundays, and even a yearly event called Blogfest. I would say I was a lucky promoter guaranteeing venues at no cost because of the quality of the show I was providing. The bar will make their money off drinks and I’ll cover the events expenses with what I made off the door. As the years passed the harder it was to get a show booked, venues I previously worked with wanted to start charging me $1,500 to book a show on a Wednesday night, they would never give me weekends considering my crowds supported me more on the weekends. Also my budget wouldn’t allow me to cover these expenses which made it even harder to book shows.
For the last two months I’ve partnered up with PropsAndBonds who’ve coordinate monthly events within the Miami Scene and also coordinating Vice City Cypher’s Saturday Mic Live at Catalyst. From January-August I was living in California, I came to visit and was hoping to coordinate my sites 5 Year Anniversary show. I asked for their help and we’ve came up short. Every venue PropsAndBonds met with said they would love too but can’t since they’re going to be closing down due to higher rent costs within the Wynwood community. Which startles me because this is where the new Miami reached out to and helped grow from what it was. No one would have set foot in this area 10 years ago but now it’s the talk of the town. But will it still be considering now venues are no longer interested in working with the hip-hop community. Even though it’s been difficult we’re still working hard to make this event happen and give an amazing show with the best hip-hop artist we know.
The harder it is for a promoter to book shows will make it even harder for an upcoming artist to get some time on stage or be able to present a live show in-front of a real audience. As you see as artist you need to come up with creative ways to get your performance out there. There’s an artist who I know that goes out of his way and performs live on the street with a mic connected to a speaker. He’s name is Stide Prince and he calls these pop-up performances The FUCK YOUR VENUE TOUR. But there are issues with doing these type of shows you need a permit from the City of Miami. Or they will shut you down.
I feel that we all need to come together in working to getting more shows coordinated and get more possibilities for the independent artists to perfect their craft. If you have any ideas or know any venues that will be interested in working with me contact me via Twitter at NikkiSiixx.