Sure, this past weekend Austin City Limits took up most of the festival-talk shine. (We even streamed it live here on Fusion.net.) But while huge festivals like ACL bring together big names across a broad musical spread—blockbusters on blockbusters—there’s another festival trend afoot. Skipping the big-name rock and smattering of hip-hop acts, a growing number of promoters veer instead towards more tightly curated experiences that go deep rather than wide.
An excellent example? The second annual III Points Festival, also this past weekend. Sponsored in part by the U.K. label Young Turks, that imprint’s heads joined with Miami-based promoters and venues for a cosmopolitan, cutting-edge experience. Rather than pack sweaty bros into a field during the day, III Points’ sunlight activities centered around tech- and art-centric talks, screenings, and get-togethers.
Most of the music, then, started at night, at the sprawling warehouse venue Soho Studios. The sounds veered towards the smart end electronic, the vibe friendly, dance-centric and classic underground ravey. Forget fist-pumping; this was the place to wear out your shoes in the wee hours to acts like Flying Lotus, Duke Dumont, John Talabot, and Jamie Jones.
So here are 9 of our favorite sights and sounds from this past Friday through Sunday.
Lykke Li’s set Friday night
The festival’s roller-skating rink
The fire rescue narcs shut it down at one point late Saturday night (booooo) but there were times when you could magically skate along to, say, Norwegian producer Cashmere Cat.
Duke Dumont’s headlining set Friday night
A day pass to III Points cost about $55; a weekend pass, $100. With Duke Dumont riding off his Song of the Summer status thanks to “I Got U,” it would cost you almost that much to see him alone at a big-bucks club these days. At III Points, he served as the cap to a night full of amazingness—and you could see him in a proper, dance-centric atmosphere where even sneakers were allowed. Whoa.
Metronomy’s live set on Saturday
But on the main stage, one of the few acts to come out with—gasp!—guitars was London’s Metronomy. Their slick white suits and synth-y, disco-ey inflections were ultra-classy. Also, how can you not want to hear their song “The Look” at least a dozen times in a row?
Art installations that proved the future is now
Besides sculpture, painting, and street-art type murals, some of the most forward-thinking art projects involved interactive elements like gaming.
He DJed a day part Sunday afternoon at Gramps, and besides rocking the decks, rocked this excellent depiction of Kim and Kanye as Jack and Rose in "Titanic."
Also, this guy’s shirt
Behold the many faces of Kim K., krying.
These projection-mapped visuals by Jason Boogie, or VJAV8
Yes, they were highly Instagrammable, but they kinda made you feel like you were inside the music (deep 3 a.m. thoughts).
The local acts
III Points dedicated one of its four mains stages every night to Miami-area bands. It was a nice touch to bridge the Miami/London divide and give the festival some sense of place without getting too provincial. If you dig the Young Turks-y vibe, here are just a few to check out: bands like the Jacket (pictured below), Hunters of the Alps, and Millionyoung, along with DJ/producers like Gooddroid and Basti.
Arielle Castillo is Fusion's culture editor, reporting on arts, music, culture, and subcultures from the streets on up. She's also a connoisseur of weird Florida, weightlifting, and cats.
Elisa is a designer & illustrator that writes (and doodles) about pop culture, women, diversity and all things art. She is the human behind Fusion's Instagram account and Elvis Presley is her spirit animal.