If you work in, live in or visit Downtown Miami with any frequency, you’re most likely familiar with how deserted it can sometimes seem. Most days, a majority of the restaurants and retailers close their doors at 6pm and the streets assume the character of a Western frontier town from the early 1800s. Cue the famous western whistle theme and lone tumbleweed rolling through the frame. However, if you were in downtown on Friday, December 12th from 4-8pm, you would’ve been treated to the sounds of brass bands, jazz groups, string quintets and incredible scenes like these:
You may be asking yourself, “were these taken in Miami?” And the answer is an emphatic “YES!” These captured moments represent just a sprinkling of the over thirty-five performer groups that formed the Buskerfest Miami 2014 Street Performance Festival. The goal of the festival is to show what can be. As Downtown Miami transforms, literally before our eyes, it is imperative that the streets remain walkable, safe and full of life. The alternative is a collection of isolated high-rise buildings and mega developments with no street-level culture – a place where everyone drives to get where they need to go and the environment itself hinders any attempt to build a true community. The Buskerfest Miami Street Performance Festival is designed to show how transformative art in the streets can be, and in that goal it was hugely successful.
Performers, residents and even passersby paused for a moment in their busy, hectic lives to enjoy a moment of solidarity with one another and at the same time, revel in the cultural diversity of Miami’s performance community. In a city with an ever-rising cost of living and a limited number of performance venues, Buskerfest Miami 2014 proclaims, “forget all that noise – let’s just go party in the street with our friends (and soon-to-be-friends) and remind ourselves that we ARE a community not meant to be segregated by money, status or circumstance.” Regardless of where you come from or what you have, we all share the street and that is something that should be celebrated.
We, the organizers, wish to thank our incredible performers, our versatile and courteous volunteers, our engaged and excited attendees and the city that made it all possible – Miami, Florida. It could not have happened without you all or the generous support from organizations including the Miami Foundation, the Miami Downtown Development Authority, Tiliarts, the Downtown Miami Partnership, Trinity Cathedral, Miami-Dade Transit, Emerge Miami, Whereby.Us and many, many others. Thanks for the memories and keep it tuned to buskerfestmiami.com for future events, including our upcoming Ear To The Ground series and of course, next year’s Buskerfest Miami 2015 Street Performance Festival.
The Buskerfest Miami Team