Miami Soul – your ultimate source for places to go, people to see, and things to do in the Black social scene. Check out this week’s weekend guide from Miami Soul. For a list of weekly reoccurring events, check out miami.com/miami-soul.
Overtown Music & Arts Festival
Saturday, July 23, 11AM – 7PM
Overtown Business District
NW 3rd Ave Between 8th & 11th Street
For information: OvertownMusicArtsFestival.com
Once widely known as the Harlem of the South, Overtown is going through a second revival, and music and arts once again has a lot to do with it. Between new real estate developments, a variety of events at the Historic Lyric Theater, and Soul Basel in December showcasing art from the African Diaspora during Art Basel, Overtown is quickly making a new name for itself.
For six years now, the streets of Overtown has transformed into a mega stage of music performances and a community affair for the annual Overtown Music & Arts Festival. The annual event brings together the entire community to promote economic development and position the area as a hub for all things arts, culture, and music.
Presented by Headliner Market Group, City of Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon, and the Southeast Overtown Parkwest CRA, here are Miami Soul’s top five things we’re excited about for this week’s Overtown Music & Arts festival.
1. Performances by top artists.
The Overtown Music & Arts Festival continues to grow each year with an even bigger lineup of artists hitting the stage this year. The lineup has all of the bases covered with live performances by Jeremih and Estelle performing today’s current hits to Eric Benet, Kelly Price, Carl Thomas, Amerie, and Jon B for fans of R&B from the 2000’s to Tito Puente, Jr for fans of Afro-Cuban beats and Latin jazz. If local music is more of your flavor, then Deep Friend Funk Band and Larry Dogg has you covered. There’s even a special gospel explosion to soothe the spirit.
2. It’s free.
Music festivals are nothing new in Miami, but when it’s free it’s even better. To get a lineup of this caliber doesn’t come at a cheap price. So you have the Knight Foundation, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Commissioner Keon Hardemon, and the Southeast Overtown Parkwest CRA to thank for that.
3. Something for the entire family.
While the adults are enjoying performances at the main stage, the youth will be taking over things at the Youth Zone Stage. This family friendly event features an interactive Youth Zone with performances by Young Lyric (from the TV show, The Rap Game), DJ Chipman (Peanut Butter Jelly Time), The Miami Girls Choir, The Trainerz, and spoken word by Motivational Edge. Other youth-focused activities include the Arts & Crafts Zone, a Fitness & Game Zone with an obstacle challenge, sack races, dodge ball, live cooking demonstrations, and other activities, and bounce house and face painting for the little kids.
4. It’s good for the community.
Overtown has had its challenges since its heyday from when the construction of I-95 tore through the once burgeoning community to cripple its economic center and eventually become blighted and crime ridden. Overtown also has a long rich history as the home to some of Miami’s earliest settlers and stomping grounds for the likes of Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Jr, and Aretha Franklin would performance at some of the area’s nightclubs and stay at Overtown’s hotels at a time when Blacks weren’t allowed to stay in hotels on the beach. So celebrating the Overtown of past and the Overtown of today is just good for the community and an opportunity to bring new visitors to the area.
5. More than just music.
The Festival is more than just about the music. It’s a day of culture with artwork on display, vendors selling unique crafts and jewelry, and ethnic cuisine available for purchase.