Music representation and promotional company Contagious Musiq's inaugural Future Classic Festival attracted about 4,000 people to the warehouse-style venue Soho Studios Miami on Saturday, despite the rainy day. The event fused music, video games, dance, art, fashion, and skateboarding into a single festival, which started at 4 p.m. and lasted until nearly 2:30 a.m.
“We’re trying to create a more enhanced event experience [instead of] just checking out a band, having a drink, and going home,” said Contagious president and event producer Mihai Crisan. “We’re trying to keep the customer always entertained, whether they’re checking out an art piece or playing video games or listening to music.”
Ticket prices began at $20 and rose to $25 after the first lot sold out. (Crisan declined to release the exact number sold before prices rose.) V.I.P. tickets sold for $70 each and offered buyers access to a private bar, reserved seating in raised areas for music performances, and tickets for complimentary food from participating restaurants. Contagious promoted the event through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, emails to its list of 40,000 clients and former concert attendees, and various local media outlets around the state.
Crisan divided the 52,000-square-foot warehouse venue into multiple spaces for various entertainment elements. Everlast Productions, Drummer Boy Sound Productions Inc., and Big Audio LLC created the three staging areas for the 23 bands—including the Spam All Stars and headliners N.E.R.D.—16 DJs, and four dance troupes that performed throughout the event.
The food village inside a tent at the main entrance had 10 local restaurants, including Half Moon Empanadas, selling traditional festival fare such as barbecue, hamburgers, and hot dogs. Stuart-based portable skate ramp company Goat provided the skateboarding ramp that more than 20 athletes used for the Best Trick contest, hosted by professional skateboarder Steve Young. The winner received $500 in cash and skateboarding gear and other prizes from In4mation skateboarding company.
Just inside the main entrance, 30 local artists displayed their video installations, drawings, sculpture, and other works. Three artists adorned graffiti walls outside—though work was halted during the heavier rains—while painters including Luis Valle and Claudia Calle worked on their pieces inside the main building as guests watched.
Around 6:45 p.m. Miami-based contemporary clothing company So-Me conducted a fashion show of its latest graphic T-shirts on the main stage. A video gaming area made up of 20 15-inch high-definition TVs connected to XBox360, PlayStation3, and Wii game consoles for attendees to participate in gaming competitions rounded out the event's entertainment elements.