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III Points Festival In Wynwood Offers Ultra Relief, But Similar Artists

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Laura (of Miami)
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Courtesy

A massive cloud of dark beats, nu disco and experimental, indie electronica is poised over Miami's Wynwood neighborhood this week.

Come Friday night, the bass will start thundering down, first with simultaneous 7 p.m. sets by locals JPort, Gooddroid and DJ Laura (of Miami).

And that's what distinguishes III Points Music, Art and Technology Festival from other highly produced affairs of Miami caliber: III Points gets locals' want for a homegrown art and music scene that's inclusive rather than velvet-roped.

This weekend at Soho Studios, at 2136 NW First Ave., the festival will bring in-demand indie artists to more accessible stages than ones they've played before. That's what Laura Sutnick, one of Friday's openers, says.

"I know a lot of people who were really excited about... Metronomy coming to Ultra, but they were like, 'I don't want to buy a $400 ticket,' " Sutnick says.

A day before the festival, weekend passes to III Points cost $99 plus fees. Probably in part because, contrarily to Ultra Music Festival, III Points relies on hometown talent.

"It's most of the lineup," Sutnick says. "I remember looking at the poster and thinking, 'Wow, they really got everyone here.' It's really representative of the local scene here."

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Credit Laura (of Miami) / Courtesy
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Courtesy

Sutnick is a sweetheart of Miami's DJ scene. For years she hosted a well received music show on WVUM, the University of Miami's radio station, deejayed at local clubs and was a co-founder of the music blog Nightdrive Miami. Now she continues to host her show, "Vamos a la Playa," on Klangbox.fm, an online radio station she started.

The show is two hours of chill disco sounds and smooth house music. Sutnick says her goal is to introduce her audience to new artists, and "show the rest of the world what Miami talent is."

She does that through the radio station, which streams shows hosted by DJs across the world. Klangbox.fm is her focus now, her own live sets taking a back seat. She's concentrating on the "big picture" now. Like many Miami artists, she yearns to grow the proverbial scene that somehow always seems like a fledgling.

Part of that growth process is education. 

Sutnick remembers years when Ultra booked some of the artists now playing at III Points, but their shows had low attendance at the Bayfront Park festival. Most people, she says, "were fist-pumping with Avicii on the other side of the festival."

Ultra's target demographic is likely not the same as III Points'. But Sutnick's point is clear: Miami needs alternatives.

"Klangbox has become me giving a voice to Miami," she says. "Exposing Miami to new music and exposing the scene that way. So that when these [artists] come down, people know who they are, people go to these shows."

Sutnick and her Klangbox crew are sponsoring the Mindmelt stage at III Points. It's where she will DJ that first Friday night set.

You can listen to one of her latest "Vamos a la Playa" sets below. If you can't sit through the two hours, fast-forward about an hour in, to a track called "Your Love."

III Points festival at Soho Studios, 2136 NW First Ave, Miami. Oct. 10-12, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets at iiipoints.com.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said III Points was taking place at Mana Wynwood.