Miami music month plan plays a different tune
By Zachary S. Fagenson
The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau is signing on a handful of final venues and will soon launch the marketing campaign for Miami's first live music month, though the event's shape has changed from its initial concept.
The November showcase of Miami's live music scene will be similar to promotions like Miami Spice, which offers dinners price-fixed menus at restaurants across the county, and Miami Spa Month, which offers discounted spa packages.
"We're in the process of soliciting the venues," said Rolando Aedo, bureau senior vice president of marketing and tourism.
Though initially bureau officials envisioned a pass that would grant access to venues and include free drinks, "to develop a unified pass that would allow the pass-goer to gain free access or discounted drinks was going to be little bit technically clumsy," Mr. Aedo said. "Still, we will be showcasing special offers, but instead of tying it back into a pass we're going to push it to the website."
Website, www.miamilivemusic-month.com is to feature all of the participating venues, special performances and offers.
Additionally, special events throughout the month will encourage visitors, as well as locals, to visit new venues.
"The goal is to be able to cross-promote to folks that already follow the live music scene but haven't gone to other places," Mr. Aedo said.
The month's hallmark event will be the Miami Music Festival, returning for its second year. The three-day festival, unlike last year, will branch out to locations throughout Miami-Dade County from Nov. 12 to 14 while offering two headline performances in Bayfront Park and as well as two-day industry conference beginning Nov. 12.
Meanwhile, the marketing effort is to kick off in about three weeks with outdoor advertising digital billboards and many of the same media the bureau uses to promote its other month-long events.
In this instance, though, with no title sponsor and a first-year budget the bureau is hoping to use the venues themselves as well as social media to bolster its marketing efforts.
We're "fully activating Facebook promotions and all that should be coming online around the second week of October," Mr. Aedo said. The bureau is also "asking venues to cross-promote to their own following and databases."
The bureau and partners are spending about $100,000 on the effort, not "including staff time and sweat equity."
Events and performances will be in many of Miami's well-known spaces: Transit Lounge, Churchill's and Tobacco Road. Beyond those, the bureau is working to bring on board spaces where Miamians may not have seen live music before.
"We've made a concerted effort that in essence if you meet the criteria you can be a part of Miami Live Music Month," Mr. Aedo said. "It's any venue that has a minimum of three live music performances per week, has dedicated performance space and an [amplification] system."
The Loews Hotel and the Biltmore Hotel bar are two that have committed to host events.
Mr. Aedo said there are about 15 venue committed so far and "another 15 that we've got our eye on."
As for how big the event might get if it gains traction, he couldn't say.
"I think if we come out with 15 to 20 venues that's a good start," he added. "Miami Spice started with 40 restaurants now it's up to 120."