A Guide to Virginia Key GrassRoots Fest
February 17, 2016
For being such a verdant and outdoor-friendly city, there are few places in Miami that have preserved the magic of its lush and tropical nature. Among the shortlist of those natural treasures is Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, where Miami’s branch of GrassRoots Festival has found it’s Winter home for its fifth year in a row from Feb. 18th – 21st. Boasting acts like Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, The Wood Brothers, Donna The Buffalo, and The Family Stone, this year’s musical lineup definitely won’t be lacking.
But what sets GrassRoots apart from other live music-oriented festivals is its appreciation for the thriving local music scene. GrassRoots Festival as an organization has been around for over 20 years, traveling to different cities along the way, year after year. At every stop, the kind souls behind the festival make sure to give budding residents a chance to connect with attendees in the most powerful way: through their music. This year’s local lineup is stacked with some of Miami’s favorite acts like Afrobeta, Spam Allstars, Magic City Hippies, Suenalo!, Telekinetic Walrus Brendan O’Hara, Aaron Lebos Reality, and so many more, making our musical spectrum as colorful and varied as they come.
Local integration is key (pun intended) at this year’s festival. Coconut Grove’s Zen Village will be leading healing workshops and meditation sessions, all to make sure your chakras are aligned and ready for some serious Funk. Be sure to sample beers from Concrete Beach Brewery in the Beer Garden & Vinyl Lounge, this year’s official brew partner. The Moksha Family Art Collective and Community Arts & Culture will be overseeing the various arts tents and installations, making sure the vibe is as beautiful as it is revitalizing.
GrassRoots also extends its roots to go global. Not only does their musical lineup cover nearly every phonetic base, but so does their GrassRoots World Café, boasting some of the best grub from all over. They also want to see a healthy planet on an even deeper level. Their Sustainability Forum will push you to engage in inspiring conversation surround the “nuts and bolts” of how we can help to shape the physical world into greater harmony. They’ll also be launching perhaps their most visionary initiative yet: GrassRoots Town Hall.
In partnership with Democracy 2.1 and headed locally by Miami-based civic groups Engage and Emerge, they will have a polling platform that allows festival-goers the opportunity to weigh in on questions about the festival as well as on local issues that result in consensus, not just a yes or no vote. The goal is to tap into the collective intelligence and leadership of a crowd to help solve shared problems by creating consensus, thus leading to the collection of wisdom derived from our common priorities and values. Pretty much the definition of “grassroots”.
So, whether you want to spend a weekend camping, overhearing stellar music and conversation, or you just want to get away for a bit with family and friends, this weekend’s Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival is by far your best choice. Put your phone down for a few days and connect with your fellow curious souls, you might learn something about yourself along the way.
See you there!