iii Points festival overshadowed by disorder

Jayan Bertrand, 23, performs as guitarist for local four-piece afro-rock band Kazoots on the Mind Melt Stage at iii Points on Oct. 9.

by Jasmine Romero//Multimedia Editor

This year’s iii points festival was held at Mana Wynwood on Friday, Oct. 9 to Sunday, Oct. 11, with four stages and 120 acts. The highlights of the lineup this year were King Krule, Toro y Moi, Panda Bear, xxyyxx and an assortment of local bands including Krisp, Kazoots and Deaf Poets. Installations such as a giant white pyramid, a black tunnel, a glowing triangle decorated the festival, as well as a Japanese-culture themed makeup installation. It was one of the best weekends of my entire year, but I can’t overlook how disorganized the festival was.

My wait to enter iii points was accompanied by the sight of workers hastily painting a building and men lugging around tables and planks. I don’t think most people knew what was going on. A member of the Plastic Pinks asked where he could unload his equipment, only to be given no real answer. Someone suggested that he simply go to his stage and unload there. Trucks were still moving materials around and the giant white pyramid was still being worked on.

The doors were supposed to open at 5 p.m. No one was allowed in until around 6:20 p.m.

As press, I got in around 5:50 p.m. and I was hoping I could grab some food from either Coyo Taco or Shake Shack. Neither of them were ready. I asked for an estimated time they would be ready to serve and the Shake Shack worker told me they didn’t know.

I gave up on that and, seeking relaxation until the fest began, I decided to sit on a bench in the shade by a white bus decorated with black graffiti. One of the iii points workers told me I couldn’t sit on this bench because it also was not ready.


Everything was dead until the Kazoots, a local four-piece afro-rock band, began their set at 6:50 p.m on the Mind Melt Stage. They played with a sound more refined and fresh than they had a year ago (when they were a three-piece), and attracted a decent-sized crowd. It brought me joy to hear Inez Barlatier’s strong, emotional vocals wash over people I had never seen before. Alexandre Merbouti’s bass playing added a richer, fuller feel to the music. Gabe Norwood’s drumming was powerfully paired with Jayan Bertrand’s precise guitar work. My only desire was for a larger crowd.

However, the Mind Melt stage was another issue entirely when it came to its sound crew. Neon Indian had a set later that Friday night around 12:50 a.m. to 1:50 a.m. I had to struggle to hear Alan Palomo’s lyrics, as the bass overpowered him. He stopped the show temporarily to remedy this (he said he didn’t want to “half-ass” the show), but it didn’t work, and at the end Neon Indian was cut short despite no one being scheduled to play after them. On Saturday, I also found it difficult to hear Toro y Moi sing. Deaf Poets, a local two-piece garage rock band, played on Sunday and were interrupted by transition music during their last song. It was, frankly, disrespectful and I wouldn’t be surprised if national acts such as Neon Indian would avoid a return to Miami.

On Saturday, I took a chance to explore the Makeup by Aileen installation inside the Main Frame as there was no line. There was a small transition room covered in bright colors, and inside the main room were four marquee mirrors and tables. The walls were covered with miscellaneous patterns and posters of Japanese women. There were papers with kanji written on them to denote a section of the room. One corner was for styling and braiding hair, and the opposite corner was for make-up. Girls were getting anime-style eyes and near-neon lipstick painted on their faces. Another makeup artist was placing gems on people’s foreheads.

The next room was nearly empty, except for a dancing girl in a tutu holding a huge crystal. The walls were lined with plastic flamingos and from the ceiling hung a silver ball protruding glow sticks. I had to squeeze my way into the next room and found an assortment of pink balloons and handwritten notes on black walls. It was eye candy, and a thought-provoking installation that I think iii points last year lacked.

The disco and new-wave local band Krisp performed Saturday on the Sector 3 stage. It was a strong and exciting set that made everyone dance. Every musician was on top of their game. It instilled pride in me, as I had seen Krisp perform at Sweatstock back in April and again at the Lazy Brunch BQ in June. iii points had made a good move in including local acts in about half of the lineup. It’s a great way of making sure the local scene gets exposure as well the local bands themselves garnering awareness of each other.

Sunday was the night King Krule performed. His set was late by 10 or so minutes, but his performance was worth the wait. His vocals were as deep, gritty, and genuine as I hoped they would be. Although he’s already played these songs hundreds of times, he still seems to feel the music. His band was tight and concise. King Krule performed all three of my favorite songs, “Baby Blue” (with an added jazzy ending), “A Lizard State” and “Easy Easy.” He also performed a new song. I liked it almost right away. Around the end of his set, he expressed gratitude for being able to play for “beautiful people.” It was undoubtedly my favorite iii points performance from an international act.

While I definitely had some unforgettable moments with friends old and new at iii points, I urge that they address the sound tech and organization issues they had this year and prevent them from happening again. I’m thankful we have a festival like this so close to home that is working to involve local acts. I also understand that iii points is only in its third year. But having paying customers wait an extra hour in line and messing up the sound of musicians is unprofessional. iii points has potential I hope to see flourish in the next year.

All Photos Courtesy of: Jasmine Romero

About the Author

Jasmine Romero
Multimedia Editor for FIUSM. Beyond that, I am an artist, writer and amateur music photojournalist.

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