Local artists, dance-offs and zorbs: Bayfest 2023

Giant slide of a kraken attacking a pirate ship | Allen Blumstein, PantherNOW

Allen Blumstein | Staff Writer

Miami has Ultra. FIU has Bayfest. 

On March 25, party animals assembled at the Biscayne Campus and at 4 p.m. the gates swung open for Bayfest, BBC’s annual music festival.

Students had plenty of activities to choose from. A massive octopus slide towered as high as some of the BBC buildings, students scampered around in zorbs (AKA human hamster balls) and others enjoyed BBC’s kayaks. 

The food was an attraction all on its own. Vendors like Heavenly Corn Creations and Italian Vice brought flavor to Bayfest with endless Mexican street corn options and a variety of Italian ice flavors.

Italian ice vendor holds up his flavorful creation | Allen Blumstein, PantherNOW

It was a quiet scene in the event’s early hours but with the sunset  people started arriving in swarms.

That was no surprise: that was when the musical acts started.

The lineup included Ashley Rosa, Careless Vibez, Konshens, Tony Mix, and Ayra Starr (singer and FIU alumni).

Careless Vibez is a group made up of two sets of college-aged brothers from North Miami Beach.

Careless Vibez serenades the crowd | Allen Blumstein, PantherNOW

The group was formed after their parents met at church and realized their boys all loved to sing.

Carless Vibez went on tour this past year and that experience showed as they put on an impressive, soulful show at Bayfest.

The host of Bayfest is a voice you might recognize from the radio station 103.5 on The Beat: Papa Keith.

The crowd cheers as Papa Keith hypes up the night | Allen Blumstein, PantherNOW

Papa Keith kept the energy high, and the audience captivated.

At one point, he cherry picked three women from the audience and brought them on stage, initiating a fun dance-off to Caribbean music.

From on the stage, Papa Keith called all FIU event volunteers for a moment of recognition, ending the night in a touching yet still energetic way.

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