MP3 TAKES: III Points 2023 Celebrated Timeless Dance Music Culture (REVIEW)
Introducing MP3 TAKES, our event review series where we dive deep into the exhilarating world of music festivals and live performances. In an era teeming with music events worldwide, our aim is to help you navigate through the noise and uncover the most captivating experiences. Join us on this adventure to highlight the backstage stories, memorable moments, and unique elements that make each event one-of-a-kind.
The spirit of dance music is alive and well here in America. After attending the III Points Music Festival in Miami, Florida last weekend, that’s never been more clear. Roughly 20,000 people gathered on Friday, and again on Saturday, to celebrate multiple generations of dance music — from melodic, modern-day icons like Fred Again.. and Lane 8 to club-house OGs like Green Velvet. Of course, in true Miami spirit, there was plenty of Latin influence scattered throughout the lineup as well — ¿Téo? and Tokisha topping the list.
III Points was a cultural bridge of sorts, connecting generations of music enthusiasts through an expertly-crafted lineup that recognized timeless musical icons across dance and pop music. But it was so much more than that. III Points embraced the foundational roots of dance music, before viral gimmicks and gaudy production saturated the scene. The festival had a singular purpose — to provide a safe space to dance the night away. Thankfully, it succeeded in every way.
John Summit b2b Green Velvet — A Passing of the Torch
There’s no denying John Summit‘s massive influence on modern-day tech-house aesthetics and dance music trends. His style and party-centric charm have permeated ever corner of the house and techno worlds, but he had to learn from someone, right? That someone is Green Velvet, an OG American Techno Godfather from Chicago, known for classic dance hits like “La La Land,” “Lazer Beams,” “Deceiver,” and “Voicemail.” If you don’t recognize his music, you’ll definitely recognize his bright green mohawk.
But Green Velvet is STILL making hits — most recently, his track, “BARBEE — On Acid” has been steadily rising to viral viral status. Chances are, if you’ve been to a proper techno rave in the last two decades, you’ve heard more than a few Green Velvet tracks.
That’s certainly the case for John Summit, who’s been rinsing Green Velvet since the start of his touring career. Before the two left the stage, Summit let the crowd know how much he admired Velvet, saying “This man is my childhood hero.”
Seeing the two come together for a proper 90 minute b2b set was like a symbolic passing of the torch, and hearing modern dance anthems like Summit’s “Where You Are” and classic club bangers like “Voicemail” played in tandem was the kind of experience house music fanatics dream about.
Despacio Brings the Disco Into 2023
Despacio, the curated disco activation designed by LCD Soundsystem’s frontman, James Murphy, is a sight to behold. It’s the true definition of a modern disco, crafted with a 50,000-watt sound system outlining a dancefloor with a single disco ball and a few strobe lights acting as a focal point for the retro experience. The catch? There’s no DJ in sight.
Of course, there is a DJ — or multiple DJs — spinning indie-dance and retro house tracks throughout the night. You just can’t see them; the DJs are hidden with a purpose: to make sure the music, not the DJ, gets the attention it deserves.
And that’s exactly what happened. The dance floor was filled with disco-loving, groovy shakers and movers whose only concern was dancing with friends and strangers alike under a shimmering disco ball. It was a beautiful glimpse into retro club culture, brought to life with a modern sound system that stole the show from start to finish.
10 Years, 10 Stages
It’s hard to believe III Points has already been happening for a full decade. Each year, the festival gets a little bigger, and a little better. This year was no exception — with 10 official stages showcasing a wide variety of artists across the sonic spectrum, there was something for everyone. Even better, each artists seemed perfectly placed at their respective stage.
Afro-house music frequented the Isotropics stage, which was perfect considering the natural aesthetic of the stage design. Techno and UKG dominated the S3quenc3 stage, which was an open cage with a 360 degree LED strip light lining the top deck, illuminating the dancefloor and providing a functional strobe effect that turned the space into an industrial dance playground.
On the more traditional side, dubstep and Latin music shined at Sector 3 stage, which was the only stage to feature a proper LED screen besides the main Mind Melt stage — perfect for Ivy Lab’s x Lake Hills’ ominous A/V set.
Of course, the mainstage, Mind Melt, was a sight to behold. The sound was great, the artists were ever better. Fred Again.. was a particular highlight, exploring emotional samples, live mixing, and pure musical joy. No matter what artist took the stage, it was nice to know it would at least be fun to look at. The massive disco ball, suspended over the crowd by an industrial-grade crane, was a great touch.
III Points 2023 Bridged the Generational Gap
If there was a singular ethos to the III Points 2023 experience, it’s this: Dance music is evolving, but the legends never die.
III Points successfully celebrated the new wave of dance music that’s currently reaching new heights across the globe, while recognizing the monumental impact of legends that paved the way for the current generation of DJs, producers, fans, and party lovers. Through activations like the disco-themed Despacio dancefloor, and a diverse lineup spanning generations of musical icons, III Points proved that raves are alive and well. They always have been, and they always will be.