2019: A new era
So what do we know? 2018 has left and Miami will never be the same. Art Basel was indicative of that.
A plethora of venues can now hold talent with sound-systems to match, but where are the parties now? Like myself, perhaps your concentration is biased towards the internationally recognized talent, the same names that frequent the same festival line-ups time and time again. So what is happening with Miami music? Our local talent is not getting the recognition it deserves. And many of the venues we saw populate during Basel are now once again quiet.
But not all.
Let’s talk about Wynwood Factory (not to be confused with the Wynwood Fear Factory). I knew I liked this place from the start. Their first night they housed Loco Dice. The venue is huge, and the rooms, including the outdoor deck all have feng shui. But you know what I found out? And it makes my affinity for this place all the more concrete…Louis Puig is the owner! Him along with three other guys. I saw him briefly in the DJ booth prior to Nicole Moudaber. And upon exiting to see Adam Port at Space (a beautiful set), the stars aligned and I saw the man outside. And there you have it. I met and spoke with Louis Puig, a nightlife figure we have not heard of or seen in quite sometime. I even had to verify it was him. “I feel like you’re a cool cat to know. What’s your name?” “Luis”…”Puig?!” (I’m nonchalant like that.)
Let’s rewind. In 2013, Puig announced he was selling Space. In a detailed letter, which many Space veterans will recall, he laments on the sad turn music was taking (which it did) and how his hopes were to create a new club. He wrote,
“It is time for a new space which will set the bar for the next decade.”
Well, guess what?! The nightlife club king followed through. Five years later, he made the new space. And it’s called Factory. This is a sign of the times in which Miami dance life will never be the same.
My first days of Space in 2006, I can chronicle about seven years of when Puig used to own it. He was the club owner, who also spun sick sets. There were also resident DJs – Patrick M and Lazardi, amongst others. These guys made the Space terrace, and then there were the occasional guest DJs, but you didn’t need to know who, or if there was a headliner – you just knew you could count on good music Sunday after Sunday.
Well, Puig has reintroduced this concept at Factory with what is now the Relic brand of music. The brand comprises of local DJs with fire sounds. And you can depend on a good Saturday night, whether there is a headliner or not. It’s the new Space. (Without any place ever being able to replicate what was.)
They are still pending a 10a liquor license feud with the city, which started during Art Basel. Likely, we can expect Factory to turn into an after-hours spot sooner rather than later.
It’s exciting to see where this will go and if other venues will pick up on this cue. Is Louis Puig the only one who recognizes the importance of showcasing local talent? No, the partners of Centro Wynwood have brought in the Housecats label, which is another local mix of DJs. They spin the reliably killer Sunday afternoon sets at Centro, a not-to-be-missed party.
But is it greedy of me to want more? No, diversity is good. It makes our dance culture more well-rounded and creates the best economic and artistic environment to foster better and more dance music. To improve our diversity, for example, I’d like to see a bigger drum & bass presence. Imagine a weekly D&B party to counter-balance the tech-house of Factory or the lackluster mornings of Space?
All this to say, change is here. Factory will become the new “it” club. III points will interrupt what has previously been a lovely February of dance, the only high-season month not littered with dance-crazed tourists, now gone. Ultra will be in a new location. How will it all shake out?
Stick with the people who have been here longest and you’ll be ok. Support your favorite local parties! And spread the word, Louis Puig is back!
(For a special insider look on Factory, take a look at this video published by World Red Eye.)