Daniel Travieso, otherwise known as “Festi-Dan,” gives us a better understanding of his brand, Coconut Groove.
Q. What is Coconut Groove? And what was your inspiration in starting it?
Coconut Groove is just an outlet for musical artists to create high energy moments in an intimate setting.
Believe it or not, Pearl Jam is where my passion for music and live performances stems from. Having attended 25 of their legendary shows, I grew appreciation for “live” music and “live performances” and the moments created and shared by everyone in attendance. I began hosting an annual mini festival/ charity fundraiser called Festidan back in 2007 that featured live bands and DJs with all different types of music. After 10 years of hosting this event, I decided to just focus on small parties (less headaches) featuring evolved progressive music that had completely taken over my ears.
In August of 2017, we hosted a small intimate island party off Dinner Key in Coconut Grove and through a mutual friend had asked local talent and Heart nightclub resident Fiin to grace us with music all day. At sunset it began to rain and everyone huddled up under the gazebo. That intimate moment where everyone danced together and the Djs took us into the night was an unbelievable and memorable night cap. Recreating and capturing high energy moments in Coconut Grove became a priority and Coconut Groove was born.
Q. A year and a half later, do you feel like you’re achieving the objective that was initially set forth in creating Coconut Groove?
Unfortunately, having a normal job with regular hours limits the amount of attention that can be allocated to this hobby. However, it’s been an amazing run and string of parties that we’ve been able to put together, and I’m excited about the direction of the concept.
Our original objective was to bring evolved music and those who appreciate it to comfortable and intimate locations around the village of Coconut Grove. I think we’ve been able to achieve that, and our tribe continues to grow with the right people who are responsible and understand that the focus of these gatherings is the music.
Q. What kind of events do you throw and how often?
I try and emphasize that we host parties, not events. These parties are not profitable and they are occurring for the sole purpose of creating good energy in our neighborhood. With that said, each of our parties are different and we only focus on one at a time.
Q. If a new-comer was to go to one of your hosted events, what kind of music can he or she expect?
We look to partner up with musical artists that play for the evolved ear. New and fresh sounds that keep you moving and vibrating at a high frequency.
Q. What are your thoughts about the renovation of Coco-walk? Do you think a new venue space will open up there for music events?
I don’t support a lot of the construction and new buildings that are going up in our neighborhood. The Cocowalk renovation, however, was overdue, and although I don’t expect for there to be an event space we can utilize, I’m excited for the energy and life that it’s going to bring to the Grove. It will be mostly comprised of office spaces with some retail, so we should see a substantial spike in foot traffic in the area.
Q. Lastly, your next event is February 8th at Tavern in the Grove. What is the scene like for someone who’s never been before? How should one dress for the part?
The Tavern Takeover is our most laidback party. 3 DJ’s, 3 different vibes, all sharing music, going b2b2b. The Tavern is your traditional college dive-bar, so if you’re dressed, you meet the dress code. Having worked there in 2003-2004, it brings back nostalgic memories and it’s a great feeling to be drinking again at this legendary spot I used to call home.
——-So if you find yourself in Coconut Grove tomorrow for happy hour, dinner, or a late-night rendevouz, be sure to swing by Tavern and get a pulse on the dance music that exists there too. See you out there!