A Virtual Sit Down With NBMF’s Founder

Earlier this month, we told you all about a new jam fest coming to the Miami area – North Beach Music Festival (NBMF) is set to take place steps from the Atlantic Ocean December 10th and 11th, 2021 at the North Beach Bandshell and Bandshell Park. For more of the basics on this fest, visit our post here or the official website.

In the meantime, we had the opportunity to send some questions over to one of NBMF’s founders, and are excited to share the answers here. So without further ado, let’s get to it.

It is always so exciting to see a new festival pop up on the festival landscape, can you tell us a little about the story behind North Beach Music Festival? And some of your goals for the festival now and going forward?

The story behind North Beach Music Festival is a rather organic one. I moved to Miami in 2019. I started GMP Live, and I quickly developed a wonderful relationship with the North Beach Bandshell in Miami Beach. After several successful sold-out concerts at the Bandshell in early 2021, it became clear that the next step in this vision was to take many of the ideas I was working on and combine them into a festival concept. The scene here is a vibrant one, yet most bands in the jam and funk genres don’t make it to South Florida very often. The idea was to create a festival for these passionate South Florida jam and funk fans that I’ve gotten to know over the past few years, as well as the artists who are dying to play Miami but may not have previously had an outlet to do so.

Some of my goals for the festival moving forward is to make the event the marquis event for jam bands and funk in South Florida. I would love to see it grow to include more room to showcase local artists, and more experiential art. The goal is to use year one as a foundation for the future.

What drew you all to the North Beach area and what are your hopes for what NBMF Will bring to the region?

I used to drive by the North Beach Bandshell, wondering what it was and why I hadn’t seen a show there. After touring the venue and meeting the team that ran it, I fell in love with the place, and with the surrounding neighborhood. I had been to Miami Beach so much in my life and was planning on moving there, but I had never spent any time in North Beach until then. It is charming and has a unique vibe for Miami Beach, tucked away from the busy vibes of South Beach and Mid Beach. I really want fans who are coming from out of town to see and experience the special and, frankly, chill atmosphere of North Beach.

How are festival organizers planning to handle Covid-19? Will there be extra precautions in place?

Of course, starting a festival in 2021, we must be cognizant of COVID-19. We will be asking for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test from within 48 hours of the event for entry. We will match the industry standard that is allowable in the State of Florida. It is for the safety and benefit of all involved. We are thankful that the COVID-19 numbers seem to have gone down to a more comfortable place as we get closer to the festival.

Have there been any special challenges starting a new festival during a time when some Covid-19 restrictions are still in place?

Certainly, and to be honest it was one of the inspirations behind the event. Here we have this beautiful, open-air venue, inside of a beautiful park, all adjacent to the beach. It is the perfect venue for a concert in the COVID era. Part of the initial thinking behind the event was, while the rest of the country is going back to indoor events that are potentially more risky this Winter, we will have beautiful Miami Beach weather and can remain outdoors for 100% of North Beach Music Festival.

What is something festival fans may not know or expect as a major festival planning challenge?

I think fans may not realize the attention to detail that is required to pull off a music festival. Our team is very small, and that small team needs to make every decision about the festival, from booking the artists to picking the food vendors to hiring the event staff, nothing happens without me or my brother (festival partner, Noah Plotnicki) signing off on it. It can definitely be overwhelming at times!

What led or inspired you to get into the business of music festivals?

I had, or really–I have–a true love for live music. Since I was young I loved going to concerts and festival, and as I got older I couldn’t get enough. I have been working in music my whole adult life, and more and more it has become clear that this is what I want to focus my life on. Festivals allow the producer to tell more of a story, to have more of a creative impact on not just the music, but the whole experience, and that is something I have been really drawn to.

Are there any specific music festival experiences that have been inspiring to you or that shaped your goals for NBMF?

I really liked the format of LOCKN’ Festival. They had one stage that rotated so music could continue without stopping all day long. One band finished up, and the next band already started playing while the stage rotated. It was a cool experience. We won’t have one rotating stage at NBMF, but we will have no overlapping sets, and I think that makes for a really great experience for fans. Everyone at the festival will get to experience every moment of music, together.

What are you most excited for music festival goers to see or experience at NBMF? 

We’ve announced the bands for North Beach Music Festival, but the experience—the art, the food, the vendors—we are leaving that a little to the imagination. We have some cool things planned that I think our fans are really expecting, and I think that is exactly how a festival should feel. I think fans want to experience the unexpected, and we’re hoping to serve up a bit of that at North Beach Music Festival.

Huge shoutout and thanks to Gideon for taking time out of his schedule in the leadup to the festival to sit down and answer our questions. It sounds like the NBMF team have really poured their heart and soul into this one, making sure each aspect of the experience is not only a surprise but will be amazing for music fans. A true love of music shines through here for sure and we are having major FOMO on missing out on the first edition of NBMF this year (due to having our very first festival baby come into the world a bit early). We can’t wait to continue our coverage and hear from festivalgoers what their experiences are like this year. Seriously though – please enjoy some fun in the sun on our behalf! And if you haven’t picked up your tickets yet – there’s still time to get them and more info about the festival here.

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