Having escaped to Miami for Christmas and New Year, I had a major concern of how I would be ringing in the New Year. I was travelling with my brother and we knew no one, who we could to hang out and ring in the New Year with and the clubs in Miami are normally bloody expensive but for New Year’s Eve, the entry fees quadrupled.
I came to Miami for Christmas to escape the cold of London, because, after a shitty summer where it rains most days, I need a little bit of fun in the sun.
So, with New Years fast approaching, I wondered how would I ring in the New Year without spending a fortune on club entry (first world problems).
I saw that last year Pitbull threw his own New Year’s Eve party in Miami like the New Years Eve ‘BallDrop’ in Time Square. And he was throwing; the Pitbull New Year’s Revolution Concert Bayfront Park, now in its third year and it was free!!
Miami has two advantages over New York for a New Year’s Party, good weather plus I knew Pitbull would bring that Latin fire that New York didn’t have.
This concert was definitely the cherry on the top of my trip to Miami.
My brother and I headed to Bayfront Park in the evening. We arrived at Bayfront Park around 7:30 pm, to make sure we got a good viewing spot. Little did I know that the show didn’t start at 8:00 pm, as advertised.
Since I realised it would be a while before the concert would start, I got some kebab and fried green banana to eat from one of the many food stalls out that night.
There were a plethora of foods to choose from and they all looked delicious with the aroma, from the grilled chicken skewers and fried plantain filled the air. As, people sat on the grass and on lawn chairs, laughing and talking with their families.
We watched the acts do their rehearsal and sound check behind closed gates.
Then at around 8:30 pm, security moved the gates so that the crowd could move closer to the stage. I made a mad dash to get as close to the stage – even after being warned by security that if people ran they would get arrested by the police. No one listened and everyone bolted towards the stage, cheering and smiling at each other.
After getting a spot close to the stage with my view not being obstructed, this is where I was going to stand for the next 2 and half hours. Thankfully, I didn’t need to use the bathroom and was wearing comfortable walking shoes.
As the time drew closer to 11 pm and more people arrived, no one would let you back in after you had moved from your spot which made for some entertaining exchange between members of the crowd. Everyone was in a cheerful mood and we ended standing next to a Cuban family from Miami. We starting talking to the mother and found out that her entire family was there – even the baby in the stroller came to the party.
She spoke with respect and admiration for Pitbull, for putting on an event that was free which the locals could go and enjoy with their entire family. As the night wore on and the event got more crowded, complete strangers standing next to the kids from this family would put them on their shoulders so they could see the and DJs and acts performed. Their little faces just lit up.
There were two DJs that kept the crowd moving with upbeat songs that included a mix of commercial radio hits to classic Latin songs, which the Cuban natives and foreigners alike could sing to. The crowd was in a cheerful mood when finally at 11 pm, the lights dimmed and a quiet hush ran through the crowd as – Pitbull a.k.a. Mr Worldwide/Mr. Miami – hit the stage with his sexy backup dancers in tow. In a unified roar of cheers and screams, the crowd went wild. The energy of everyone from the native Floridian, to the Japanese and British tourist dancing and singing Pitbull’s hit song, was crazy.
Pitbull was then followed on stage by Salt-N-Pepper – pushing it real good, Nelly, Naughty by Nature, Coolio, Rob Base. Then, the Doggfather’ Snoop Dogg, who swaggered on to the stage with finesse and confidence rapping his classic hits like ‘Gin and Juice’ ‘Nuthin’ but a G thang’ and ‘Drop it like it’s hot’, had the crowd swaying.
The concert was also hosted by Snoop Dogg and Queen Latifah.
The concert finished with all the artists gathered on stage for the New Year’s countdown, as fireworks when off overhead at the stroke of midnight. My brother and I hugged and shouted ‘happy new years’ to each other, and the people around us as confetti rained down from the sky.
My normal New Year’s in London would be all about the party and that’s why I came to Miami and wanted to go to this Pitbull concert. The guy is known for his ‘don’t stop the party’ attitude, but want I got from the people in the crowd was all about enjoying time with your family and a sense of community – at the most unlikely place a Pitbull concert.