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Pinchadiscos 305 sheds light on September’s Second Saturday Crackdown and the work that lays ahead for the Art Walk community.
The disappointing news flooded inboxes, Facebook status updates and Twitter feeds around the Magic City around 9pm this Saturday.
An arbitrary “code enforcement” crackdown had taken place at Second Saturday Art Walk, the increasingly popular community-wide art revelry in the Wynwood and Design art districts, sending all food trucks, musicians and DJs packing.
Galleries and Restaurant Owners Prohibited From Having Performers During Second Saturdays
K-Sata of the popular Miami DJ group Pinchadiscos 305 described the Neighborhood Enhancement Team (N.E.T.) enforcing the crackdown as professional, yet vague as to what city regulations the officials were actually enforcing.
After unloading all their gear in front of the Alberto Linero Gallery this Saturday, the duo’s customary Wynwood Art Walk gig, the DJs of Pinchadiscos305, K-Sata and DJ 138, noticed N.E.T. officials speaking with gallery owners and food truck operators.
The two, “didn’t like the vibe in the air,” and joined a conversation next door at the Harold Golden Gallery. The N.E.T. politely informed them of a decision made by the City of Miami: gallery owners weren’t allowed to let the DJs and musicians, the performers they explicitly invited to complement their exhibits, play in front of their establishments.
N.E.T. officials could not elaborate on what code was being enforced or if any one person or establishment was complaining about the presence of food trucks and DJs. They did however indicate that in the future, performers would need to pay an outrageously high 150$ for a permit and play at a volume no greater than 40 decibels.
“You know guys, we do this as a community service and for exposure, paying for a permit to play music for free is ridiculous,” DJ 138 commented, echoing the frustrations felt throughout the Art Walk community.
K-Sata was happy to report that the N.E.T. is willing to work towards including food trucks, musicians and DJs in future Second Saturdays.
When contacted on Tuesday, an official from N.E..T. even went so far as to acknowledge that,” the event ‘sucks’ without music and that it is absurd to have us or any of our peers pull permits.”
The N.E.T. official also expressed that, “that the event is growing and many things need to be controlled,” a sentiment that is echoed by business owners, gallery-goers and city officials alike.
While code enforcement did extinguish spontaneous acts of breakdancing, live music, performance artists and food trucks serving up their distinct brands of cuisine, the parking headaches and crowds of pedestrians duking it out with frustrated drivers for space on the main thoroughfares still remained.
Activists from Walk Wynwood are at the forefront of finding solutions to manage Second Saturdays with a campaign for temporary street closures during the event.
Instead of crowds where frustrated drivers nearly run over gallery-goers, the Walk Wynwood movement envisions an Art Walk where vendors fill the streets, parents and children can walk and cross safely, and a neighborhood alive with music and energy
Not only is Art Walk vital to the art districts, it also supports and strengthens many homegrown businesses and independent artists that are vital to Miami’s economic recovery.
What was once just a quiet open house of art galleries amongst abandoned warehouses has blossomed into a unique opportunity for painters, sculptors, musicians, performance artists and designers of every stripe to market themselves within the community.
Food trucks and other vendors also rely heavily on the revenue from Second Saturdays; for some trucks it’s the only event that keeps them in business during summer and other slowdowns.
Temporary street closures are only the beginning to keeping Second Saturdays a community-wide event for artists, gallery-goers and vendors.
The Second Saturday Art Walk community – the art galleries, the musicians, performance artists, restaurants and food trucks need to meet and come up with solutions TOGETHER to manage the Art Walk crowds, keep the neighborhood safe and clean for everyone, manage the traffic and make it an event where all artists and local businesses can truly flourish.
Visit the Walk Wynwood Facebook page to learn more about the movement and connect with other activists that want to keep Second Saturday Art Walk a vital stronghold for artists and businesses.