Whether you’re into sharks or song, astronomy or A$AP Rocky, large dinosaurs or Lil Wayne, you’ll be rubbing sweaty shoulders Sunday in downtown Miami, where 43,000 people will converge for the Rolling Loud hip-hop music festival and the members-only opening of the Frost Science museum.
Despite the crowds clustering in Bayfront Park and Museum Park, an enjoyable and dank time can be had by all if everyone makes an effort to use public transportation, share rides, drink water and behave.
“We welcome people to downtown,” said Miami police spokeswoman Kenia Fallat. “Even with multiple events taking place, don’t be deterred. It will be a bit of a learning experience as far as the traffic is concerned, but we have a good plan and we have plenty of manpower.”
The only road closure will be one northbound lane on Biscayne Boulevard between Chopin Plaza and Northeast Fourth Street from 6 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday.
Don’t be put off by the name of Rolling Loud, which isn’t as massive or as deafening as the Ultra festival held in March that drew 150,000 fans. The third annual Rolling Loud features performers such as Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Travis Scott and Future on two stages. Rolling Loud runs from 4 p.m. Friday to 11 p.m. Sunday and has sold out all 40,000 tickets.
“People get scared by hip-hop, rap and urban culture,” said festival co-founder Tariq Cherif. “Don’t judge us by what we wear, the color of our skin or the music we listen to. We are good people. Even my grandmother is coming. Grandma gets down.”
Rolling Loud was previously held in Wynwood and has mushroomed since it attracted 6,500 fans in 2015. Cherif moved it because he wanted more space and “a more beautiful location by the water.”
“I don’t want to compare with Ultra because it’s not apples to apples, but Rolling Loud has always been very tranquil,” Fallat said.
Cherif wants to keep it that way. Fans, limited to a clutch bag or small fanny pack, will pass through metal detectors. Inside the park, they’ll find free water stations and plenty of food concession options. Pyro, cryo and Fireworks displays will be part of the show. The sound level is not supposed to exceed 110 decibels.
Added Cherif: “Our music focuses on the lyrical element and the beats as opposed to EDM, country, rock and roll, jazz and opera. Hip-hop is the No. 1 vehicle for addressing social issues. These artists are telling stories about what’s happening in our cities.”
Cherif, 27, was a physics whiz at Fort Lauderdale’s Pine Crest School and when he’s done with the festival he plans to check out the new Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science and its planetarium and aquarium, which will be open to the public on Monday. Sunday’s Members Preview, from 3 to 10 p.m., is for the 4,000-plus folks who have signed up to be members. Parking is available in the garage beneath the museum. Or take the free Metromover to Museum Park station.
The Adrienne Arsht Center has a packed weekend, including performances of House Theater of Chicago’s ‘Death and Harry Houdini,’ the Florida Grand Opera’s ‘A Masked Ball,’ the Miami Symphony Orchestra’s Beethovenmania, and a celebration of Team USA’s victory at the Cocuse d’Or cooking competition.
People should travel by bus, Metrorail and Metromover. Metrorail and free Metromover trains will run from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday and from 5 a.m. to midnight Sunday.
Uber spokesperson Javi Correoso advised concertgoers to request their rides once they exit the festival, and confirm the car’s plate, make and model.
Stay in the shade, hydrate and don’t take drugs or drink excessively, said Miami Fire-Rescue spokesman Ignatius Carroll Jr. Up to 80 paramedics will be patrolling Bayfront Park and manning first-aid stations.
“It’s going to be hot,” Carroll said. “Illegal substance use leads to problems, and then we have to remove you from your fun-filled weekend.”
Miami Herald Staff Writer Carli Teproff contributed to this report.