In 2017, Travel & Leisure dubbed Hialeah, the City of Progress, as Miami’s new hipster hangout.
But what they didn’t know was that Hialeah was always hip, at least when it came to live music. So hip, in fact, that it had a music festival named after it that didn’t even take place in Hialeah.
From 1994 to 2013 Hialeah Fest was one of Miami’s premiere live music festivals. Founded by native Hialeans Ferny Copiel and Tony Landa (aka Humbert), the day long event took place at the venerable Churchill’s Pub in Little Haiti.
After a six year pause, the fest is returning, thanks to much prodding from Churchill regular and experimental music icon Rat Bastard’s insistence. Landa and Coipel had stopped organizing the event because of family health issues Landa was facing. Coipel didn’t think it was appropriate to carry it on without him. But this year is different. “The climate is right,” Coipel says. “Things have aligned.”
Hialeah Fest redux will feature over 20 bands on three stages--the Jupiña, Materva and Malta Hatuey stages. Featured acts include Afrobeta, Beyond the Boundary, The Brand, Brute, Electric Piquete, Electric Supply Company, H-OM, Humbert, Medina, Nekromaniak and more to be announced including a special surprise tribute in the works.
“Until we pressed pause, Hialeah Fest was the longest-running South Florida music festival,” says Coipel. “Over the years we had so many people asking time after time ‘When is the fest coming back?’, ‘Is Hialeah Fest happening this year?,’ ‘Is it happening this year?,’ and it was just on indefinite hiatus.” Coipel plays keyboards and guitar and is a founding member of Humbert, which is one of the festival’s headliners, and I Don’t Know, which anchored the event prior to Humbert forming in 1999.
“We’re only doing this because Rat made us do it,” Landa said. “He just kept harassing us until we finally agreed to do it.”
Cover is $7 and proceeds will go towards the Manos Internacional, which helps educate children around the world, including Mexico and China, founded by another Hialeah boy made good, John Alvarez.
If you go:
What: Hialeah Fest
When: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7
Where: Churchill’s 5501 NE 2nd Ave., Miami
Info: For more information, visit the Facebook event page or call 305-757-1807.