Back in 2019, Katherine Wong was 17 years old. Her parents were gone on a cruise. With the money they left her, she bought a ticket to III Points, the music festival that started in Wynwood in 2013, and went by herself. She was excited to see LCD Soundsystem and Beach House but the experience shaped who she wanted to become.
On the second night of the festival, while on a DJ set, she met a music and arts journalist who inspired Wong to follow Miami’s music and cultural scene. Now the 21-year-old is a board operator for iHeart Radio.
“III Points is the reason why I am the person I am today,” says Wong.
III Points was launched by co-founders David Sinopoli and Erica Freshman. The festival was created to highlight Miami’s culture, music and art. The line-up is curated for the local audience and the event is held in Miami’s art district, Wynwood.
The festival has acquired an extensive lineup since its first edition. This year big names such as LDC Soundsystem and Rosalía (who is doing her Miami debut) are headlining the festival held at Mana Wynwood on Oct. 21 and 22. Organizers have also strived to make this a platform for local artists.
An open house was held this year and over 10 artists won spots to perform in the festival. Among them are Suz, a Dominican-Cuban non-binary musician and rapper from Miami, Near Dark, a producer from Miami, and The Floridians, a band that brings a psych-rock and indie sound to the festival.
“This year more than half of the lineup is local, which I love because I feel as though Miami is such a creative hub that is so untapped,” said Wong. “Some of my favorite artists are from here […] and I think it’s cool that III Points are allowing these local artists to have a platform to say they have performed in a festival.”
Last year the festival was heavily criticized online after attendees on a hot night claimed canned water was selling at a high price and sold out before the end of the night.
“Remember at @iiiPoints 2021 when they didn’t have a single water station for water bottles or refills and only sold $6 Liquid Deaths,” Lizzi Wilson (@peppermintbadyy) wrote on Twitter on April 13, 2022.
Wong said the water situation was not ideal last year. She mentioned that the only water fountain she saw was located next to the bathroom and it was in poor condition. While she agreed there should be free water and the festival could have done better, she also claimed festival-goers should always budget and prepare for situations like this.
III Points released a public statement this past March acknowledging all the complaints. This time free water stations will be available, all bars will have a flat water rate of $5 and two more stages were added to avoid overpacked areas.
“We’ve shared amazing moments together in the last nine years. As we reflect on these memories, we commit to making each year better than the last… we are listening to you,” read the statement published on Instagram.
As the festival approaches, attendees have recently shown their excitement on social media and reminisced about their experiences from past years.
Hanna Singh, a 21-year-old FIU student, will experience III Points as her first festival with Wong. The two friends are going on both days.
“I am super-excited,” says Singh. “I’ve been looking forward to going to this festival since we got the tickets. Honestly, I was excited even before that because we have talked about this a bajillion times. […]The music is going to be great and it’s just going to be an awesome environment.”
If you go: The festival happens from 3 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Oct. 21 and 22, at Mana Wynwood, located on 2217 NW 5th Ave. Miami, FL. Ticket prices start at $119 via iiipoints.com.