A Message from GroundUP Music Festival — and the Schedule!

The GroundUP Music Festival begins in two short days at the North Miami Beach bandshell. Michael League and Paul Lehr just sent this message to further whet your appetite!



This is Michael League, artistic director and co-founder of the GroundUP Music Festival, and Paul Lehr, festival director and CEO of our newly formed non-profit GroundUP Music Foundation, which produces programs and supports and provides opportunities to musicians and students.  We want to start by thanking you for joining us in another year of music, food, drink, community, and unique off-the-stage experiences with beautiful artists from around the world. 

When we created this festival four years ago, it was our goal to create an optimal experience for artists, audience, and staff, and to curate a musical experience that would inspire and bring together people from across the planet.  The audience has come from 54 countries and 48 states (c’mon, Oklahoma and Nebraska!), with this year’s lineup including performers from Brazil, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, the United States, Colombia, Greece, Ghana, Japan, Russia, Canada, the United Kingdom, México, Cuba, and France. You can get to know this year’s performers better by visiting our festival website at www.groundupmusicfestival.com or checking out our Spotify playlist here.

Each day begins with a variety of interactive sessions with festival artists in the intimate listening room, sitting next to the beach-bowl, or on the beach itself. This is a chance for you to engage with the musicians away from the stage, and one of the things that we love most about GUMFEST. The sessions are followed by alternating sets in the Bandshell stage and Park stage from the afternoon until 11:00 p.m. (10:00 p.m. on Sunday), at which point the action moves a few minutes away to the Alexander Hotel for our late-night shows, just like last year. We have two performance spaces there, showcasing both festival artists in different contexts and special guests who have come specifically to perform late-night. The shows go from midnight until 4:00 a.m. (11-3 on Sunday). 

One of our goals is to support, involve, and shine a light on some of South Florida’s greatness.  We partner each year with The Rhythm Foundation (which does fantastic year-round work at our host venue), we provide open rehearsals and workshops to hundreds of local students and musicians at our partner venue The Arsht Center, we feature fantastic local musicians at the festival in various contexts, and we provide farm-fresh local food on the festival grounds from The Locavore Kitchen by Taste of Redland (all menu items are 100% non-GMO, Fresh-from-Florida & Redland-raised, and all made from scratch), local Florida beers, Miami coffee roasters and ice-cream makers. If you want a break from the music (or you heard one song from Snarky Puppy and can’t take anymore), the beach is literally one step away from our masterclass area. There are also hammocks in the grove in which you can take a power nap as you listen from a distance.

The mission of our festival has never been to grow. We have an intimate thing happening here- no more than 1,800 listeners per day on festival grounds that take less than two minutes to traverse- and only two stages alternating performers, allowing audience members to hear every single note from every single artist (should you so choose). The real purpose behind GroundUP is to connect hungry listeners with the great artists they might not have known they were looking for, and we hope that you take the time after the festival to dig deeply into each artist’s repertoire (and buy their music) to see where they’re really coming from and what they’ve done.

If there’s anything you need, we’re right here! Just shoot a message to info@groundupmusicfestival.com and one of our team members will do the best we can to help. We really hope you enjoy yourself and feel at home here.

Love and music,

Michael (League)
Paul (Lehr)


GroundUP Music Festival

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