Source: - Miami Herald Online
Issue:      4/14/02
Page:       n/a


  Posted on Sun, Apr. 14, 2002 story:PUB_DESC
Miami music and youth culture festival draws thin crowds

Associated Press Writer
(AP) -- Alternative rockers Stone Temple Pilots and rap veterans Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh were among a slate of acts performing Saturday night at a three-day music and extreme sports festival celebrating youth culture that turned out thin crowds.

A hybrid of Woodstock, Lollapalooza and ESPN's X-Games, the Beyond 2002 Super Festival cobbled together hip-hop and rock stars with DJs, graffiti and break dancing on five stages. Concertgoers also could gander at motorcyclists doing freestyle jumps, snowboarders and skiers doing aerial flips off a 40-foot ramp and skateboarders and BMX bikers on a half-pipe.

Third Eye Blind, punk rockers The Offspring and hip-hop stars Ludacris and Africa Bambaataa were also performing Saturday night, among others. Rappers Ice-T, Snoop Dogg, Outkast and renown DJ Fatboy Slim were scheduled to appear Sunday.

The event, held in a stretch of parkland near downtown and facing the mouth of this city's main cruise ship thoroughfare, was sponsored in part by Go Snacks, Mars Inc. and power drink makers SoBe.

Local organizers Todd Ross, 24, and Justin Moss, 23, said they set out to reinvent the standard pop music festival by mixing the most popular elements of youth culture in one event.

''We just gave them everything that everybody likes,'' said Ross.

But by late Saturday afternoon, the second day of festival, Ross and Moss were scratching their heads over lackluster turnout.

''It's not quite what we would have expected,'' Moss said. ``If we could have done this show anywhere but Florida we would have pulled in 100,000 (people).''

Advance ticket sales were $45 per day, not including tax, and $99 for the three days. On Saturday afternoon, about 2,000 people were spread out among the different stages, some watching the motocross bikers, others trying their hand at paintball dueling.

Organizers said they did not have exact attendance numbers, but estimated about 5,000 turned out for the first daylong leg of the festival on Friday.

They were expecting between 20,000-25,000, Moss said, adding that a private investor who came up with the bulk of the over $4 million needed to put on the festival stood to lose it all if the crowds didn't grow as the day went on and marquee acts took to the stages.

Danny Ramirez, 17, of Miami, said he came to see Method Man and was not impressed by the lineup of lesser-known acts or extreme sports events.

''It would be better if there were more people here,'' he said.

Several other concertgoers offered expletives to describe what they thought of the event.

Moss said that in addition to a ''guerrilla campaign'' to give people flyers on the event, the festival was widely promoted on radio, television and America Online.

''Nobody has the answers,'' he said. ``Nobody can tell us why people didn't show.''

Miami Police Department Sergeant Rafael Masferrer said officers made some 20 arrests since Friday, mostly for drug possession.