In case you were wondering when the next great music festival will be, Lights Out Festival arrives in July to satisfy your appetite. On July 21, Dementia Events is bringing the party to Miami, filled with an eclectic mix of performers unique to the current festival platform. Performers range from RJD2 to Crizzly to Cole Sidner, in what will be an introduction to Miami for the festival. JJ Carpenter, one of the two minds behind the event, gave me the distinct privilege of participating in a little ole’ Q&A. Check out what JJ had to say.
How did you and Jeremie first meet? Was it music at first sight?
Jeremie and I have been working in the industry for years, from working in both the fashion to nightlife industries. We have been working on the “Lights Out Festival” concept for about three years.
I’ve been told not to mix business with friendship. It seems like you guys have done just that. How was it that Dementia Events came to fruition?
Dementia Events came to fruition though a series of failures. We had dreams of managing a few clubs through out the Miami area. Jeremie started working with his family’s restaurant/lounge called the Blue Café in Sunny Isles. The Blue Café has since been closed, but we ran with this dream until few years ago. We were roommates in Midtown for a year when we realized that the festival route was something that we needed to look into. The first Swedish House Mafia Masqurade allowed for us to see the bigger picture. We realized then that there was a lack of affordable events in Miami. There was also a lack of variety in Miami, and all of the major venues seem to bring back the same commercial artists. The nightlife started to become redundant with its music. Our goal was to bring together a bunch of events that focus on the music. That is why our current lineup is so eclectic. Lights Out Festival will be held multiple times in Miami, along with some other local events that we care currently mustering up.
You two are quite the philanthropists, donating five percent of event proceeds to local music programs and public school systems. How important is music to you both?
We have been dedicated to giving something back to the community and its people. Whether it be food, clothing or something monetary, we always give something each year. As for the public music schools, we have a strong belief that both music and after-school systems are the keys to a bright future. That is why we decided to give the money to the public schools. We also plan to travel with LOF, and donate the proceeds to whichever city the event is hosted in.
It seems like every corner we turn, there’s another music festival springing up. What sets Lights Out apart from other festivals?
Our festival is not just about a massive commercial name. We want to focus on the production, as well as musical enlightenment. We want to give people a true show, while introducing them to artists that they never knew existed. We want to provide cities with an alternative to the larger scale festivals and everyday staple nightclubs.
Wynwood seems to be a hub for great music and art. Is there are significance behind holding the event at this location?
We chose Wynwood because we believe that it will be the heart and future of Miami. We also lived there for a while and love the environment and people. We want our musical enlightenment to be focused at the heart of the Miami arts and music scenes.
The Miami music scene can appear uninviting at times. What are your expectations for Lights Out?
We want LOF to be able to appeal to everyone in the city that it’s affecting. The Miami market is strict on who they allow and also who they will allow to play. We gave every local artist the opportunity to shine. We treated everyone equal with our choices. Everyone has been allowed to apply to play, and get involved in the event. The more local the influence, the more inviting the event will be.
Not to make anyone feel left out, but are there any favorites either of you are excited to see perform?
I’m excited to see Crizzly perform. I saw a bunch of his live DJ sets on YouTube, but haven’t ever seen him live. He is taking the EDM scene by storm, and he will for sure be one of the greats in the market by this year’s end.
What can we expect from Dementia Events post-Lights Out?
You can expect a lot more events, and a lot more great music.